It’s a perfect day because it’s the last day of classes for all but my writing class. The writing class’s worst work is finished as well, and we’re just going to meet next week for a few free-writing sessions. They’ll hand in their essays today, their course portfolios next Friday, and they have two more classes. But my conversation classes are meeting for the last time today. From Monday on, it’s just exams that are left to be done.
Not to give the impression I hate my work, but having been so sick all semester has been a drain, and I really am looking forward to time off. I can’t really call it “holidays”, since I’ll be working for most of the time off, or at least that’s how it looks. Baritone sax, here I come. But I do look forward to having much less to do in a day, a more stable schedule (well, aside from during camp, anyway), and it’ll be good to be finished with the students I’ve been teaching this semester. Not just the bad ones: a teacher needs a break from his best students eventually, too.
But today’s going to be long. The essays due today are being scrabbled together by students who seem to think I should read everything before it’s handed in, but also should be free all day to do said reading. I’ve told them I’m not free all day, but will be in the English cafe for an hour at 11:30am. I bet more than two come in seeking my help in proofreading their essays.
And I will be running the same review session 5 times, though I may manage to streamline it a little in the process. That’d be nice. I’ll be handing out papers covered in questions, telling students a few hints on how to do well in the exam, inviting them to try the questions (and variations on them) with their partners, and mostly just pointing out that if they’ve been practicing all along, it shouldn’t be too hard… something I’ve been warning them about all along.
Oh, and since the tests are not partnered, I’ll be telling the people who failed on the basis of attendance, so that they don’t waste any time on test day. It’s maddening when this sort of thing happens, but when students are partnered, I let the person who failed do the test first, so the partner isn’t left high and dry. The only incentive I have to do otherwise is when the person is a disruption to the class. I did kick out one girl who didn’t show up for four weeks, got by on a flimsy excuse since I knew her from a previous semester, and then showed up badly, and then stopped showing up after the exam. She was disturbing the class with chatter and her bad example.
Anyway, by Friday night next week, I will have finished testing almost all of my students, and I’ll be free of everything but the work of handing in gradesheets and entering their grades into the computer.