Another grey day passed bothered by allergies and ending up tired by the evening. I don\t have much wisdom at the moment.
Though I got to work one hour before the start of my morning conversation class, my mind had been immersed in the developments and needs of the writing classes and I lost track of the activities of the conversation class so that the students had to remind me where we had last left off. I had gotten a lesson ahead of ourselves.
Anyway, it worked out because we wound up at the point where I had begun in error by the second hour of the class. There was a bit of somber tension after reporting the results of these students’ recent work and laying out the grading system. It is a curved grading system, which forces students to compete against each other and assigns grades relative to the results in the whole class on a scale that only permits around 30% As. No teacher likes it but institutions do it because of education policy and funding criteria, among other things. I find it important to sketch out the realities of this grading system so that students can keep in mind during the system and so that I keep complaints and appeals from piling up at the end of the semester when I am pressed to get grading done on time.
I have trouble with previous conversation classes taught at this nine-o’clock Monday morning time slot largely because of the time of day. It’s a second year course and sometimes I let it get sidelined due to the concentration on teaching the first year classes and compositions classes, both of which involve more work than the second year conversation class. These students tend to be older and set in a career mode, and they can be finicky, difficult and righteous about their academic work and experience with the teacher. I am trying to keep on top of the situation and pay them the attention and care they are due.
The internet is really not functioning well, so I am typing this on the word processing document first. The technical issues still trouble me. I guess they will for the rest of my life.