Saturday, October 14, 2006

TA trials

So, I return to the blog after having spent some quality time grading. It is likely there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when my students get their tests back. The scores were frightful. Oh dear. I feel bad about the low scores, but the test was fair, and I had gotten the impression that they were prepared for it. That impression? Not so much a reflection of reality.

Steps to take:

1. Reiterate to the munchkins for the nth time (in which "n" = a number greater than fifteen) that I don't hold office hours because I like sitting in my office, but rather so they can come ask me questions outside of class time. On only three instances so far this year has anyone actually come to office hours. It's almost like I should offer extra credit to those who show up. Hey, there's an idea... I should run the idea by my boss and, if granted approval, offer a small bit of extra credit to anyone who comes to my office hours to discuss what went so horribly wrong on that last exam...

2. Devote more class time to grammar review. This is an intermediate level foreign language class. Mistakes made when conjugating verbs in the present tense indicative (mistakes that go beyond an isolated spelling error) give me the desire to weep and gnash my teeth, as do chronic accent errors in the preterite. To look on the bright side, however, these are not sins being committed by the majority of my students. That said, at this level, such errors should be made by no one.

3. Consider holding a comprehensive review session before the next exam. I don't have much time to spare to do stuff like this, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The aforementioned test scores signify desperate times.

4. Consider assigning "come to your instructor's office hours once during the next two weeks to talk about something having to do with grammar that confuses you" as homework. That's what I think I'll do if my boss nixes the extra credit venture.