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Prentiss Riddle

What, you think the average college freshman is smart or works hard?

No doubt my view is tainted by going to Big State U, but when I was an undergrad I thought that most of my classmates had no business being in college and watering down the experience for those of us who were actually interested in learning something. (Even in grad school I've had my uncharitable days when my thoughts ran in that direction. Recently I learned about a wonderful pejorative the faculty use behind closed doors to describe the attitude of some of my classmates: "17th grade". But I digress.)

Anyway, it's not your responsibility as a teacher in a 2-year college to be the admissions director for the 4-year college. Your students are like campsites: leave 'em better off than you found 'em and you're doing both them and the world a great service.

In other words, once again, Badger is my hero!


Yah - a tricky problem.

Though if the class was supposed to mean 'equivalent to freshman english' and you felt that student X wouldn't have passed freshmen english, then you are probably doing them a favor by failing them. You would certainly be doing society a favor - otherwise others who _would have_ passed freshmen english have their accomplishments devalued.


Of course you have been grading too easily! The obvious concern you have for them on this blog makes it clear you are a softy. Did you once call them "ignorant maggots"?

Seriously, you can't know, which is kind of the frustration of teaching students for just a semester. If you feel like you had clear standards for your assignments and you graded everyone according to those standards, then you did your job. It took me years of teaching (and I am still doing it) to get to the point where I didn't feel upset and frustrated with students who didn't do as well as they should have.

The best cure I know for this feeling is to chat to your colleagues; it really helps to get your perspective back.

Oh, and in my hallway, we call a D a "coward's F". :)


Whatladder that is how I feel! I think I am grading fairly. But I'm not an experienced teacher, and am not sure, and don't have a lot to measure against. I should have met with JM this semester and talked it over! But then, the back injury derailed everything.

You crack me up with your "coward's F"!

There is only 1 student I will probably have to flunk and even if they would finish all the assignments passing is highly unlikely. Anyone else who flunks will get an F for unfinished work.


Dude. I was always here for you. I would have dropped everything to answer any questions you had. Many a time I wanted to jump in and say HEY, you want to talk about this? when you posted things here.

But I certainly wasn't going to push you to ask -- that's your decision to make. I get that you're not a big help-asker-for kinda person.

Plus, then, horrible debilitating pain.

I really like that comment above, though: "Your students are like campsites: leave 'em better off than you found 'em and you're doing both them and the world a great service." It's SO TRUE. And really, it's all you can do.

If you have some essays in digital form and you want me to look at 'em and say how i'd have graded them, I will. maybe that'll give you a little peace of mind. or maybe you already have it now that you blogged it out. whatever works.

Lori S.

I wonder if any young person gets told "Maybe think about not going to college, because you aren't suited. Go fix cars for a living."

They certainly used to. But, you know, not in a good way. My father had to fight hard to get out of being vocationally tracked b/c his parents were working class and didn't go to college, so of course he wouldn't be going either, he wasn't suited, he wasn't a good student anyway, blah blah blah...

Prentiss Riddle

(Heh -- I realized after I made the campsites remark that I stole it from Dan Savage, who used it to describe, ahem, another kind of teaching experience... :-) )


uh, I'm a teacher; have taught writing.

I like to make and pass out a grading rubric when I give an assignment.

It helps me clarify for myself how to grade.

It also justifies how you graded, when students challenge what they receive.


I do have a grading rubric which I passed out to everyone and which I try to follow! Still, I feel that I don't really know what that means in practice in relation to what other teachers' expectations are.

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