It's been an . . . enlightening semester. I've learned a lot, both in my given field and in being a teacher. Should I ever become a professor, here are some things I am ready to apply:
- All of your students are weasels.
And they'll do anything they can to convince you they should have points for a grade they didn't turn in.
- Your students are never prepared for class.
This goes beyond that, though. Students are never prepared for what class will require of them (tying into the weasel part). Your students will try to get as much credit as possible for as little work as possible. The problem will come when they suddenly realize that your idea of the "minimum" amount of work and their idea of the "minimum" are vastly different. They'll get angry (I did), they'll feel cheated (don't we all?), and they'll blame you (ah, memories). And they'll wonder why they received zero credit for turning in a lab report which reads, "This lab was too hard, so we couldn't do it."
- Preparation is the key.
- Sometimes you have to have standards.
However, this should not be the case for entry level courses. Putting the top 10% of students at an 'A' makes no sense if this is introductory material. It leads to awkward situations, like people with scores of 40% making B's and C's in a course, then moving on to the second part of the course and knowing nothing about the subject.
- The internet is not the place to talk badly about people who control your grades. Especially if they can see it.
So there you have it. Lessons learned.
- If an exam is going to be all multiple choice, it is going to be scan-tron.