Monday, December 7, 2009

Lessons Learned

I have been winding down the semester, putting out fires of various kinds. This term has led me to re-evaluate some of my practices, and there will be some changes next time out.

For starters, I am going to be far less charitable in my attendance policy: hey, the college's handbook says X absences and you cannot pass the course. If that much else is going on, then you need to focus on that. Your grades will improve when you're not distracted, and we'll all be happier with that.

Next, I am revising my bonus policy for very good attendance. The current system can be streamlined very quickly into one-size-fits-all. I want my students to come to class, but I'm going to cut out the penalties for excessive absences below the college limit, relying instead on the system policy of "X misses and you're done."

Third, I am going to really take more advantage of the "hybrid" category and give more online work, especially for materials that I don't like to emphasize in lecture. The students are supposed to be picking up some of the slack, anyway.

I will not be taking a full break over Christmas. I will be teaching a mini-term --the money is good and it will get me out of the house and out from underneath the Mrs.'s feet.

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