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Author Topic: Bang Your Head on Your Desk - the thread of teaching despair!  (Read 2038311 times)
mathspice
On the elitist poop-head scale from 1-5, we give this
Senior member
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Posts: 786


« Reply #5610 on: April 04, 2012, 12:47:21 PM »

Due to banging my head on desk, I decided to try this tactic. I shall reward those who DO follow the course policies and/or have made significant improvement in their grade. Wish me luck and feel free to use!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/65837276/FB%20Like%20coupon.pdf

P.S. Could someone give me a refresher on how to post links nicely without giving the full name of the file? Like you smarty smarty forumites do?
Logged

I'm teaching about honey, vinegar, and professionalism by example and it seems to work better for me than an exposition.
polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #5611 on: April 04, 2012, 1:46:35 PM »

Due to banging my head on desk, I decided to try this tactic. I shall reward those who DO follow the course policies and/or have made significant improvement in their grade. Wish me luck and feel free to use!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/65837276/FB%20Like%20coupon.pdf

P.S. Could someone give me a refresher on how to post links nicely without giving the full name of the file? Like you smarty smarty forumites do?

Put [ url=nasty looking address] the text you want [/ url] without the spaces in the brackets.

To see the example, use the quote box to look at useful coupon.
Logged

I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
mathspice
On the elitist poop-head scale from 1-5, we give this
Senior member
****
Posts: 786


« Reply #5612 on: April 04, 2012, 4:15:50 PM »

Due to banging my head on desk, I decided to try this tactic. I shall reward those who DO follow the course policies and/or have made significant improvement in their grade. Wish me luck and feel free to use!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/65837276/FB%20Like%20coupon.pdf

P.S. Could someone give me a refresher on how to post links nicely without giving the full name of the file? Like you smarty smarty forumites do?

Put [ url=nasty looking address] the text you want [/ url] without the spaces in the brackets.

To see the example, use the quote box to look at useful coupon.

Thank you, Polly_mer! I will try it here:

If you'd like to see my "Like" coupons, click here.

Yay! I think it works! Thanks, again.
Logged

I'm teaching about honey, vinegar, and professionalism by example and it seems to work better for me than an exposition.
lizardmom1
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,180


« Reply #5613 on: April 05, 2012, 2:50:10 PM »

WARNING: In this post, there is a long rant ahead. Continue to read at your own risk!

WHY, oh why can't graduate students follow basic instructions for a major assignment? Can't they read the directions that are clearly written? Can't they listen in class when the instructor spoon feeds them by going over the directions, step by step?

And, why can't they accept responsibility for their own choices instead of taking out on us via the "customer satisfaction surveys" the low grade they must know they are EARNING!?
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Lizardmom1

I WILL learn to smile sweetly...
polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #5614 on: April 05, 2012, 5:25:02 PM »

Oh, Lizardmom1, you have to stop thinking of your paying graduates in the cash cow program as graduate students (aka competent professionals) and keep thinking of them as the customers that they think themselves to be.
Logged

I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
temporaryname
Junior faculty,
Senior member
****
Posts: 934


« Reply #5615 on: April 06, 2012, 4:43:26 PM »

WHY, oh why can't graduate students follow basic instructions for a major assignment? Can't they read the directions that are clearly written? Can't they listen in class when the instructor spoon feeds them by going over the directions, step by step?
I have finally (after more than 10 years of college teaching) realized that the answers to your last two questions are both "no".

The thing is, I don't know that I was any better in grad school—and I'm not sure if very many of us were. Time, though, makes the hard edges a little softer, and so we tend to think that things are worse now than they used to be. However, given some of the complaints about students you get throughout the history of education, I doubt that's actually true.

Of course, that's cold comfort, and I think the complaining is worthwhile, even if only to let others know they're not alone.
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senay
Wholesome
Senior member
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Posts: 409


« Reply #5616 on: April 06, 2012, 5:52:39 PM »


I have a young student (in age and in maturity) who has methodically failed to earn most of the points in my freshman comp class.  I urged him to drop a few weeks ago before the deadline, and he told me a complicated reason about why he had to stay in the course.  In our last session I gave my short lecture on a concept and then passed out a worksheet for students to practice the new concept in pairs.  I went from group to group checking the work and making suggestions.  When I get to this student, he has nothing written on his worksheet.  He looks at me and says, "I don't have a pen."  I announce to the rest of the class, "Could someone loan X a pen?"  Someone immediately does.

Why, why, why this student is still even coming to class is a mystery to me.
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I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
octoprof
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 45,171

Love your loved ones while you can.


WWW
« Reply #5617 on: April 06, 2012, 7:18:22 PM »


I have a young student (in age and in maturity) who has methodically failed to earn most of the points in my freshman comp class.  I urged him to drop a few weeks ago before the deadline, and he told me a complicated reason about why he had to stay in the course.  In our last session I gave my short lecture on a concept and then passed out a worksheet for students to practice the new concept in pairs.  I went from group to group checking the work and making suggestions.  When I get to this student, he has nothing written on his worksheet.  He looks at me and says, "I don't have a pen."  I announce to the rest of the class, "Could someone loan X a pen?"  Someone immediately does.

Why, why, why this student is still even coming to class is a mystery to me.

Magical thinking.
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Love your neighbor.
gwydion
New member
*
Posts: 26


« Reply #5618 on: April 06, 2012, 7:21:40 PM »


I have a young student (in age and in maturity) who has methodically failed to earn most of the points in my freshman comp class.  I urged him to drop a few weeks ago before the deadline, and he told me a complicated reason about why he had to stay in the course.  In our last session I gave my short lecture on a concept and then passed out a worksheet for students to practice the new concept in pairs.  I went from group to group checking the work and making suggestions.  When I get to this student, he has nothing written on his worksheet.  He looks at me and says, "I don't have a pen."  I announce to the rest of the class, "Could someone loan X a pen?"  Someone immediately does.

Why, why, why this student is still even coming to class is a mystery to me.

Maybe the reason he didn't bring a pen was because he thought you would be teaching finger painting that session.  He certainly doesn't sound like he was ready for 2nd grade let alone college.
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Forget about world peace....Visualize using your turn signal
polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #5619 on: April 07, 2012, 7:18:03 AM »

Yesterday was the final withdraw date.  Several students who are below C-level and whom I haven't seen in a week or more did not appear at my office with slips to be signed.  This term's DF rate is going to be bigger than what I've seen in three years.
Logged

I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
barcrossliar
I guess anyone can be a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,350


« Reply #5620 on: April 08, 2012, 9:22:01 AM »

I just got an email from a student who missed the first two exams, had a plagiarism F on a paper, and was absent the last 3 of 4 classes.  She wanted to turn in a paper late. 

I'm sure that her thinking is that she still has a CHANCE to pass.  Yes, there's also a CHANCE that I'll win the MacArthur "genius award," but since I have shown any signs of genius, it shouldn't influence any decisions I make.

Logged

Every educated person's not a plumb greenhorn.

"where whining mendeth nothing, wherefore whine?"--R.L. Stevenson

+-LR is wise. Listen.
geonerd
As always, loving the irony and a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 7,275

Do not take the bait.


« Reply #5621 on: April 08, 2012, 2:17:43 PM »

WARNING: In this post, there is a long rant ahead. Continue to read at your own risk!

WHY, oh why can't graduate students follow basic instructions for a major assignment? Can't they read the directions that are clearly written? Can't they listen in class when the instructor spoon feeds them by going over the directions, step by step?

And, why can't they accept responsibility for their own choices instead of taking out on us via the "customer satisfaction surveys" the low grade they must know they are EARNING!?

When you find the answer, please let me know.
Logged

Rational arguments do not generally work in Crazy Land.
polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #5622 on: April 08, 2012, 3:08:13 PM »

I am reading the second draft of research papers.  The only bright side at this point is how much easier the grading is when the grade is "zero, minimal change from previous draft with several major comments ignored".  The downside is documenting the new plagiarism.
Logged

I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
anakin
Most snarkily lightsabered
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 7,828

Goes to 11


« Reply #5623 on: April 08, 2012, 7:18:07 PM »

I am reading the second draft of research papers.  The only bright side at this point is how much easier the grading is when the grade is "zero, minimal change from previous draft with several major comments ignored".  The downside is documenting the new plagiarism.

Deep, long, sigh.
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There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized. -- Conan O'Brien
lohai0
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 11,977


« Reply #5624 on: April 09, 2012, 1:55:57 AM »

I let my classes use the voting theory to select what four "choice" sections we cover the last two weeks in Math for Humanities. Two sections were selected by both classes. They were not my first choices, but they aren't terrible:

Basic Probability & Game Shows
Math & Music

The other two sections were totally different. I have to say my forehead almost hit the desk for class #1 during class:

Class #1: This is a Triangle. (No, really: Basic Shapes and their areas, perimeters, surface areas and volumes). & Mean, Median & Mode.

Class #2: Risk Assessment (in insurance & investment) Using Probability & The Golden Ratio (in math, nature, art, and advertising)

Bet you can't guess which class is the class filled with whiny Freshflakes that have been a ... challenge... to  keep focused all semester and which class has three veterans on the GI bill & a firefighter. Mostly, I'm mad at myself for not anticipating that Class #1 would pull this crap as a class. I thought there was more students that cared than there were, but the votes were overwhelming for this crapola. I think making them use their knowledge to vote was a good idea, but next time, I'm rigging the ballots.
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I hate helicopter zombie grandparents. They are the worst.
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