Wednesday, January 9, 2013

End of Semester blues

While waiting for the next class, I was talking with a colleague about how unmotivated our students are at this particular moment in time.  If the student is going to pass, they don't need to worry too much as they have been studying all along.  If they aren't going to pass, there is nothing they can do at this stage anyway either.  So both sets of students are not happy to be here at all.  I have nothing new to give them.  I have drilled, and drilled, and occasionally thrown in some fun here and there.  Either they will pass or they won't.  I just need to get through the next couple of days.

On another point, I came up with the idea that our foundation students are looking for a "lego" education.  They want us to provide them with little pieces, that they can memorize, put together and use at will, and regurgitate on any given exam.  Take for instance the most recent writing exam.  Almost down to the student, an entire class wrote, "No one can deny..."  While teaching the correct use of opening lines is all well and good, and I have been known to use my own formulaic writing outline, to have an entire class use that one line is astonishing.  But I shouldn't be that surprised as the best adjectives they could come up with for an in class game were the ones I had used as examples!  For the life of them, they couldn't be creative!  Even the nouns were taken from the room they were in.

I have been their teacher for at least two semesters, and for a couple almost three.  They still couldn't tell me what a noun was, or an adjective.  I know even a native speaker would have a hard time with definition, but when I've been the teacher, and I know what I have taught them?  Come on people!  I guess I'm suffering from end of the term let down.  Or maybe I feel I've let them down somehow because I didn't change the world completely?  But I take heart in knowing that there will be another term to start over again.  Tomorrow really is another day!