Well, my students truly…

Well, my students truly bombed their quiz, but I think it worked out okay anyway. We had a 'teaching moment' about it, talking about why I ask them to know certain dates (like when Pearl Harbor was attacked, or when India got independence -- and no, the answer isn't 'in the 1500s'). I think they may now understand a little more the significance of sequence -- that it really helps to understand how events occur in reaction to one another. So that yes, India's independence comes closely after the end of England's involvement in World War II, and there's a good reason for that. So that maybe it doesn't make so much sense to tell me that India gained independence in 1800? (And if any of my students are reading this, take comfort in the fact that whatever misapprehension you had about dates, several of your classmates shared it).

I hate studying dates myself, but learning how events are sparked by other events -- well, when you put people in there too, it starts to get interesting. I've broken them into groups by country now, and sent them off to research dates significant to Asian-Americans (such as, say, India's independence and Partition). They'll report back in two weeks -- we'll see what they come up with. :-)

It was a good class nonetheless, good discussion of No-No Boy, and I wish we would have had more time for it, because it really is an excellent book; I find more interesting elements each time I teach it. They liked it too.

So I left class happier, and coming back to my office I decided that I really didn't need to do the additional work I had thought about doing right away -- it can wait until tomorrow. I'm going to take today relatively easy, and hope my mood continues to improve. I stopped by Amazon and bought some reusable shopping bags so that a) we help the planet, and b) we're less likely to tip the stroller over when we're coming back from the farmer's market -- now we can sling one or two of these over our shoulders instead of hanging five bags off the back of the stroller. Now I'm going to curl up with a cup of tea and a student fiction conference for half an hour. After that, class, then some shopping, I think -- I need earrings and shoes for Sharmi's wedding. That'll be fun.

3 thoughts on “Well, my students truly…”

  1. Former student here. I am teaching junior high now and it is so fustrating when they bomb a quiz or a test.I find myself feeling like a failure even though I may give them a word for word study guide. Even though you are a way higher level, I just had to laugh as I was taking a break from horrible essays!

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Hey, Danielle! Which Danielle are you? (What school/class?) Nice to know my former students are still reading here…

    As for bombing — well, in some ways, I do generally feel like I did something wrong if they bomb it — if more than half the class flunks, I usually don’t count that quiz, and try to figure out how to emphasize the important material better next time around. But I have a lot more leeway to drop quizzes and such in a literature class where the main grade is expected to be on essays anyway.

    I think when Kevin’s math students bomb an exam, he just counts it, flunks them, and figures they didn’t study. That was certainly the case when I was flunking calculus freshman year — I wasn’t studying, or even coming to class much. Not surprising I flunked, and I don’t think there’s much the poor teacher could have done about it!

    So no guilt! I’m sure you’re doing great!!!

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