Salute to the good people

Yay for the students who…

  • …hand in their assignment a week early and still manage to go above and beyond what is asked of them.
  • …write far more than the required minimum by the time you ask for a rough draft.
  • …progress from a C on the first exam to an A on the third exam.
  • …want their final papers back after the semester is over.
  • …produce a high-quality original video when asked to present a visual aid for their group presentation.
  • …e-mail me after the semester is over and ask what you’re teaching next semester, so they can take a class with you again.
  • …consistently model your perception of exceptional performance on every assignment.

Yes, I do get these people. Not as often as I get the slackers who throw out all of their notes after an exam is over, but often enough. And they make me happy. —Adjunct KaitSalute to the good people (Did we do anything important today?)

Thanks for the reminder, Kait.

It’s hard to figure out where to draw the line, how to come across as personable and friendly in my role as newspaper adviser, but still establish a professional academic environment that holds students accountable for their actions. Which incidents or omissions do I let pass without comment, and which require a more serious response?

Even the best students are human, and you can’t expect them to be their best all the time. Neither can I be always at my best. Sometimes students have smelled my weaknesses and used them against me in completely inappropriate ways, and sometimes students have sent personal notes that come at precisely the right time (thanks, Moira!).

So far, the good continues to outweigh the bad.

8 thoughts on “Salute to the good people

  1. You’re right Dennis, and they make deliberate efforts to tell me that. The same ones who throw their notes away just as they finish an exam are also the ones who tell me that they don’t have their paper today because they just found out last night that they had a paper due in another (usually intro) class as well. And they are also the ones who try the “but I worked really hard on this” routine when they get a D on that paper…

    Actually, that throwing notes away thing is not the worst thing or the most common thing that my students do. (I had a particular student in mind when I thought of that example.) They whine. They hand in crumpled up papers where they cite Jeff Foxworthy as their primary source. They don’t show up for six weeks at a time, and when they do show up, they read a newspaper in the front row and socialize with everyone in a 15-foot vicinity. They fail the 10-question take-home quiz with wording taken directly from the book…I could go on all day.


  2. Oh wow, yeah, I missed that.

    But I just found it amusing – “Not as often as I get the slackers who throw out all of their notes after an exam is over”.

    I think someone has a little too high of standards. I mean, if the majority of the students who throw out their notes after the final exam are slackers, what do you call the people who don’t take notes in the first place? :-P

  3. Didn’t you used to have “don’t throw there notes away at the end of the semester” on here to? Maybe you took it off..I was going to comment on it, but now it’s gone…

  4. Cool, I’ve been quoted! ;)
    I posted that after reading a post from Cindy at Red Bird Blogs ( about the same topic. She noted that it is easy to complain about students at this time of year, but that we shouldn’t forget the ones who make the job worthwhile.
    Adjunct Kait

    PS–>Any ideas on where I can find my very own comfy chair???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *