Monday, December 20, 2010

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Dear readers, please meet me:

I'm up to my ears in Blue Books. For every Blue Book, I have an email in my inbox inquiring about the grade. On the exam given at the end of last week. Bleghajfeiohrh!

One of my challenges this semester is in convincing my students that, while I am a conscientious instructor, I am not a human grading machine. This body is not a Scantron reader. This is part of a general effort to let my students know that I am a living, breathing person. Earlier this semester I encountered a student in the dining hall. Shocked to see me, he uttered out, "What are you doing here?". As if I didn't need sustenance or was somehow not supposed to be there.

When I was an undergrad, I frequently encountered professors at the gym. This was slightly awkward because we would be forced into polite conversation while wearing spandex and rolling around on exercise balls. If I can deal with getting my English professor un-stuck from a Thighmaster, these students can handle my lunchtime routine.

So, here are 5 things I wish students would understand about me. I'm thinking about getting it printed up on a tee shirt.

5. The reason you don't get your paper back the day after you turn it in is because I spend a lot of time on grading. I read thoroughly. I write comments that are designed to help you. This is better than me slapping a C- on it and calling it a day.

4. I am a friendly and approachable person. But this does not equate to sending me Facebook friend requests with the message, "Ha ha, found you, want 2 b frenz?

3. Contrary to popular belief, I don't live in my office. Showing up there at random times and leaving notes about my "unexpected absence" is futile. Also, don't eat my candy while lingering at my desk, complaining about said absence.

2. Review sessions. They are for you. They are most definitely not for me.

1. If you see me heading for the coffee cart, it is NOT the time to ask me a question. Stand back, let me take a few sips of caffeine, and then proceed.

Are you a grading grinch this year? Have you been at the mercy of one? What do you wish students knew about you? (that's it, we're making tee shirts for sure. and tote bags.)


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