Do Students Read?

So it seems that the Spring 07 semester has ceased – thank GOD! This has to have been the most agonizing semester, mainly made so by the moronic behaviors and lack of thought by a handful of infuriating students who were part of “my” TA group (though several missed over 3 classes, which according to the clearly stated attendance policy directly affects their final grade – one student missed 15 class obligations – oh, and three lectures were cancelled for this twice a week class). I wasted far too much effort, time, and stress on people who just didn’t get it (the purpose of the class) or didn’t want to get it – not to mention didn’t read the emails I wrote with specific directions for assignments. Eventually this behavior (or lack thereof) festered to a point where I could no longer be silent. I started emailing my students “lectures” regarding their lack of following directions (or reading emails – which is ironic, those who would need to read these emails, likely didn’t).

Email to students in my TA section on 3/20:
Also, this doesn’t apply to everyone, as many of you are doing very well in this course (but if you don’t read emails, keep reading this one). However, those of you who aren’t, you need to be sure that you pay attention to the emails that I send. First off, they take time to write and I don’t have to, but choose to so that you can get a better grade on your assignments. Secondly, follow the directions for assignments that are in the back of the book, on blackboard, and explained more specifically on occasion in emails I send. I write the emails for YOUR benefit, not mine. Please don’t waste my time by not using the information provided to your advantage.

UGH! And yet, I still received assignments blatantly done incorrectly.

Follow-up email to students – 4/17: 
2) It has become blatantly obvious that many of you are not reading directions for your portfolio reflection. No one so far has gotten full points for their reflection essay.
 a) Read directions on blackboard or in back of book. There are specific things you must cover to get all of the points possible.
 b) Observe page requirements.
 c) You should write in the order of questions presented and the answers to those questions should be *very* obvious (most of the time the question is restated in a statement once followed by first the answer). Each section should have been at least a full paragraph (4-5 sentences) – much of the time it would be longer.
 d) It would benefit you to print out the directions or write out a checklist of what you need to cover.
 e) Have a friend read your essay with the directions to be sure it is clear that you have covered what is required.

3) I put a lot of effort into writing emails to explain what is required and then subsequently find out that they were not followed.
 a) This takes time and evidently is a waste of my time.

4) From here on out, you are solely responsible for finding the directions for the assignments.

5) If you have questions after you have read them, you are welcome to email me the questions or come to office hours or ask in person.

And yet, in their final assignments, directions still are not followed. Of course I’m not surprised, but I am a bit peeved. Great mood for grading: though not for the students.

</Rant>

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