Friday, September 24, 2010

This is a depressing rant. Again, read at your own risk.

This week has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, both as a student and as a teacher.  As student, it seems as soon as I conquer one assignment, a new assignment or exam gets thrown at me.  I am currently trying to study for an exam, start/finish a set of proofs, start/finish a set of computations, and study for my comprehensive exams in November.  It's more than a little overwhelming; however, every time I figure out a proof, there is definite delight.

If that's not enough, I still have a class of my own to teach.  And that's where the real emotional roller coaster lies.  This week I sent out an evaluation to the class ("What's one thing you like about the class?  What's one thing you'd change?"), and the results were so encouraging.  I had several people say that they really like the way I teach; many said they wouldn't change a thing about the class!  Boy, did I feel like a great teacher...

And then Exam 1 came.

And boy, do I feel like not so great of a teacher anymore.  I had fourteen fail.  Yes, fourteen out of thirty-seven.  I didn't have a single A.  And to top it off, the one student who is already one absent away from getting dropped from the course (students are only allowed to miss four class periods, and he's already missed four) got one of the highest grades on the test!  He also gave me a nice little note on the back of the test saying that he "find[s] no use whatsoever in this subject."  (He also added that I'm an "excellent teacher," as if he could judge that based on the two class periods he's actually attended.)  I sent him an email in response (honestly, I do agree with him:  when is he really going to use pure math as an English teacher?).  We'll see what he says.  Could be entertaining, as nearly everything I get from this kid is.

So that's that.  Don't worry--I'm not quitting my job or anything.  It's just one of those days that makes you realize you're really not all that and a bag of chips.  I desperately need those days every once and a while.  Even though they're hard to swallow.  I still love teaching, and I still love my students--even though I am extremely disappointed in them right now.

If you've made it this far to my rant, you deserve an award!  Thanks for listening.  I needed to get out some of my frustration, so I decided to write.  It's been very therapeutic.

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