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I'm Losing Faith in the Future of Humanity

Teacher whine ahead.

I’m in the middle of grading lab reports and they are sucking away my soul. As I find my groove as a teacher, the first thing I noticed when I started teaching about 4 years ago was how poor the quality of lab reports were.

I decided that I would put an emphasis on simply presenting a good report, so the first formal lab report is done with an extremely easy experiment, where at the beginning of the lab period I basically spell out what they should be analysing in their discussion. I GIVE IT AWAY. And they also get detailed instructions on how I expect the report to be submitted. To be honest, I wanted to see if they were able to follow instructions.


They are not.

These are not complicated instructions. Things like: your tables need to have a label of “Table” and be numbered and have a descriptive title (ex: Table 1 - values for acceleration and force), submit as a PDF (they get a deduction if they don’t), etc. And lo and behold, I’m on report number 8 and ONE student has followed the instructions properly.

I’m at a loss - I give them written instructions, go over it in class, and they still just do whatever and as a natural consequence they get a crap grade. Then they complain about their bad mark. I.just.can’t.even. I have to take breaks between reports to stop myself from writing angry comments on their report.

These are college level students and every year I keep asking myself “What the hell did they teach them in high school?!?”. GAH


/end rant/whine

Back to grading.  

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