Keeping UP with Projects and Life

About this time of the semester, the standard perspectives start rearing their ugly heads. Students believe that every instructor views his or her own class as the only class a student is taking; they further believe that we have set up a conspiracy to schedule all projects to be due at the same time.

Nothing could be further from the truth. First and foremost, I like to remind students that each instructor on this campus in the general education program has earned their degree, which means they had to take classes at some point in their history. For most of us, we had to do so while dealing with “life’s little challenges.” Many of my colleagues had children before they went to college. Most of us worked at least a part time job or two during our degree programs. I personally worked between 2 and 3 jobs each semester after my first two years; the only reason I was able to delay work for that long was because my family was adamant that school was my priority.

Second, your instructors don’t contact each other regarding schedules–at least not outside of a department. We plan exams, tests, and projects to be due at particular intervals for a variety of reasons. For example, I often schedule due dates in Introduction to Oral Communication to help students have a better opportunity to earn points earlier in the term. This allows students to have a much better idea how they are progressing through the course overall. Further, I try to balance the types of assessments (tests versus project assignments) so that a student who is not good at one type of assignment can balance their grade out.

Finally, please take a moment to remember at this time that your instructors want you to do good in the course! We rejoice when you excel and are sad (or frustrated) when you don’t. If you struggle with a concept, come see us! If you don’t understand something we cover, ask a question. If you have prepared effectively, most of the midterm assignments and exams are fairly straight-forward at this point. You know how we test, how we grade, and what we expect.

All this to say: I have faith in you! Keep your head up and work hard to learn this material this week! You can excel in the course if you try!

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