Monday, May 15, 2006

Finals Week Begins

It's official. Our academic year ends the same day as the high school where I used to teach. We really do go longer than other colleges and universities. In many ways, we still think of ourselves as a post-secondary institution instead of a university. Students can drop classes 11 weeks (yes, you read correctly) into the semester - thus, what appears to be rampant grade inflation is only a financially inefficient system of allowing students to take classes over and over again instead of just actually doing the course work. It's not that our students can't do it, it's taking the time to do it. And, of course, those with the busiest schedules (one or more jobs, children, commuting), are the students who manage to get it all done plus take full loads or overloads.

Yes, it's time for the end of the semester.

The positive note is meeting with student teachers who are out in the field for our final meeting today. They blog using Blogger to maintain a weekly reflective practice journal and it is a much better way than previous paper and email assignments to keep in touch with them. Plus, they hand in a CD of their Teacher Work Sample that is also required from their education supervisor as one way for us to collect data for KSDE/NCATE - counting down to our next visit in 2010.

Then, I'm involved in some unexpected committee meetings that will require 6 to 10 hour stints on campus. But Monday and grade submission means summer has started. Since 2001, summer means Teaching American History grants - one of the most invigorating parts of my job!

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