The Last Day Before The Last Week

One of my more troublesome students made monkey noises and beat his desk earlier this week when I reminded him he had two speeches to do next class. Today (the next class) he didn’t do the speeches which means he fails the term. My problem is, he’s already failed the term based on absences so there’s not much I can do.

Today was the last day before the last week of classes begin which means it’s an odd time at the school where I work. It’s the last day when clubs will meet and the last day when we can, technically, keep students after school.

The problem is by this point in the term we really couldn’t care less. We are making exams and walking the fine line between punishing bad students by making the exams difficult–I once told a teacher “if one of us foreign staff can pass this exam, it’s too easy”–even if it means hurting good students, or writing off the bad students and hoping they don’t do well on the exams so that the good students can do well on the exams.

This is also the time of the lobbyist. Third year high school students (12th graders) have already finished classes and are in exams. This allows extra time for them to take make-up exams if they fail. It’s also the time when they suddenly realize what final marks they need vs what they’ve earned and they start lobbying for higher grades.

In my case, I told my student what score he needed and told him everything he needed to know to get that score. I’m not sure he gets that I will give him a low score if he doesn’t do well. Granted, his score will still be pretty good, just not as good as someone who’s lived overseas was expecting. As I always point out, though: 1) I’ve failed returnees before. 2) am not afraid to meet parents to discuss grades and 3) the last week of school is not a particularly good time to worry about your marks.

Now I have a couple days to relax before the flood hits, or as the French say apres le weekend le deluge (something like that).

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