I have two really great classes of students this semester, but for the life of me I'm having a hard time keeping their names straight.
In one class I have three Emily's and two Amanda M's (and one of those Amanda's shares the same first and last name as another student on campus...very confusing). Between the two classes, I have two Stevens, a Kelsey in one class and a Kelsie in the other class, and then rounding out the trifecta of confusion a Dan, a Dani, and a Daniel. Plus, I have five students who go by names that don't match their campus email address.
Fortunately, I call them the right name in class, but on paper...egads. I have to really stop and make sure I'm matching the grade with the correct student.
Speaking of grading, I've been spending the day grading papers.
Even when I had to make a Costco run, I put papers in the car because I knew Addie would fall asleep and I didn't want to waste that precious uninterrupted time. Sure enough, Addie fell asleep, so I pulled into the nearest parking lot and graded papers for two hours until she woke up. Do not mistake my commitment as dedication. Nope. It's desperation.
I feel like I do most teacherly duties pretty well. I have interesting enough classes, and I don't overwhelm my students with tons of work. I know where my class ranks in terms of "desirability" (ie: 90% of the students would not take Public Speaking if they weren't forced to), so I at least try to make it entertaining and not too scary.
There's one thing I don't do well: grade quickly.
I let the papers pile up until they get too heavy to carry around in my school bag. It's a mixture of being my own fault and not having a good opportunity to grade. Every year I vow to do better, grade promptly, return papers in a reasonable amount of time. Obviously, students would like their papers graded the day they turn them in, but that's not going to happen. At least, not until I have office hours...in an office that is not in my house.
Even though so much of my undergraduate and graduate work was in teaching writing, I have avoided taking on any writing classes (the exception being the one semester I taught a literature class). I know how much time grading papers takes (afterall, I spent five years teaching high school English), and I'm not up to that task. In fact, if I never teach a writing class ever again in my life I will be okay with that. I like teaching speech. I like that the amount of paperwork involved in teaching speech is minimal.
Even so, I kinda fail at keeping up with minimal.
Turns out, "minimal" can still eventually become a pile large enough that I could actually reconstruct a small tree with all the papers. Blah.
I never did well at pulling all-nighters in college (I think I did three...maybe), and I certainly don't do well pulling them now. But I can eek out a few more hours of grading before calling it a day. Everyone is asleep, so now is my chance.
I better get some coffee.