Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Wheat from the Chaff...all while appearing to be a kind teacher

For my evaluations, I do 2 kinds of tests: a conversational speaking test and then a written grammar/vocab test. If the students study at least a couple hours for the speaking test, they'll get an A or B. I don't really have the heart to fault students who try hard but perhaps just don't have the background or exposure in English needed to speak fluently and flawlessly, even with things we've studied in class because everything we study (World Link Level 1) assumes a basic grasp of a lot of stuff. The students that don't study is an entirely different matter. While some of them do have enough of a background to get a decent mark, many do not and I don't hesitate to hand out C/D/F's. Now, it's natural for a student, if they fail my class to associate me with the bad grade. This is especially true for speaking tests where the grading is somewhat subjective, so this is why I won't give anyone who obviously studied below a B grade. The average for my speaking tests is a B+ usually for the better classes and B for the worse ones. At least 1/5 of the class will get a perfect score.

However, the written test is where I separate out the weak from the strong. I make it hard. Like you'd actually have to have studied the specific grammar and vocab and know how to apply it in order to do well. The average score is usually in the B/C+ range. Only 1 or 2 students will usually get a perfect score. Somehow, students don't seem to be as annoyed at me for getting a bad grade on a written test because it is what it is. They can't really argue with their poor answer down on the paper, especially after I show them exactly where it came from in the book.

I'm only allowed to give out 30% A's and so in this way, I can do that without appearing to be mean or stingy. My secret for you!

No comments: