Sunday, November 26, 2006

Why Do We Even Bother Teaching These Last Two Weeks?

Thanksgiving is over and now its the home stretch until the end of the semester. I don't know if it is all the turkey I consumed over the last few days, but I am dreading finding the energy to pull off this last two weeks of the semester. My students seemed to be barely hanging on before Thanksgiving and I imagine that they will be somewhat restless these last two weeks too.

I have things planned on the syllabus. At least one class will be watching a scheduled film. But, I am worried that nothing I teach for these next two weeks will quite sink in. My dear-stressed-out-students are thinking about senior theses, final research projects, job interviews, final examinations and/or applications to graduate school. With all of that on their plate, why do we even bother teaching anything the last two weeks of classes?

Do we do it because it was done to us? Are we finishing out the semester because we actually believe that everything we put on our syllabi was so crucial that, goddammit, we cannot let these students out of our classes without ensuring they read everything we deemed appropriate for the course? Are we doing it because our bosses make us?

There have to be some good, creative ideas out there with how to deal with the end of the semester students stresss out. I am not sure I can keep myself psyched up about going into a classroom where students are looking at me like I take pleasure in torturing them.

What do you recommend?