We are heading in to the height of mid-term writing and grading. But, a gentle reminder is needed. Remember to breathe. You know–those great, deep yoga breaths that cleanse and calm. These are perfect before office hours and before you start grading. Other reminders for dealing with the first year student in the Fall.
1. Most students are really intimidated by the mid-term. They think that they are going to bomb it. Well, at least I find that the conscientious ones feel this way.
2. Most students are also intimidated by office hours. Just the thought of coming to office hours can cause them to feel scared, angry or frustrated. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen flushed faces or pencils shaking in a hand. I’ve also found some students calm and happy.
3. Students forget to breathe, too. And, they get anxious and all worked up about the five or six (ouch) exams or papers that they have to write. Try to not add to the anxiety and give them your full attention, while they are in your office.
4. This might sound silly, but thank them for coming to office hours. They are getting familiarized with your department and university life and they might know that coming to office hours is acceptable and a good practice.
5. Remember to breathe. This is a stressful time for faculty, too. Remember to get exercise, sleep right and eat right. It’s easier to deal with stress if we are at 100!
Now, to grading mid-terms.