It’s that lovely point in the term at my campus. Reading Break was last week and the vast majority of the students did not use the week off from classes to catch up or even get ahead. And, they’ve hit the ground running with paper due dates around the corner and final exams looming in the distance. Due to this, the students have a real sense of urgency and even panic. This is when they start to get ill, their attendance gets worse, and for many of them–they stop keeping up with the reading. They are in full–sink or swim mode.
What I have to remember–is patience. Yes, the syllabus is our contract and I do expect them to review it. However, the best tactic I’ve found for this last month is simple patience. I need to remind, validate, help, and occasionally chastise. The last month is really about coaching them. This seems to hold true for so many of the students. Even though I might want to hit my head against the desk–the best thing I can do for them is to take a breath, smile, and answer the question. The answer might be–review the syllabus. But, it does me (and my students) no good to get exasperated. Patience.