Archive for April 2011

Near The Ending of Another Semester: Inventory

April 4, 2011

The ending of a semester means many things to teachers and students. To students it means, looking for a job, or planning on working more hours or having more free time. To teachers it means we need to either mark more assignments or mark final tests or exams. In my writing classes, we don’t have exams – so nearing the end of the semester means marking of final assignments and calculating final grades. This is a routine process and brings familiar thoughts and emotions.


Some students have done excellently and achieved their goals of the A range. Some have tried their hardest and achieved B’s or C’s. If they gave it their best effort, I am glad they were able to achieve their personal best.

The student who gets an F is usually someone who did not attend class and did not submit assignments. Rarely does someone try his/her best and achieve an F. If the teacher did not believe you could pass the course, he/she would have recommended that you drop the course. If you stayed but were recommended to drop, you did not choose wisely. The teacher would only recommend that you drop, if he/she knew the work was not at appropriate level.


There are a number of students that simply stop attending classes and/or stop submitting assignments. As I record their marks, sometimes I try to remember what they look like. Did they ever attend classes? Or the distance education students – did they ever email me and ask for help or use our discussion board or the chat? Sure enough, there are some who attended class once or twice and stopped coming after that. Did they ever tell me why they stopped attending? What, if anything, could I have done to reach out to them?


There are some students who have never attended a single class or handed in a single assignment. Perhaps they did not know they had to fill out an add/drop form. They will have a permanent F on their grades unless they actually take the class again and pass it.


Where are you at with the courses you have taken? Have you given your best effort? Have you achieved the grades that you have wanted to earn? Did you achieve your goals? What could you or should you have done?What can you do to improve for the next semester. I mean actually write a couple of things down. It would be wise to keep a journal of your lives – but especially of your goals. Experts say that about only 10% of the people actually write down their goals – but listen – of those people who write down their goals over 90% achieve them. Writing your goals helps you to focus and to aim for something.

Now that the term is ending, what important parts of the courses should you keep? I mean what textbooks can help you in future studies? Handbooks in English usually will help you not only now but in your future. You will have to do some form of writing in your life and it would be wise to have a professional library of important books that can help you. What assignments or notes should you keep? I mean literally keep copies of some assignments in digital form – no not to reuse the – that would be plagiarism. The purpose would be, just in case you have to write that type of paper or report in the future, you will have a good copy to follow. You will have an example.

Did the professor know your name? Did he/she give you a good mark? Perhaps you should ask if you could use him/her as a reference. An A in English means that teacher can say some pretty complimentary things about you. Excellence in English and Business or Technical Communications is highly regarded by any employer.


The semester is almost over. If you haven’t yet given your best effort – try it now. Turn in those last assignments and start writing goals and targets for your future studies. All the best to you!