As my own teaching winds down for the semester, it seemed good to share with you how to finish your courses strong.
First, do the work! Do not make excuses; you have no where to go but with an “incomplete” and teachers don’t like the thought of having one student to check on over the holidays. Get your assignments done and turned in on time. Some instructors (like me) actually lower the grade by one letter if you are tardy with an assignment. Some professors (also like me) do not accept any work after the end of the semester.
Next, make sure that you have understood the assignment correctly. I had a student come into one of my speech classes recently and tell me he didn’t realize that we had a final speech due……that very day! He thought he had to write a paper, which is weird since it is a speech class. We’d only been talking about it, in-depth, for a month. Where had he been? Oh, yes, he’s the student who shows up late, if at all……Other times, he was in class but checked out, mentally.
Contact the professor in time to get a reply, if you have any questions about the assignment. Midnight the night before the assignment is due is NOT the time to email the professor with the question “So what is due tomorrow???” If you email me several days before the due date, I can see that you have waited almost until the last minute, but you still have time to do the work.
Do not wait until the last minute to do an assignment. At that point in time, you are in panic mode and you can’t really hear anything being said because you are so busy thinking “oh, my, what can I do now?” to listen to what you are being told.
Do the work in time to review it before you turn it in. Always look over the assignment instructions one last time before you submit the assignment, to make sure that you actually did the assignment correctly. (Once I was getting ready to submit a document, only to realize that I had written the wrong paper. Because I still had two days before it was due, I had time to go back and fix it, re-writing it into the required paper.)
Once you have submitted the assignment, do not bug the professor about a quick grade. After speeches yesterday, three different students came up and wanted to know their grades right then. I told them I needed to meditate on the grade before giving it. That was apparently the right thing to say because they all walked away. I don’t meditate on grades, I calculate them in my own office, without distractions like a student standing over me. It’s too easy to make a mistake with someone breathing down my neck.
I hope these tips help you get the best grades ever!