midterm musings

Somehow, we’re here, at the point when the trees are baring themselves, student papers flow into my messenger bag in a steady stream, and the blog posts¬†proliferate overnight.

I’m at a moment of equilibrium–the grading is done, the new assignments are a few days away from coming in, and I have basic lesson plans pulled together. We’ve had our tough love talks in class about arriving prepared to discuss and read and write.

And now, students are sharing their midterm suggestions…more group work, less group work, more multimedia, add quizzes and blogs and more assignments to keep us posted on our grades and invested in the reading.

This last set of suggestions is the hardest to grapple with. As my student numbers increased across the board in the weeks and days before classes started, I tweaked syllabi, trimming assignments to levels that would be somewhat manageable, as well as give students various ways to connect with the material.

They want more.

I can’t do more without sacrificing even more–more of my professional development, more of my class prep time, more of my nights and weekends.

And I’m not willing to make that sacrifice now. Not in this moment where¬†I have more students and fewer resources.

Are my students still learning? Are they being challenged to think critically and make connections? Do I include High Impact Practices? Do I employ technology and digital literacy? I do. And, for now, this has to be enough.

And yet, I feel sad. I know that more can be better. I know if there were 20 fewer students, like last fall, I could and would do more.