This semester’s TA assignment has been frustrating beyond all belief. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing all of the important professorial duties outside of the classroom.
For instance, Professor decided to have the mid-term later than most other classes. Of course the students were happy to be able to put it off, but now he and I are in a crunch to get them all “graded” (I’m using this term in the loosest possible manner) in time to recommend that any failing students either get to work or withdraw.
I just sent him an email about this because I’m sure that he has no idea about the looming deadline. I also have a sneaking suspicion that he’s going to ask me to notify the students who are in trouble, which I don’t believe is appropriate.
Before the mid-term he told students that they only had to try as hard on it as they think they should. He said that if they feel like they’ve been doing too much work all semester than they probably have been and that they didn’t have to take the mid-term so seriously in that case. For those that have been slacking off, the mid-term is their shot to keep their grade passable. I don’t know how, as the one reading these, to grade feelings. The majority of the mid-terms are embarrassingly assembled, with no indication to me that they understand the concepts.
I think that if this is how his grading system works, he should try to operate within it himself. What will happen, though, is that everyone will get an A.
Also, he wants to revise the syllabus, which I think is pretty much not allowed. After all the syllabus is the contract between the professor and the student – changing the expectations midway through is not fair.