Final Exam

Today I administered my first ever final exam. I never told my college students that they were my first ever college students and that I was basically making it up as I went along, and they don’t know that today’s test was my first. Until now, my teaching in this country has been more of a diversion from the usual curriculm. Now that I can decide grades, I feel very empowered.

Aside from all that, I’m hoping that they learned a little bit. They obviously didn’t study for the test. I told them two weeks ago that I was going to give them a dictation and I even told them what the dictation would be, but no one got it right.

After my classes, I went to pick up Jio. I could tell, as soon as I got out of the car, that the high school baseball team had lost its second game in the summer tournament. There were a bunch of parents standing around, very still and quiet. This school is a baseball powerhouse. They usually make it to the final rounds. It’s a bit of a relief to have them out of the way.

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3 thoughts on “Final Exam

  1. Wow. This ‘obviously they didn’t study for the test’ really seems to go against Japanese-student stereotypes. Are any of them going to flunk the course because of doing badly on the exam? Why do you think they didn’t study? This is all very surprising!

  2. Yeah, I am also surprised. I thought Japanese students were supposed to be driven and excellent and all that.
    They sound like MY students here in America.

    Sometimes I have told the students that I am making things up as I go, but I don’t think I did that back when I started teaching. I am only comfortable doing that now when I am coming up on 20 years in teaching.

    It’s amazing that you can tell students what to study and what you plan to do, and they still fail to do anything. Do Japanese students then make it your fault because they have a sense of entitlement and should get grades for doing nothing?

  3. At first I was thinking it was because students here take school seriously up until they graduate from high school, and then they have four years to goof off. I mentioned here before that my husband was aghast when I said I would be assigning homework! So it’s possible that no one took the test seriously. Another possibility is that they didn’t understand what I said about the dictation. I can speak Japanese, but I conduct the entire class in English, sometimes writing what I say on the board for reinforcement. It’s hard to tell. They rarely ask questions.

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