• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

Title

Pro-Tip for Colleagues

A season for patience and kindness.

 

November 27, 2018
 
 

This one is specifically for my counterparts at semester-based colleges everywhere. It’s based on hard-won experiential knowledge, and I share it in the spirit of prevention.

Be gentle with faculty between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a brutal time of year.

They’re in “grading jail,” a dispiritingly accurate term for the deluge of grading and grade-related emergencies that comes at the end of the semester.  Worse, in the fall, grading jail coincides with the runup to the holidays. Stress plus stress equals, well, more stress.

This is the time of year when even the most patient folks can get a little harried.  Students are stressed and pushing for ninth-inning rallies; faculty have more grading than at any other time of year; and the holidays are, well, the holidays. 

A little kindness can go a long way, especially now.  

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