It's really interesting to be on this side of the academic process. I was always the student who sent e-mails to professors, asking how I did. Now, as the recipient of dozens of similar e-mails, I find myself frustrated and overwhelmed. No one wonders about their grades for fifteen weeks, but in the thirty-six hours before grades are due, I get a dozen nearly identical e-mails, with small variations on the same themes:
"Mademoiselle, is there any chance you can tell me what the exact grade I need to get on the final to get a B in the class?"The thing is, everything that they submit gets graded and handed back to them, so with the exception of how they did on their final exams and an exact figure for class participation, they know how they did in the class.
"As far as my progress in the course, is it still possible to receive an A at the end of the semester?"
"I was hoping you'd be able to give me an idea ... I'm just really hoping I could receive a B in this course."
I don't quite understand the panic - if you had received A's and B's on every exam, had come to class and participated every day, and had turned in your written assignments, how could you possibly think you'd fail the class? Even if you bombed the final, the worst you could do was a C, and even that sounds low! I'm a very fair grader, and no one has ever questioned a grade I have given - if you submit average quality work, you will see those efforts met with an appropriate grade. And likewise, if you go above and beyond and try your absolute hardest, of course your grade will reflect that.
I'm trying to keep this thought process in mind as I embark on a few scale-free weeks. I'm going to work hard and do the best job that I can for the rest of the month, because that is all that I can do. And in the end, after all my efforts, even if I can't quote an exact number, I should know generally how I have done. Doing the bare minimum or less will not magically produce high marks; putting in a solid, consistent effort cannot equal failure.