Wednesday, January 9, 2008
What to say to your students?
1. Give them a context for assessing their grades. Do grades evaluate their worth as people? As students? As future lawyers?
2. Give them helpful anecdotes. I tell them about what I remember most clearly from my first year after grades came out: the change in speaking patterns in the classroom. Suddenly some spoke with a voice of authority, and others stopped speaking entirely. Alas, neither change enriched the classroom experience. Getting good grades doesn't make one's comments inherently more valuable, nor low grades, less.
3. Help them to plan. What resources are available, what should they change--or not, how should they be? Because regardless of their grades and their newfound confidence or disappointment, they are still 1-L's, they are still novices, and they are still ours to nurture.