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Monday, September 19, 2005

There oughta be a (natural) law

I teach two sections of the same survey, one in the late morning and the other in the early afternoon. The students in my morning survey are generally livelier and more engaged--they may well be smarter, but they're almost certainly more on top of their reading. Usually my morning class goes very well, while my afternoon class is only okay.

BUT: on those days, like today, where my morning class is only so-so, my afternoon class is always great.

Why is this? My lesson plan is exactly the same. Am I subconsciously trying harder? Is my routine more polished after running through it once already?

Or is there some natural law at work here, of which I'm unaware?

link | posted by La Lecturess at 3:19 PM |


Blogger BrightStar commented at 9:16 PM~  

totally weird!

Blogger Stewgad commented at 3:09 PM~  

It absolutely is natural law. I think of it as the Classroom Conservation of Intelligent Energy Law. I never have two good classes of the same section. (Well, never is an exaggeration.) But it does seem like whenever one group tanks, the other is just amazing. I think that the one group HAS to do badly because the universe has channeled all of the Intelligent Energy into the other class. They're just taking one for the universal team, really.

Sorry you had a bum class - but glad for your good one!

Anonymous James commented at 3:43 PM~  

It happens all the time. Different groups have different dynamics. You may be able to make a slight difference with altering your techniques, but don't get distressed if it doesn't come off. At least you have one good group.

Blogger academic coach commented at 8:31 AM~  

lol I've wondered about this one myself. stewgad's reply seems right on target to me.

Blogger Cheeky Prof commented at 12:18 PM~  

I don't know about any law, but this sure happens to me often. This semester I've got 2 sections of a class back to back. One section is great, the other feels like it's never going to end. If you figure it out could you please let me know?!

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