I've spent the last two days grading lab safety questionnaires; not a difficult assignment by any means. I've seen more misspellings of "goggles" than I'd ever imagined: gugoles, gogles, and googles ("googles" shows up more frequently than "goggles"!). And now a quiz grading dilemma has arisen: a practical lab quiz waiting for an adjustment to the points possible since time ran out, but raw scores ranging from 42% to 100%. I also found three students with the study sheet for the quiz in their hand as we were taking the practical exam. I simply took the sheets away when I could have (and perhaps should have) given them a zero on the assignment. Where does mercy overstep its bounds?
I must continually remind myself that thorough knowledge is more important than a high GPA. I can't force students to learn that which they do not want to know. I can only show them what I know with as much excitement as I can muster. Show them what I know and pray.