Saturday, March 02, 2013

A Dose of Resolve

There are a group of students that eat lunch in my classroom frequently, and while I'm busy doing other things to get ready for class and to stuff down my own lunch, I hear their conversations as background noise. A few times I heard them talking about a teacher and how if they just put on a sad face or make a request or ask "nicely", then that teacher will change a grade or postpone a due date or give credit for something that does not deserve credit. The tone of their discussion was that they knew it wasn't right, but they were taking advantage of it anyway.

So as I'm writing this, I'm wondering why I didn't stop what I was doing and address this or approach the teacher. Various reasons I guess. I know if I'd heard something really horrible like people bashing or blatant cheating, I would definitely have said/done something. Anyway, that's something for me to think on.

But, the reason I bring this on is because it strengthens my resolve when I get the same treatment of puppy dog face and poor me and please raise my grade for fill-in-the-blank reason. Just because someone asks you for something nicely, doesn't mean you have to give it to them, and it DEFINITELY doesn't mean that it would be in the student's best interest to do so. They most likely know they don't deserve and didn't earn the boost in their grade.


  1. Great post! Last week I felt so terrible when one of my favorite students failed her test. I was so worried about how she was going to take it. I have had students cry when they get a bad grade back. She said nothing in class but that night I got an email from her. She apologized to me for making a bad grade and wanted me to know that she had not worked as hard as she could have. She promised to come see me if she had questions and to try harder on the next test. (You can see why I love this student, right?).

  2. Anyway, her email also helped me understand that even though some students are surprised, most do know when they are going to be getting a bad grade back. If we overlook that and bump up their grades, they know they didn't earn them. I think they cannot be proud of a grade earned in that way. I would not say anything to the other teacher either unless they were a close friend or a new teacher that needed guidance.

  3. Thanks, Julie. I guess maybe it's a teacher thing and I/you feel bad when students don't do well, and then you start having this internal conversation with the student and getting all defensive ... listing all the reasons why they may have done poorly. There have been times when EVERYONE fails a particular question on a test, and I see that I didn't teach it well. Then I make an adjustment. But I have to make sure that I have good reasons to do so.

  4. Anonymous4:48 AM

    It bothers me that so many teachers give in and change the grade, or let the kids bring batteries, tissue or pencils for bonus points. Some how if I don't give in to their requests/demands, then, I am labeled a bully.