Friday, January 7, 2011

This Side of Teaching

Students take teachers for granted, but never realize it unless those students actually become teachers. There's a lot of things that could apply to this statement, but for now, I'm dealing with post-semester e-mails begging for grade changes and etc.

My answer? No.

I have one student in particular who is asking for a grade change. She's missed 19/26 classes, didn't come to the final, and didn't buy the textbook. She didn't let me know what was going on. I haven't seen her since mid-October, and that was after her missing 5 classes - she came just to take the test. I expected her to talk to me in private after she handed hers in - nope. And now she's facing academic dismissal and now all of a sudden she's interested in doing her work and talking to me.

Am I being mean, cold-hearted? No. Others may have their opinions, but if you were in my classroom on the first day (which this student was) you would have heard my spiel, on how I am SO willing to work with special situations. I WANT my students to do well and to love French. I know for a fact I am where I am today because I've had phenomenal French teachers from the start - and maybe one day, me teaching a student will bring them to this point, too.

During the semester, at least 3 others students in this same class have needed special arrangements. And we made them - more work for me and them - but we made it happen. Had this student in question come to me right away, or even not right away during the semester, we could have worked it out. But she chose not to, despite various e-mails from me.

I was basically waiting for her to drop the class, and every time I checked my class roster for something, I was always surprised when her name was still there.

Now she's gone over my head to my supervisor/the class' official professor. It's in her hands, and I have to do what she says. Which is fine - but if she leaves it up to me...