16 May 2011
Let me scream!
Yes, a "but" is always out there. (And I could say a "butt" is always out there.)
I had a couple of my students ask me today to show them their grades. One of them (I'll call him Ricky) was less than happy. He made a 116/500, bringing his average to a 51. He wanted to know why, so I pulled his paper and showed him.
1. The outline was far from correct. This was the third one to be turned in. For both of the other times, I told him specifically what was wrong and how he needed to fix it. Did he? Not at all!
2. Margins were 1-1/2 inches instead of 1 inch, so that made his paper too short. That 1/2 per line adds up. I told them from the first day that I would deduct 25 points for every page OR PORTION of a page that the paper was short. (It is ONLY a 4-6 page, double-spaced paper as it is!)
3. He used 4 sources. We require a minimum of 5, and again from day one, I told them they would lose 20 points for EVERY source fewer than 5.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. He simply threw something together, expecting it to be acceptable, and it wasn't. It was far from acceptable.
This is a kid who is more than capable, but he is lazy, and he finds excuses for everything. It was the intern. He didn't understand anything she taught so that's why his grades were so bad last term. When I pointed out that his test on the first unit -- that I taught -- was no better than the test grades for the material she taught, he then blamed it on the fact that he didn't understand Beowulf. Well, sure, that is difficult. That's why I go over IN DETAIL everything about it. With his research paper, his excuse was that he just isn't a good writer. OK...I understand that. Not everyone is, but how many times did he seek extra help? Not once. I told him today that I was MORE than willing to have helped him with his paper...before school, after school, during my planning, during my study hall period...but he never came to get help.
Not five minutes after he left my room, I had a message from the office to call his mother. HUH???? Not once has she called me or emailed me to express concern, and now that he is supposed to graduate in just over a week, she decides to be concerned? GAH!!!!! Granted, I haven't yet called her since I have my study hall class right now (yes, I am blogging during the school day.) Maybe I'll be surprised to see that she is supportive, but I doubt it.
I love my job, but dang it! I get so blasted frustrated at the kids...AND PARENTS...who make excuses. I give every student more than enough chances to earn points so that if they don't do well on tests, they should still pass the class, so crap like this really gets under my skin. One of my study hall kids said she heard him cussing me as he went down the hall. Yeah, it's ALL my fault.
Have a GREAT day! I know I will. :)