What I’m not saying

Things I wish I could say to my students, but don’t:

  1. No, you’re not being clever. You’re being lazy.
  2. Getting a good grade in my class is not my responsibility.
  3. I’m human. I make mistakes. Deal with it.
  4. You think twelve pages is a lot of reading? Try a research essay every week.
  5. Use your brain.
  6. If you’re not going to put in time and effort for my class, why are you even here?

Instead, I say things like:

  1. I will circulate the updated syllabus next class. It will be posted on Blackboard before then.
  2. If what I say in class isn’t in the syllabus, that doesn’t mean what I say isn’t important or you don’t have to do it.
  3. I fixed the rubric as soon as I noticed something wasn’t right.
  4. To succeed in college you must take responsibility for your own education.
  5. You don’t need your iPhones for this assignment.
  6. I am writing to inform you that you have missed three (3) classes in your ENG 1013.## class…

Today was a very frazzling day.

I was going to write, “I hate Blackboard”, but the problem that blew up this afternoon wasn’t Blackboard’s fault. It was my ignorance of how something worked, the ridiculousness that letter grades are weighted toward the higher percentages rather than being evenly spaced in a points system, and the fact that it’s my first semester doing any of this, so I’m likely (inevitably) to make mistakes. But I found the problem, I fixed it, I contacted the people who were affected by the mistake and apologized. Now I know what to do for the next time, and I’m trying not to be frustrated that the response I got from one of my students is: “Can I still get an A in your class?”


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