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Monday, May 22, 2017

Update on "It's not about the grade"

The student complained to Cathy, saying I was nice but misleading, and that I'm way too harsh and most students dropped my class (which, of course, means that she should get the grade she wants just for making it to the end). I feel sick. I am not exaggerating. I feel sick: angry, self-doubting, vindictive, defensive... it's not a pleasant mix at all.

Cathy very kindly replied to the student, saying the conversation should be between me and the young woman--and I replied, including the student in my reply, saying that I had, in fact, been communicating with the student, openly and with supportive comments. I know Cathy is on my side about it, but I'm having one of those crises of faith. Do I need to change how I grade? Do I need to just say "OK, nobody gets anything lower than a C except in the case of a student who does zero work"?

I am so sick, so heartily sick, of the raging accusations, the personal attacks, that arise out of my grading. I feel like I need to go to one extreme or the other: either "I'll tell it straight: you suck at this" or "Everybody gets gold stars!"

And really, honestly? This is not insignificant in my desire to get the fuck out of the profession ASAP.

OK. I'm done venting. I'll talk to Cathy tomorrow, and I'll look at the student's grade tomorrow--and I'll probably change it (and I have to submit another change of grade, too). Oh, yes: and I just got an email from a student who stopped attending class in February; I'd seen him several times throughout the semester and told him he needed to withdraw. He wants to come in this week to have me sign the withdrawal form. I had to tell him it's too late. I'm waiting for the blow-back on that one.

Get me the fuck out of this.

1 comment:

  1. OK. I know you don't want/need this, especially from me, but I empathize totally. I feel sick about the full range of student responses -- the whining as well as the harshness -- sand I am (as you know) getting the fuck out. But you are a teacher's teacher, so the tragic sense cuts deeper for me, your faithful reader. BF