One More Than Half


One more than half – that’s how many kids in my hybrid class did their homework.

I have 21 students in the class, and I received emails from 10 of them.  While this is worlds better than the track record for my last hybrid class, it’s still a little disappointing. My impressions of this class were much more favorable than those I got from the last group of kids, and I was really hoping for a bit more compliance from these students.  I know, I know – I shouldn’t get my hopes up, but I do.

What really surprises me is the fact that the young lady who’s taken a class with me before is among the ten who blew off the assignment.  While I can kind of understand the other students testing my boundaries (“is she really going to give us zeroes for stupid homework assignments?”  “Why, yes!  Yes, I am”), it doesn’t make sense to me that someone who’s lived with my policies wouldn’t bother to at least make a half-assed attempt at the work, especially in the beginning of the term, when I give full credit for completed assignments regardless of the quality of the work that gets turned in to me.   Later in the term, I start grading for content and effort (and, of course, grammar), but my system right now is entirely binary – you give me something, you get full credit; you hand me nothing, you get a zero.

As it stands now, I’ve got eleven kids with A grades and ten with Fs.  Here’s hoping they all bring in the assignment that’s due in class tomorrow; recovering from one zero isn’t really that hard, but starting off the term with a couple of them right off the bat puts quite a bit more pressure on them than they’d like to have to endure.



Filed under concerns, General Griping, Teaching

3 responses to “One More Than Half

  1. It always amazes me the choices that students make, but then I look back to my college days and wonder if I made some of those very bad choices… I think about it and remember that I was too afraid of disrespecting my prof to actually not do an assignment most of the time, but I am weird that way…

    I find more and more students now-a-days (and mind you I was an undergrad all of 5 years ago) don’t really think of it in terms of anyone but themselves (which really they should because it is their grades) and only themselves in the very short run… I guess it is one of those let the cream rise to the top situations, but that is really hard to do as the instructor… Best of luck!!

  2. Laurie

    I career changed into teaching at 40, and I was shocked when the kids just didn’t do the work. Two years later, I’m less shocked and more frustrated. We distributed report cards today during our last class. My comprehensive tenth graders are far brighter than they realize. Of roughly 20 of them, eight earned GPA’s below 1.

    The immediate cause is that they don’t turn in work and they cut classes. On a deeper level, they lack confidence and they assume they will be socially promoted.

    They (or kids like them) will be coming your way in two years.

  3. They’re in for a rude awakening when they blow off assignments they don’t want to do when they finally get jobs.

    Maybe you should teach a second-career pre-education seminar for your unresponsive students. You can start with Customer Interaction 101: “Do you want fries with that?”

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