There are two weeks of classes left at TCC. Two more weeks – four more classes – then the summer term ends.
There are a lot of my students who are failing their classes. Every term, at about this time, I start thinking about ways that I can ethically offer those students a chance to dig themselves out of the holes they’ve been enthusiastically digging all semester, and I’ve gone and done it again.
That’s me! Ever the optimist!
The whole contingent of my classes got a bonus from me this week. TCC, like all schools which receive federal funding, is required to recognize Constitution week. This week – all week – there are special programs designed around various amendments to the Constitution that students can attend on campus. I told all of my students – both in class and via a detailed email – that they can earn extra credit points from me for attending and writing eloquently and thoughtfully about these seminars.
Today’s program was supposedly centered around the 14th Amendment – that’s the one called the “equal protection clause” – and TCC lined up a bunch of kids from the area OUTRIGHT program – that’s a GBLTQ support group – to come and talk about their experiences as one of the the only remaining groups left who AREN’T granted equal protection under the law.
I say “supposedly” because, while the amendment was discussed at the opening of the program, the rest of the day was more of a Q&A with the panel – there wasn’t much discussion of the equal protection that gays and lesbians and transgendered people DON’T have – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of these students haven’t yet had an opportunity to think in terms of “the other” yet, so the panel’s offering up of those experiences was a good thing for the audience, I think.
Of course, the point of this entry isn’t really to talk about the program – I’ll probably do that tomorrow over at the Blue Door. Nope, my point today is this: despite my practically BEGGING my students to take full advantage of this program, and my generosity in offering up extra credit opportunities in the first place, only two of my students showed up – and they were only there because the teacher who runs their second period class (the period the program ran through) was also running today’s Constitution Week offering.
Oh, well. At least I can go to sleep at night knowing that I’ve gone above and beyond my obligation to give these students every chance to succeed. They get to choose whether they take me up on it…