Painfully Clear

So, here’s the scenario: I have a freshman English class and a portfolio class (the idea behind the portfolio class is unimportant to the story), the rosters for which are nearly identical.

A number of weeks ago, I gave an assignment in the portfolio class that required the kids to complete a certain number of activities.  A few weeks after that, I gave a second assignment in the English class that asked them to complete another set of the same activity.  I made it very clear that the kids who are in my portfolio class had to complete the required number for BOTH classes; that they had already done a set for the portfolio class DID NOT excuse them from having to do it for English.

I got this email from a student who, clearly, didn’t hear what I said:

Dear Mrs. Chili,

You said since your adviosy already did 5 rationales on the writing that we just had to do reading so thats what did.

Was it just that you werent clear or something




My response:


No, Mia, I was perfectly clear.  Please refer to the written assignment, posted on our website:

For homework next week, please complete 5 Written and Oral Communication and 5 Reading rationales.  These will be due in the drop box (remember to put them in .doc format!) by Friday.  Please see the “Standards” page on the website for PDFs of the frameworks.  On that same page, you will find the English Department expectations for completing the standards.  **Please note; if you are in Mrs. Chili’s advisory, you should already have completed 5 writing rationales.  Please do 5 MORE for this assignment.**

Not only was I clear about my expectations in the writing of the assignment, but I also made an announcement, for which I made everyone stop and look at me, reinforcing the idea that advisory students had to do ALL the work for the English assignment.

I make it a point to be very clear in my instructions.  If you’re ever not sure about an assignment, please come to me and I’ll explain it for you.


Mrs. Chili


She’s a freshman, so I’m going to cut her a little slack, but they need to learn that you don’t ever – and I mean EVER – try to pin your lack of work on my instructions.  EVER.

Goddess, but I love the accountability the website demands!



Filed under dumbassery, failure, frustrations, General Griping, I can't make this shit up..., I've got this kid...., really?!, student chutzpah, Yikes!, You're kidding...right?

4 responses to “Painfully Clear

  1. I get this too. I point them to my syllabus. It is the bible of my course (s).

  2. Yeah, I have a class website too, and it works like a charm. Gotcha, suckas!

  3. I have a stock phrase I use more often than I’d like to need to: “As stated in the syllabus…” Every once in a while, I adjust it to: “As stated in the assignment sheet…” Sometimes people just don’t pay enough attention to what they read.

  4. Ms. George

    I love it when I get statements from the parents: “My child said you only told him/her about the quiz/test/essay yesterday. It is unfair to expect only 24 hours notice” (or similar).
    “Oh, really, Madame X. I’m afraid your child is mistaken. It has been on my website for the past _days/week/month that assignment was due. The homework is posted every day”
    Madame X replies, “Oh. Well. Yes. I can see that. Oh. I’ll be having a discussion with my child as soon as I hang up the phone/ get off the computer. Thanks for your time.”

    Student and Parent accountability ROCKS!

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