The part I hate myself for is that I feel bad and I didn’t do anything wrong!!! I know I am helping to teach them a valuable lesson, and I know if I were a boss in the real world, they would be fired. I don’t think it is too much to ask for them to make this class a priority for four days out of the semester. I don’t think it is too much to ask for them to read one paragraph in the syllabus (reading the whole thing is a pipe dream). I used to just let them make up the exam, knowing full well 99% would do poorly and eventually drop anyway with fewer complaints and stomping. Give them the rope and you know the rest… But as I reviewed that tactic, I really began to feel it was wrong. It certainly sounds inhumane and unethical to let them play in traffic whilst standing idly by. Ironically, the students thought I was nice for “giving them the opportunity blah blah blah.” Poor stupid snowflakes. I didn’t do it for you, I did it for me, so I didn’t have to see you cry in my dreams or get grumpy admin emails about “flexibility” and “retention.” But we all know not one of those snowflakes learned anything from their “opportunity” because almost all failed or withdrew and did the same tea-partying thing the next semester. They didn’t learn any better how to conduct themselves in class, or to RTFS, or take responsibility, all they learned was you can blow off the exam and the proffie will let you make it up, no biggie. I am guilty of that.
Today I know better, so I tried to do better. I wanted a different outcome, so I tried a different behavior. It feels strange, and a little bad, but I think that is generally how change feels. I was once told early in my career not to rob a student of the opportunity to learn from their failure. I guess I need to take that advice to heart. It is easy to talk the talk. It is tough to walk the walk.
Academic Charlotte Anne