"Well, I'd ask myself if maybe I was the problem, if your students REALLY act that way," she said suddenly, unable to keep it in.
A friend of hers, another veteran, tried to placate her. "Surely, Judy, you've got some students who simply won't listen, do their work, follow guidelines. What do you do when they keep messing up and won't own up to it."
"I put in more hours. I meet them where they are. The students are blameless."
And I and others sat in silence for a while as things turned to the matters of the day.
But it ate at me. Judy's face is burned in my brain. She stormed out of the meeting as it ended and a few of us sat around quietly.
"Do you think that's right?" Newbie Nora said. "Am I the one to blame if they won't work?"
Q: The notion of "meeting students where they are" is a fairly hot notion nowadays, and I find cites to it all over the place. I first heard it in the profoundly popular book called The College Fear Factor. But, what does the phrase really mean? Are there limits? If they're in denial, do I have to be to?