Sunday, March 16, 2008

anomaly in the student-teacher continuum

While I was in England, I graded the first written assignment from the Early Brit class. There was a predictable mixture of good, bad, mediocre, and even a few excellent assignments. The worst assignment of the lot was truly pathetic - instead of the required 4-6 pages, this one was barely 2 pages long; and instead of a book report, for which the student possessed detailed written instructions, she had written a book review. The student received a Very Bad Grade.

After I had handed all the assignments back, I got an email from the student with the Very Bad Grade. When I saw the sender's name and the subject line, I mentally prepared myself for something unpleasant. I've had emails from students with Very Bad Grades before, and even from students whose grades were not so bad, but still not what they wanted/needed/thought they deserved. Somehow, according to the students, it's always my fault that their grades are unsatisfactory. Such emails have never resulted in the sender receiving a revised, more satisfactory grade from me. Ultimately, the only results are that it probably makes the student feel better, and it usually makes me feel worse in some way. It's not as though I like giving them bad grades.

At any rate, this particular email was short and to the point: she thought the grade she had received was completely fair; she apologized for the poor quality (and quantity) of her work; she had had some personal problems at the time when she was working on the assignment and hadn't given it the effort it required; she would definitely do better next time.

Well. That's a first.


Nicole said...

how would it be...

Heidi said...

And extremely mature of her as well!! Very impressive. This is definitely one for the journal and to be remembered ever after in all teaching experiences! lol