Expect the idiot

Categories: Education, Work
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It’s the end of the semester. And I’d actually be disappointed if I didn’t have at least one student send a frantic email asking what extra they could do to get an A, or can’t I round an 86 up to an A. I have office hours, but these students never say these things to me in person, only by email. And they never say anything till the very last week of the semester.

One student this past week sent me a real long email, several actually, explaining how unfair I have been to him the whole semester and how subjective I have been in grading his assignments. Certain words were even in all caps so that I’d know he meant business. It’s possible I’ve been a bit subjective, but if he really wants me to go back and be more objective, I will, and he’ll have an even lower grade. Despite the passion in his email, I’ll be gobsmacked if he actually comes talk to me in person.

I have expectations for my students, and unfortunately, this is one of them.

When I mentioned it elsewhere online, a friend said that these types of students are created when they never have to face consequences. And when Brett was reading the comment, he saw this next to it:

That’s a kid who is potentially avoiding a few consequences.

These kids who think it’s my fault they don’t have an A, who think they can guilt me into giving them an A to save their scholarship, place in the Greek house, spot on the team, streak of As, are mistaken. But they’ve also probably been given what they wanted their entire life. They’ve been raised to be idiots.

My senior English teacher had three rules in his classroom:

  1. Don’t do anything stupid.
  2. Mr. Helm is always right.
  3. “Fair” is a four letter word used by seniors who don’t get their own way.

Wise words. And I really wish someone had taught these students that long before they get to me. Fair is what I’m doing. Unfair would be doing what you’re asking me to do.

3 shared thoughts about Expect the idiot

  1. Brett says:

    Good job with the editing on the Facebook graphic. :brett:

  2. mama G says:

    Sounds like that student never made it out of 5th grade emotionally. xD And that part of teaching I don’t miss at all. :tractor:

  3. Denice says:

    Boy, welcome to teaching! Kim has a student this year that is failing in every class (not just math) and the parent blames Kim for his failures and is certain that Kim has labeled him a failing student so he won’t have a chance. She is ruining his life. But you can’t take it personally. Look at all of the good students and good comments you hear.


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