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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Student Burnout

Conversations Jess has had today with students:

Student A: Professor, I can't answer these questions on the quiz because I wasn't here the day we discussed that poem.

Jess: Then you'll get those questions wrong.

Student A: But I wasn't here that day for the discussion.

Jess: It's your responsibility to catch up with any work you may miss by missing a day of class. So, if you weren't here, you needed to have reviewed the poem on your own and to have come to see me if you had questions about it.

Student A huffs back to her seat and continues to stare at quiz with the hope that the answers will magically appear to her.

Student B: Can I make up the quiz today on another day? I lost my notes and couldn't study.

Jess: I don't think losing your notes is an adequate reason for requesting a make up quiz, so you can either take it today or not take it at all.

Student B: But, I just realized that I lost my notes last night so I didn't have time to get notes from someone else and I haven't studied at all.

Jess: But you've known about the quiz for 2 weeks; you've had plenty of time to prepare.

Student B huffs back to her seat and takes the evil quiz against her will.


Student C: Professor, why did I get a "D" on my essay?

Jess: Because you ignored assignment guidelines for format, length, source use, and point of view. Because you had a vague thesis statement and a disorganized discussion. And lastly, because there's no evidence that you revised your essay and you have grammatical errors that interfere with the comprehension of the writing.

Student C: How do you know I didn't revise?

Jess: Because your rough draft is attached to the final copy (they have to turn in drafts along with peer reviews of their writing) and there's absolutely no difference between it and the final copy.


Jess: I suggest that next time you take the time allotted for revision and revise your writing for unity, cohesion, and grammar.

Student C shrugs and huffs out the door of classroom.


As you may be able to tell, I'm feeling very grumpy about my students today. Grrrrr....Guess it's that point in the semester to either choke them or...hmmm...what is the alternative?


Wes said...

Mean ole (wicked) teacher ;-)

Kids learn to avoid responsibility at an early age. Kudos to you for sticking to your princples... Grumpy or not!!!

Would charbequeing them be too harsh :-D

Mendy said...

Oh my! Jess, you have your hands full I bet. I think your comments were very professional and to the point. Like Wes said, sticking to your principles. Yeah, I understand your grumpiness. I would be too.

TriGirl Thea said...

Wow! You are hardcore!

I do my best to gently explain where they went wrong, and how they can work to get a better grade next time -- and I still made a full 10% of them cry in the feedback session!

Can you give me lessons in how to toughen up? Or get them to toughen up? Either would do.

AnthonyP said...

Sounds like many of the conversations I had with some of my teachers when I was a youngster.

Doug said...

I hear you. My students are still mentally on spring break too.

There is no alternative to strangling them. This late in the semester, it is the only choice!

Froyd said...

jeesh, you're just as mean as I am.

Marcy said...

Have a shot gun next to your desk? Maybe they'll think twice about asking so many questions? LOL

Vanilla said...

Every time I'm reminded that you are an English Professor I cringe at what you must think of my blog.

Viv said...

Man, way to hang tough and not choke them out! I think at this point they are old enough to know better...geez.

nwgdc said...

you're getting grumpy with them? i think you handled each case amazingly well. perhaps i should go back and read it again, but at no time do i remember you saying anything to the effect, "you're a friggen moron, what kind of idiot do you take me for?"

well done!

chia said...

Take it out on the unsuspecting pavement ;-).

It's amazing how well you treat them like actual adults. I would start doing the baby talk in a heart beat... "wook at teh widdle student who wouldn't studykins. wah wah"

You have done the nation a great justice. Bless Jess!

J~Mom said...

They sound like reasonable answers to me! Of course I am the one that told my professor two weeks ago that she gives out too much work...

Erin said...

The sad thing is they eventually graduate, get hired at my company, and I have to work with those idiots on a day to day basis.

Crystal said...

Yeah, choking sounds about right. Glad all I ever had was swim students, when they got disagreeable I just made them swim laps.

teacherwoman said...

Sounds like an interesting day. Makes me thankful for a good day at school here. Despite a student who wanted to argue about weather or not he should be adding or subtracting to find the missing number. Ha!

Southern Fried Girl said...

OMG you were so right each and every time.

How do you not slap them?

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Oh Jess, when did the students get so ridiculous and bold? I would be a nightmare prof. I think you showed quite a bit of restraint.

Vanilla - She probably is cringing too. :D I know she especially enjoys the double pumping exclamation point that I seem to use way too much (!!)

Firefly's Running said...

Oh my! I feel your pain!

miss petite america said...

i would have been way to embarassed to ask stupid questions like that! way to stand your ground though.

RunnerGirl said...

Here's what's frightening - these sound like conversations we have with our 8th grade students all the time. You'd think by college they'd grow up a little?!

RazZDoodle said...


Nice to know that it happens in college, too!

Anonymous said...

Do you remember that night at your apartment years ago...the one where your head ended up in the Doritos bag? I suggest a night like that to combat the student burnout. ; )


Brianna said...

Oh, man! Those are the SAME conversations I had with my third grade students (and their parents!). They seem to think that teachers are out to get them . . . like we get a kick out of watching them fall on their faces. Way to go for laying down the law and holding them accountable!!!