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  • This teacher needs advice from you taffers

    I had this student this past academic year that is extremely gifted academically and getting A's is easy as long as he can take a test. But I don’t give a lot of tests. Instead, I assess students on how they perform on labs, projects, field research, etc. He was too lazy to do these performance-based evaluations and always turned in his work late. I also caught him plagiarizing so that blew his A. The final graded requirement for the year was to write a one-page report on how they interpreted data they spent 2 weeks collecting. He did not turn it in, I pestered him 3 different times about getting it in, pestered his counselor who pestered him, classes end, grades are submitted, I am headed for end of the year student performances and this slacker tracks me down. He tries to get me to accept this paper citing many useless excuses and that this will blow his GPA. I continue to refuse and he refuses to accept no as an answer. Hubby saves the day by showing up so we can enjoy being the parents of a graduate. Then I get a call from his counselor saying that he has a very upset student in his office and that he is close to tears over this. I dug my heels in and refused to accept the paper but now his mother is on a rampage and refuses to accept my “NOâ€‌ as an answer. What is with these people? The school is backing me up but this is really bugging me. So what do you all think? I am especially interested in feedback from all of you still in high school. I wish I could just tell them to &%$# off. But that would get me fired.
    formerly littlek

  • #2
    For the people you can actually say this to, the kid is a slacker. Trying to get away with it, and he probably knows it, and is workin it to save his butt and his GPA.

    Be precise in your points, lay things out in what the kid failed to do, instead of just saying no, give good reason, you probably did that, but, say it again. Stick to your guns. The mother, for god sake, is as bad as he is, stupid woman, she isn't helping him anyway, he will just continue the same behavior again.
    He isn't taking responsibility for his actions, now he wants the easy way out. You did the right thing, by sticking to your guns. Have a meeting, if you can, and even want to, about the kid, get the issues on the table, discuss them. Let us know what happens.


    • #3
      What BA said.

      Get your ideas in order, and present them so there can be no arguements about what was or was not done.

      I'd thought about being a teacher once, but with all the lawsuits and hassles I've heard about in the news and whatnot, I figured I wouldn't last a day.
      Garlisk's Fantasy Art Gallery


      • #4
        Don't back away from your stand, littlek. That student of yours needs to learn that you reap what you sow. A respectable slacker will carry the consequences of his slacking.

        You are not being unfair, quite the opposite. Like BA said, show the mother and the counselor the proof (if you have anything appropriate) and tell them the full story. The student probably has told HIS version to his mother, downplaying all his slacking.
        My cats are black! How about yours?


        • #5
          Originally posted by littlek
          Hubby saves the day by showing up so we can enjoy being the parents of a graduate.
          LK, I am a little confused by that sentence, did the kid graduate already? Or do you mean, your hubby saved the day by showing up, and you're the parents of your own graduate?

          Anyway, lack of accountability these days runs rampant. It's sad.


          • #6
            hmmm, when i tried to turn stuff in late the teachers who didn't take it always said that college would never accept late things, even only one day late. i went to a private college prep HS though.

            you could alternatively take the paper and take a load of points off (90-95 pts) for it being late, you'd probably have to say that you would be taking off points from the first day he offered it to you (i.e. he offered it the 5 day late and now it's the 9 day so only take off evulivant of 5 days late).

            so what do you teach exactly?
            This is my cool sig.


            • #7
              BA, no the slacker was a freshman. It was hubby's youngest son that is the graduate You would have met him when we were in TX last April.

              daniel, I would have probably taken the paper if he would have turned it in even that morning....I doubt I would have given him more than 50% but that is better than the zero he earned by not turning it in. But he tried to submit the paper ~2 hours AFTER the deadline i had to meet to turn in final grades. By that time, grades are nearly etched in granite. I teach biology.
              formerly littlek


              • #8
                You need to change your class rules about late submissions:

                Option 1: Don't accept them without a doctors note or an extension you agreed to before the due date.

                Option 2: Accept them with a 10% reduction in grade per day it's late up to 5 days late, then don't accept them at all after that. After class(or after the beginning of class if that's when you collect the work) is considered a day late.

                This would have to go with the course outline given out at the beginning of the course(you do have a course outline, right?) and be okayed by the school.

                As for the current situation, you shouldn't accept any work after the final class. It's far too late if you're putting together the final grades. I've never even heard of a teacher accepting work after the course is finished.
                Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, n. See also Irony.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Salvage
                  As for the current situation, you shouldn't accept any work after the final class. It's far too late if you're putting together the final grades. I've never even heard of a teacher accepting work after the course is finished.
                  My school's IT department accepts work even a week after class is finished - 10% off each day after the first weekend after school's over. But the workings of an IT and a Science department are completely different things.

                  As previously mentioned, do the right thing - it wouldn't be fair to everyone else who did their work, if that kid gets through. If he's a slacker, treat him as such.


                  • #10
                    Hmmm I would have to say that its his own fault, accepting things late at all is not something you have to do. Especially that he tried to hand it in after your final grading deadline, the student will get over it. Besides having a perfect GPA in high school does not really matter all THAT much in the long run.


                    • #11
                      Well, look at it this way, LK... As soon as the kid gets into college, his precious GPA from HS won't matter anymore. If he can't the the assignments required in the assigned time, he'll fail out.

                      Try explaining that to his parents, and if they can't understand it--he's destined for failure.
                      Genius is a blink before a moment of insanity.
                      "Dream is Destiny"
                      Waking Life


                      • #12
                        Ditto what BA said.


                        • #13
                          Give his mother an F in parenting and then give the counselor a piece of your mind for dragging you back into an issue you were already finished with. You don't need to explain anything other than what you already have.
                          No Linux, No Choice.
                          Know Linux, Know Choice.


                          • #14
                            Assuming the course requirements were clear from the beginning of the class, and the assignment requirements were clear whtn the assignment was handed out, grade him on how well he fulfilled the requirements. If he knew them upfront and still failed to meet them, it's HIS problem, and shouldn't be yours.

                            Speaking as the kind of really bright littler f*cker who could breeze through with A's if tested, but could never get longterm assignments in on time myself.


                            • #15
                              I pretty much agree with what everyone has said so far. The kid is going to have reality smack him in the face and he's going to have to learn that things don't work like that in high school, college, or life. I give you kudos for staying with your plan and not letting him get away with it.

                              You are a good teacher not to let little punks like him get away with bad habits like that. Gifted or not. I give you an "A" for teaching skills.
                              Last edited by Hidden_Wolfe; 26 Jun 2004, 06:59 PM. Reason: Bad Grammar
                              "He said he didn't trust me, so I killed him."--Hidden_Wolfe