succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, January 04, 2008

Trying not to be cynical

One of my students took an incomplete last semester, for a totally legitimate reason, and I'm totally sympathetic to what's going on with her right now. I've been over-extending myself to help her out - scrambling to create new assignments so she can wrap up this class as quickly as possible without eating into the new semester too much. My fellow teachers and students keep looking at me like I'm crazy - they vary along the spectrum from thinking that I should have insisted she take her chances with the final last semester and risk failing to passing off the extra work on to next year's prof and making the student just wait the extra semester to get the assignments. But I'm new and bright eyed and bushy tailed (from time to time) and I have this crazy notion that it's the learning that's important, and I want her to complete the assignments and learn the material and graduate on time and blah blah blah. And she just sent me an e-mail that makes it totally clear she hasn't thought about any of this until roughly noon today (her first assignment is due today). She signed a contract and everything, with deadlines for when all three of her make up assignments would be due and when she would take the new final exam. And here she is about to blow it in the first week. Please, dear student, please don't break my heart.

I know it's my investment that makes me a good teacher, but I know it also means I take everything too personally and will burn out before I can actually shape any young minds. If only there were some middle ground.


Blogger Scott Lemieux said...

Really interesting post; it's a tough balance, especially when you start teaching.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Thanks Scott. Happy update - she turned in her homework on time! One down, three to go.

8:27 PM  

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