Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Where Are You?

It seems every semester I have a student or two on my roster who never shows up to class. I e-mail the students but never hear back. The college policy is, if someone never shows up, you have to give them a failing grade and you list the last date the student attended class, which in this case would be the first class session.

I used to feel bad about failing these students. They never showed, maybe something happened, maybe they thought they dropped, who knows. I do, as I said before, however, e-mail them and try to do my part. Still, I would rather not fail such students.

Last semester, however, I learned something very interesting talking to one of the other adjuncts. It seems that in order to get certain amounts of financial aid, students often need to take a certain amount of credits. So, they register for a class to which they never intend to show. Sure, they fail the class, but they still get the financial aid.

When I learned of this little fact, I stopped feeling so guilty, so sorry for the students I failed because they never showed up. And, in the event the instructor who told me this is wrong, it is still up to the students to know what they have dropped and what classes they still have. Again, as a result, I do not feel so bad when I have to fail these students.

The joys of teaching.