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.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Student Returns!

Life has been so crazy lately and things so hectic, I have not had a chance to enter a post in a while. As a result, not surprisingly, there are so many things going on that I have to decide which one to blog about (Maybe I’ll enter more than one post today). For today, however, for this blog post, I will discuss something that happened yesterday.

Seemingly this is a non-event. I had a student show up for class. Well, I have a student, in fact many students, show up for class every day. What makes this day so special? This particular students has not shown up to class for weeks. I had given up on him and thought he just dropped the class without officially withdrawing or dropping (I have had students do that before). I did not even set aside a speaking opportunity for him to deliver his final speech, which start this coming Monday.

After missing about 15-20 classes in a row, and having done this earlier in the semester (although then it was ONLY about 6 classes in a row), the students shows up and after class asks me if the work can be made up. I did ask what had happened and why all those classes were missed. The student told me there was a need to return back home, but that was all that was said.

I do not like to pry and I respect the privacy of my students, but COME ON! I was told the same thing when the six classes were missed earlier. I told the student then, I write it in my syllabus and review it in class, if a student is going to miss class (especially one where an assignment is due—and there were 2 major speeches, 2 minor speeches and a group presentation this individual missed), the individual should be in touch with me before the next class. With six classes left to the semester, it is a little late to be discussing this issue.

Softie that I am, I did tell this student the speeches could be made up and it was still possible to pass the class, but the grade would probably not be that good. The student wants to make up the speeches. If this person knocks my socks off with the makeup speeches, aces the final exam, and hands in everything else that is due, maybe the grade will be a ‘C’. More likely I expect this individual to finish with a ‘D’ in the class, and that is already, I think, being generous. After all, this individual should certainly finish with a lower grade then someone who has earned a ‘C’ in the class and been there every session.

If this student, by the way, misses any more session, my feeling is, the individual will get an ‘F’. I am already going out of my way and making my life more difficult by getting these makeup speeches in, so the student needs to make sure to attend the last 7 session.