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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Car Accidents

There is an old joke about two students that decide to skip a final exam because of the nice weather and they go to the beach. They then talk among themselves and decide to tell the teacher that they were on the way to the final when the car they were in got a flat tire.

The teacher decides to give the students a makeup test. The test consists of two questions (and the students are seated in different rooms). The first one is only worth five points and is about material that was covered during the course of the semester. The second question, for 95 points, asks, “Which tire was flat”.

I thought of that when a student recently told me he was unable to make it to class because he ended up in a car accident out of state, in Pennsylvania. I questioned if this was legitimate but the student was actually able to put me in touch with the Wilkes-Barre Car Accident Attorney he saw while there.

Of course this could still be a setup, but it does enable me to double check if I like. It still raises the question I have talked about frequently with other teachers; what is an excused absence and even if it is excused, how much of a penalty should the student receive (after all, s/he still was not in class to hear the material)?

I know one teacher who gives students three absences (does not matter why) and after three, for each class missed, she deducts ten points from the students average. I understand the logic and frustration the teacher deals with, I just don’t know that I want to go to that extreme. Maybe I should but, doesn’t the car accident warrant extra consideration?