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, March 2, 2009

Attendance-- Part 2

I am always amazed at how students think excused absences should have NO impact on their grades. In fairness, I used to feel this way and, to a point, still do. That being said, things can get out of hand, especially with a class that meets once a week.

This semester, my once a week classes have met five times. A student missed the first class because her father is in poor health and she needed to take care of him. The second class, she showed up for about 15 minutes of a three hour class and then needed to leave to take care of her sick kids. She is a single mother and I give her a lot of credit but it also means, in the first six hours of class, she had been there for a total of fifteen minutes.

She actually was at the third class, in its entirety. Unfortunately, that didn’t last. The next class, she needed to leave early because her brother was in a serious car accident and there was no other family member to stay with him. The following class session, her car broke down (and next week, we are on break).

I don’t question that these are legitimate reasons to miss class. I am even willing to say I will give her the benefit of a doubt and accept the fact that all these things really happened. The bottom line is, she has been there for only one class session and fifteen minutes of another. Even with all the excuses being legitimate, of course it is going to affect her grade. I just have a feeling, she will complain once final grades are released. I guess time will tell.

Up Next: Teaching a Public Speaking class entirely on-line