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[personal profile] electricpaladin
Today I had another disconcerting experience at school today.

I gave out progress reports today, and a lot of kids were surprised. Some of them pleasantly ("Mr. Simmons, what do you mean, I got a B? I've never gotten a B in science in my life!" "What did you get last year?" "Oh, I got a D.") and some of them less so. One girl in particular came to me with a brave and angry face on, saying "Mr. Simmons, I'm furious with you!"

"Oh? Why are you furious with me?"

"It's my progress report. I shouldn't get a D!"

So, I took her aside after class and I showed her her grade. I showed her her test scores - which she has seen already. I showed her her marked lack of Exit Slips and Do Now sheets. I showed her her unexceptional behavior grade. By the end of my showing, she was in tears.

I don't know if it was a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, it looks like she took responsibility for her grade. She saw what I was showing her and went from angry at my unfairness to sadness at her own lack of performance. She stopped being mad because she saw that she gave her a D, not me. On the other hand, I made an adorable 12 year old cry!

Man, this life is hard.

Anyway, I have her the talk. I told her that I believed in her, that she could still get a C or even a B by the time the actual report cards come out and that she could still earn an A overall by the end of the year. We'll see how it works out.

Date: 2009-09-30 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] innocent-man.livejournal.com
Sometimes responsibility is hard. And, sadly, there's a large part of our culture that feels it's preferable to skip the hard work and go right for the ego boost, rather than using one to get the other.

But you did the right thing by showing her that she can still improve. Now you get to help her do it. :)

Date: 2009-09-30 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] homais.livejournal.com
For God's sake, start locking these posts.

Date: 2009-09-30 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] homais.livejournal.com
Oh, and I agree with what [livejournal.com profile] innocent_man said.

Date: 2009-09-30 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fruchtzwergchen.livejournal.com
I agree, lock these posts. I also agree you did the right thing.

and don't feel bad, I've made grown men cry.

Date: 2009-09-30 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieltallon.livejournal.com
A student called my wife, "a bad teacher". And that shook her. Mostly because she wasn't expecting such a confrontation at the time, but the situation was very similar in setup to yours. She, like you, did the right thing. Break down the situation, explain it so everyone understands, and discuss a plan to make it better.

The hard thing about teaching, I think, is that we try so hard to reward hard work and effort, but that message sometimes doesn't register with students. Then again some kids just need to grow up. I was a screw up student, and got a darn good education despite my best efforts!

Date: 2010-01-08 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] philled2thebrim.livejournal.com
i am adding you because i feel like it and also because i am impressed at your ability to make little girls cry.

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electricpaladin

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