Thursday, May 17, 2007

Grade Expectations

Ooooh, I’ll need this weekend—big time. Next week is finals, and I’ve been working like crazy to enter my kids’ final six weeks grades the past four days so that I could get their numbers to them today. That way they’ll know for sure whether or not they’re exempt or they can gauge that they’ll need test score X for final grade Y.

So today should be easy, right? Wrong, and it’s all because of a single question and it’s multiple contexts.

“What do I have to do to pass?”

Ugh, my stomach is already flipping. Let’s review the many shades of this question to see why.

Scenario 1—The kid doesn’t want to do the math, even though I gave them the formula and all of their grades to plug in. It’s hard to believe that this kid isn’t exempt, isn’t it.

Scenario 2—If they have assignments that are way past due, then you know they’re looking to clear some grade debt, which doesn’t exist. Stuff is due when it is due. Heck, in the real world when someone is late on payment there’s some kind of penalty—late fees, processing fees, etc. So at the very least don’t come up with just the assignment in your hand. If you’re trying to make-up for an essay not turned in, then I better get more to make up for it, like a research paper. There was supposed to be a power point? Then I better get a student film—in HD. Though it still wouldn’t do any good, just more realistic.

Scenario 3—They’re referring to the content of the test. Even though we’ve been reviewing for weeks with a six page study guide, which they’ve drawn hot rods on, and I’ve been holding tutoring sessions before and after school, which they haven’t attended, they ask this question on the final day of class. Note: Don’t be surprised to see scenarios 2 and 3 at the same time.

Scenario 4—The jack-a-ninny, who has been riding a 50 average all year, despite me doing every form of intervention available under the Sun, just wants to get one last rise out of me.

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