Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So, Who's To Blame?

I posted my grades for the 2nd marking period today. In my first period standard class, 2 students failed. I expected it; they expected it. In my fourth period standard class - same material - 12 students out of 24 failed. Fifty percent!

The irritating thing is that most of them will be angry with me that they failed. They spent the past two days trying to get all of their missing work in or making up excuses about why they hadn't turned in anything. Fifty percent!

When that many students fail, is it the teacher's fault? In the past, when I've had large numbers perform poorly, I re-evaluated what I was doing, made some changes and saw results. This semester, with this class - nothing! I've tried so many methods and made so many variations of lessons that I'm exhausted. When is it ok for me to say, "You know what, it IS your fault. I've done all I can do."

I'm disgusted with them and with myself. I've tried to reach them, but the ones that have failed don't want to be reached - unless I am going to give them something for nothing. I've said before that I want to be the place where they stop getting passed along. Most of the time I'm fine with that sentiment. Today, however, when I saw those numbers, I really felt like a failure.

1 comment:

  1. No No No. These have been the students who have expected the teachers to have the same guilty conscience you are experiencing and to give them a higher grade than they deserve (so they don't look bad). You are now the one that is going to hopefully give them a kick in the pants and get them to realize that they need to work harder for their grades. Good for you. See what happens next grading period. I predict they will work a little harder to avoid having missing work and you will see less students being slugs. Be prepared for e mails and phone calls from parents but hold your ground. These are the same type of students who were given meaningless little rewards and certificates of improvement in the "everyone is doing great" elementary school system that I was part of in my past.