Posted by: endithinks | March 7, 2008

On failing and responsibility

A student failed their test today and once again I am dredging up the phantom of teacher’s responsibility. 

I hate when a student of mine fails; it makes me feel like I have not prepared them enough.  This student however did not prepare them-self as was evidenced in their incompleteness of the very thorough study guide that was handed out to them last night. 

I told them that they should have the entire study guide filled out using the materials from lecture, handouts and their book and be prepared to compare their answers to their fellow students and the student who failed the test had maybe half of the material filled out by the time they walked into the room this morning.

During the class review this student simply sat and wrote down the answers that the other students had already prepared and the student still got only half of the questions correct.

Do students sometime think that studying with a step by step you can not go wrong guide is beneath them?  Why would a student who is paying for their education not take the time to do the assignments that they themselves are paying for?

When I was a student there were times where I hit the lazy button and continued to play video games or read my science fiction novels, but I always managed to focus when the chips were on the table.  I put the playing and frivolousness aside and did what I had to do to succeed.  In fact the only time that I was not studying is when their seemed to be no consequence for non participation. (I once had a class where I did not even open the book due to the teacher’s adherence to class discussion as the only means of learning.  I got an A in that class, but I cannot for the life of me tell you a single thing that I learned in it.) 

How much responsibility does a teacher have to their students when it comes to passing or failing? 

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