Christmas Break

Given that most of us who teach are off for the next few weeks, I’m going to take a few weeks off from the blog.  I’ll be back in January.  I hope everyone is able to get some rest and come back refreshed and with new ideas on how to make our classes better.

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But There’s a Limit, Isn’t There?

Last week, I wrote about how we don’t know what students are going through, suggesting we should approach situations with empathy and humility.  I definitely don’t want to go back on what I said, as I absolutely mean it.  However, I also want to say that such an approach doesn’t mean we should let go of standards and accountability.

It’s that time of year when students come to talk to me or email me about their grades, as they have realized that they’re not going to end up with the grade they hoped for (usually an A, but often just enough to keep a scholarship or pass a class).  They sometimes cry or try to compliment me or my class or even try a bit of bribery with cookies.  Of course, I don’t change grades unless they can show me there’s something factually wrong with their grade. Continue reading