Wednesday, May 02, 2007

She couldn't believe it.... I said no.

I've had a 'problem student' in my logic class-- We'll call her the unimaginitive PS...

This semester PS has done the following:

Badger me for additional points on nearly every exam or quiz.

Consistently come in late for class.

Several times a week PS interrupts me as I'm leading discussion of problems.

Tried to bully a logic tutor into doing her homework for her.

Taken the only copy of something that was supposed to be shared by the class -- bringing it back 2 weeks later....

Today was the end... for me.... Because of the way I do my final exam, I and my students need to have an idea of where they stand at the end of the semester. Therefore, I collect all misc. written work no later than 5 minutes after the beginning of class on the day of the last quiz. I tell them many times that the work is due by class-time plus 5 minutes, if it is late, I won't accept it. I even explain the reason for this.... because otherwise when I finally decide something is too late, it is arbitrary and unfair to the student who doesn't get to hand their stuff in.

Of course, PS pounds on my office door 3 hours after the due time and tries to give me her extra-credit assignment.

I refused. She tried to hand it to me again. I told her no again.

She said that I'd never announeced a time. I told her that I had.... I've also written it on the board --- which I'm sure she ignored.

I'm sure I got kind of rude at the end -- but I'm tired of her trying to bully me and play the system because she's not a native English speaker. She doesn't understand and doesn't pay attention because she hasn't had to. The thing is, I know I'm being clear because there is another non-native English speaker who is doing very well and doesn't have the issues PS does...-- that student and PS are even from the same region and overall seem to have the same language skills.


Greg said...

"the ugly American syndrome"! you had a good story going until the last paragraph. Then your prejudice peaked through :-(

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Actually, it is the opposite -- if I let her get away with repeatedly "not understanding", thus missing deadlines etc... I am not doing her any favors.

In particular, this student has had a lot of extra help with the material, which I am more than happy to give her. I'm just not willing to allow her to bully me as I suspect she's bullied other instructors who are afraid of being culturally insensitive. Better she be denied 5 extra-credit points than get fired because she doesn't respect deadlines.