Sunday, October 19, 2008

I wonder why students think....

... that they can change classes mid-semester?

I get one of these e-mails just about every semester. The form is usually something similar to:

Dear Prof I don't know,

I need to change classes because:
a) my personal life doesn't allow me to attend class at this time. So, although I'm a good student and enjoying the class and was doing well, I'm going to fail because I can't make it to class.

b) I don't understand this prof and my friends tell me you are more clear. I usually get As and Bs, but I don't get this and I'm going to get a C. I can't have a C and get into the program I want -- please help.

Student you've never met

Especially in the case of the b) student -- why do they think they'll do any better in my course? They've now missed the first half of whatever I'm teaching -- so they'd have to understand what was going on in their original course in order to understand my course and do well. Also, why would they think that their grades in the old course would transfer into my course?

The most recent student implied that they're near the end of their time at BNCC -- so they have to know that instructors all construct their syllabi in different ways...

For those of you teaching high school -- is this permitted in their high schools? I suppose if it were, they'd have an expectation that it would be the case in college -- but, that sounds like a recipe for chaos and grade chasing... so I doubt it would work. Also, while it is probably the case that content is more uniform between HS classes, I doubt the schedule would permit easy exchanges of students... so I kind of doubt it is the case.

Maybe they just don't think -- hmmm.

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