Saturday, September 12, 2009

Teacher Files: Careful What You Ask For

I received an email from one of my students who had a few problems taking the online quizzes. Turns out, I had addressed the potential for this problem, and I was hesitant to offer this student an second chance for several good reasons. In fact, this was my exact response:
I am inclined at this time to not reset either of these quizzes. On Thursday, I posted an announcement and a document that addresses this very issue. Also, I am uncomfortable with the fact that after having this problem with the first quiz, you just went on ahead with the next one instead of dealing with the issue on the first one. It appears that you took the practice quiz successfully and finally, you took this course, just a few weeks ago - you should know better. So, convince me why you deserve another chance to take these quizzes.
You see, this student took this same course with me over the summer in an accelerated session and received a passing grade. However, it was a poor grade – not one that would successfully transfer and for other “personal reasons,” this student chose to repeat the course. Anyway, re-read the last sentence in my initial response before you read her reply back, which follows (I’ve removed names and altered town names):
Because I bombed the last class because my husband was addicted to prescription pain killers, had himself arrested, came back home, proceeded to smash in my windshield and tear apart the house. At which time I had him arrested again and placed a restraining order on him. His psychiatrist had him committed to a facility in [***far away town***] which is an hour drive from my house. This took a whole lot of driving time...I live in [***my town***], work in [***work town***} and went to see him in [***far away town***] before driving back home to [***my town***]. While committed, he called the police on me claiming I was stealing from him. I had to deal with many phone calls from the police who were, thankfully, understanding and did not give me any grief about the situation.
My husband tried to commit suicide while in the detox/psych. clinic. I visited him 4 times throughout his 9 day stay. This was very stressful and completely turned my life upside down. During this time my dog was also hit by a car. Thankfully, he survived and is almost all healed. Now.........
Despite all this I went online 2 or 3 times a week and did the best I could to keep going forward and do what I had to do to get one step closer to becoming a nurse. I knew that I needed to get a better job and that everything that was happening in life right then was temporary.......things would get better one way or another. So, now my husband is home, clean and sober, and I have purchased a new Dell computer that seems to be giviing [sic] me a few problems.
I will however, read your note about the problem that I experienced while taking these tests. I would very much appreciate it if you would reset these tests because I want to pass this class with flying colors as I know I am able to do. Please, please, please, give me one more shot.
I asked, didn’t I? I gave the student a second chance but that’ll be where it ends. It’s hard not to be compassionate to such a story. I hope this student didn’t bite off more than they can chew and that everything works out for the best.


J said...

Wow I bet you didn't expect THAT did you? I hope she is able to pass your class with flying colors as well. It's nice to see compassionate people :)

Joy said...

I'm glad you gave her a second chance. We have no idea what our students are going through. This is why I'd tell them to let me know since otherwise I couldn't tell them from the slackers. Quite often they don't tell us. I was strict about taking off points when work is late and all that but gave them a break when they needed it.

Good for you!

Chris said...

J - It caught me off guard for sure.

Joy - It's one of the biggest challenges (for me) knowing whem to make exceptions on things.