Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teaching Hurts Sometimes

I have this one student who is a real piece of work. She received an "F" as her midterm grade and then basically accused me of intentionally trying to fail her; she even went to the dean of the department. The silly thing is that she didn't submit half of the work due to that point so even if all she did submit was perfect, she would still be failing.

She then submitted an assignment, one in which she had three weeks to complete, and did so incorrectly. My instructions to the entire class very clearly state that if the assignment was not submitted as required, no credit would be received and as such, she received a zero. She was beside herself, actually asked me if I was kidding but I responded that I was only carrying out what I indicated on the assignment. She very disrespectfully asked that I "READ IT, IT'S GOOD...". I took a minute to read the thing, placed it through a plagiarism checker and 34% of the document was plagiarized from four different sources.

I recently opened up a discussion forum where I ask for student feedback. I've been doing this a while and often get really interesting feedback. In this case, this student decided to bash me and attack my integrity in public. I defended myself with a reply that exposed her lies with factual truths. Apparently this "hurt her feelings" and she spoke to the dean of students about this, who went to the provost.

I had a chat with the provost today, she's super cool and I have a lot of respect for her. This is all stupid, this student is a piece of work, I have zero respect for her as a human - but I am so confused as to how someone who is so obviously a slacker and at fault is so willing to invest so much time on a lost cause. I have every minute she's spent in my course documented - I can prove my case without any effort whatsoever.

I don't like to be attacked and it's completely unwarranted. I don't care if a student doesn't like me or even my teaching style/methods. However, there is no mystery with me, on day one of the course, I spell it all out - if you decide to stick around, then you are agreeing to abide by my class rules; all of which are approved in advance by the dean of the department.


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