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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I don't understand... excuse

Don't you love it when students fall behind in class and blame it on the teacher, with that best excuses of all, "But I don't understand it...." In one of my production classes, I want students to go through entire chapter and complete all exercises before attempting the assessment at the end. Even though I only grade the assessment, it's virtually impossible to do well on it unless chapter exercises have been completed (or at least reviewed).

During the first week of classes, this student just sat and stared at her book. I offer individual help but, of course, I won't complete exercises for them. In order to get help from me, you have to ask specific questions. You can't do that unless you read the book.

Ms. Alice: "Did you read the book?"

Student: "No, I didn't have time."

Ms. Alice: "OK, read the book and then start working on exercises. If you are still confused, we will address specific issues."

The student is motionless for the next 15 mins... OK, maybe reading???

Ms. Alice: "So, how's it going?"

Student: "I don't understand how to complete this assessment."

Ms. Alice: "OK, did you read the book and attempt simple exercises?"

Student: "No."

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! What do you want me to do then?!?!

I haven't seen her for two weeks. Now she is complaining that she doesn't understand how to complete work in my class. Did she read the book? I don't think so.


Seeking Solace said...

Unless we spoon feed it to them, they don't understand. God forbid they would actually have to figure it out on their own.

Alice said...

The sad thing is that those exercises are so simple -- type text, apply formating, save.

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