The Waiting Room

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don't Give Up

Posted by Seeking Solace |

It's midterm. which means that my classes are starting to get smaller as herd thins. Students just stop attending class. It's really amazing the reasons that students give for their non-attendance. The best one I heard was from a colleague of mine. The student has missed six classes already. When she asked the student why she was absent so many times, the student responded "I didn't know I had to attend every class!"

Wow...just...wow.

I have a student right now who stopped coming to class. She missed the first exam because she didn't think she would pass. She said that she just doesn't understand the material. I asked her why she didn't talk to me or come to my tutoring session on Fridays (Students don't have classes on Fridays). Her response? "I don't know." I suggested to her that she come to the next tutor session or we could schedule a time that was convenient. To date, she has not showed up for class, tutoring or anything.

See, that's what I don't get. At least my colleague's student was honest. What I don't understand and probably never will, is when you give students every opportunity to be successful, why don't they take you up on your assistance.

Perhaps it's a situation where this student, like many, is not ready for the college experience. This student is not a traditional college student, so there may be a fear factor involved. Maybe her expectation of what college was supposed to be like did not turn out that way. Maybe she is overwhelmed and the only option in her eyes is to stop trying.

I just don't want her to give up. And, I don't want to give up on her.

7 comments:

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Sometimes, if I think a student has promise they don't realize they have, I give them the "you're smart, don't give up on yourself" talk/ e-mail.

It might help to simply give Stu her options -- what's the maximum grade they can get at this point (assuming they can pass at all)? When does Stu need to decide about withdrawing? What does Stu need to do to get caught up?

Also -- one of the most difficult things about teaching our students is that sometimes their lives just conflict with school and there is nothing you can do about it.

Kai said...

Um..she didnt' think she had to go to class every day??? What is she going to think when she gets a job??? WOW.

Seeking Solace said...

ITPF: I don't think she will be able to pass, even if I allow her to make iup the work. I am hoping she can withdraw and focus on her other classes, assuming there are no financial aid issues.

Kai: I guess showing up for work is optional.

RageyOne said...

Keep trying. That's all you can do. Keep trying. Perhaps student will realize that you care.

Sherlock said...

95% of the time it's just a financial aid scam. Students get far more money than they need for tuition and books. They get a LOT of money. They're not interested in going to class but if they drop, they lose the money (have to pay it back immediately). This way, they stay in class, don't attend, don't do work, and keep the money. They pass enough classes to stay eligible for more financial aid every semester. One told me she picks and chooses which classes to pass (barely) every semester.

To these students, it's free money to spend as they wish. Somehow it doesn't compute for them that they have to pay it all back eventually whether they get a degree or not.

What a waste of money!

Seeking Solace said...

What they don't realize that they can't discharge a student loan in vankruptcy and if it's a federally backed loan, the government will get their money in the end. So, they may think they are getting one up on someone, but they lose in the end

Shell said...

Yeah, the money thing factors into our attrition big-time. People stop coming after they get those checks and get distracted by the money, even if they didn't intend to be just going for the $, and then some of them are just there for the check.

Time management is a big problem with many of my students. They do get overwhelmed and have no concept of how much time they will need *outside* of class to read, do homework, write, etc. They don't use calendars or plan their time.

I agree: hang in there. I'm probably going to be on this roadin a week or two.

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