Monday, June 7, 2010


In my spare time, I teach as an adjunct at two Hudson Valley colleges. My grades for both of the classes I taught this past semester were due on May 18. Today, I got an email from the mother of one of my students asking me to change the F he earned to a D. Her argument was that the F could keep him from graduating in December and starting the job he already has lined up for the following month.

Yep - you read that right: I got an email from a 22-year-old student's mother asking for a grade change.

The email that preceded hers was from the student's advisor. He basically asked me way I hadn't gotten back to the student about his grade. Mind you, the student emailed me this afternoon at 1:30pm - the third email since grades came out I'd received from him about the F; the advisor's email came at 3pm. I politely sent the student, his advisor and his mom the same email outlining that the grade was earned (I didn't "give him anything) because 1. the student missed two of his five media assignments (which were worth 50% of the final grade), 2. he made no effort to do the extra-credit or make-up work offered and 3. he totally bombed his final exam by earning the lowest grade in the class.

I'm totally shocked that he had his mommy write me. I'm stunned that he had no idea he was about to fail even though I warned him when I re-sent the missing assignments and extra credit a week before the final exam that he would do just that unless he got the work in. Someone should really tell him and his mom that in college, students do their work or suffer the consequences without having mom rush in and try to save the day.

Not even sure what else to say about that...


  1. Welcome to my world!

    I taught two college courses on a distance learning tv system through a high school in Dutchess County years ago - received research papers with no works cited, all opinion, no bibliography, etc. Being nice - I gave them a passing grade but just barely, because I was pressured to do so by the high school principal. Mind you, these two students had taken and passed AP English, although I have no idea how. I'm sure they didn't take the AP test. When the grades were complete - I checked them after they were processed to see that both those students had B's. I had given them both a C minus and that was a gift in itself. They just changed them on their own. Don't be surprised if the college does this to you - when parents start complaining - all bets are off. My Dept. Chair teaches adjunct classes at a local college (might be the same one you are teaching at), and sees this all the time. Hang in there :(

  2. I'm scheduled to teach two classes there next semester. If they change those grades, they can find someone else to teach them for sure...

    I could see if he missed the last assignment or missed the final all together, but he missed assignment #1 (given in mid February) and #3 (given in late March). Basically, he dropped the ball, made a hal-a$$ attempt to pick up and failed as a result. His mom actually emailed me again to ask if I could just "give him" the two points needed for a D. I promptly deleted the email. The student emailed and asked for an "incomplete." Deleted his, too...

    If our collective teaching experiences are any indication of what's to come, we should all be afraid, LDK!!


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