Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Student Excuses

Joanne (see blogroll at left) links to The Top Ten No Sympathy Lines by college professor Steve Dutch.

  1. This Course Covered Too Much Material...The Expected Grade Just for Coming to Class is a B
  2. I Disagreed With the Professor's Stand on ----
  3. Some Topics in Class Weren't on the Exams
  4. Do You Give Out a Study Guide?
  5. I Studied for Hours
  6. I Know The Material - I Just Don't Do Well on Exams
  7. I Don't Have Time For All This
  8. But you don't understand. I have a job
  9. Students Are Customers
  10. Do I Need to Know This?
  11. There Was Too Much Memorization
  12. This Course Wasn't Relevant
  13. Exams Don't Reflect Real Life
  14. I Paid Good Money for This Course and I Deserve a Good Grade
  15. All I Want is the Diploma

Yes, it's more than 10. But go read the post and enjoy watching a true artisan blast holes in those most pathetic of excuses. Dutch is a college professor, but I hear several of those excuses in high school.

Last Thursday I was in a meeting in which someone suggested that if we want students to learn the material, we should make it relevant. I'm totally against that. The whole point of school is to broaden a student's horizons, not relate everything to what's within arm's reach. And I don't think that utilitarianism is what we should be about--a broad, liberal arts education even in high school is invaluable to an educated citizenry. Diagramming sentences isn't something people do on a daily basis, but it's certainly valuable for learning grammatical constructs. Same with algebra. Same with analyzing poetry. Same with knowing the primary colors. But Dutch's response to Whine #12? Much better than everything I've written here!


Anonymous said...

Some stuff taught is just ridiculous, though. Stuff that noone ever uses, ever.

#71731 said...

The only acceptable excuse should be "I had to take someone to the airport". You can learn more things like this at, did you know that?

Well Mr. Miller. Today in 2nd period you proposed the challenge to find your Blog, so I did. Do I get a prize?

What's the deal with ANOTHER math switch? I was moved to first period with Westover. Show the office the power of your beatings, try and reverse this. The rest of the school year has seriously been ruined becasue of this stupid decision.

It was nice while it lasted. I'll be checking your Blog reguraly now.

Darren said...

Actually, it was Nick who challenged you to find this blog :-)

I haven't seen the add/drop list so I have no idea who's been moved, and hence no idea who you are. However, I unless your whole schedule was changed to give you horrible, nasty teachers, this additional change shouldn't rise to the level of ruining your whole year. Mr. W isn't as good-looking as I am, but he's a great Algebra 2 teacher.

Thanks for reading! Come by again any time.

carol said...

Hey, he forgot "how am I going to use this in REAL life?

Hey Anonymous, I've been meaning to ask, who IS this Noone guy anyway?

#71731 said...

That's right! I think Nick said he'd give out a starburst if I am correct. IT's not the teachers that are bad, but I am moved out of classes I have friends in and moved to classes where I know no one, or the people I know are not good people to be around.

Who I am? Somepeople call me Steamboy, But to the school I'm only a number.

Darren said...

You may be *many* things to me, but you're never "only" a number. :-)

Darren said...

And Carol, the actual saying is "When am I ever gonna have to use this?"

And that's exactly why I have a poster with that title hanging in my classroom.

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Thanks for bringing up the bit about diagramming sentences. My 9 year old Language Arts students have been learning the basics of diagramming and they love it....especially when I showed them a really long sentence with lots of prepositional phrases in diagram form. They can't wait until they can diagram sentences like that. It IS an invaluable type of graphic organizer that gets kids to think about the function of every word in the sentence.

I hear many of the excuses you listed not from students but from parents.....some are worded a little different.