Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flogging the proverbial dead horse

It's the end of semester in all but name, and still the living dead, students without a prayer, toil away when the cause is already lost. I have a couple students like that, who I told from the very beginning that they needed to get remedial help fast from reading classes, etc. They didn't do that, but still they cannot understand why they are not doing well in the class.
Writing research papers requires not only research skills, which can be taught rather quickly, really, but also reading ability and the ability to follow up on tasks independently. These students are simply not ready to do this. Perhaps if they were simultaneously taking a critical reading class, that would help, but they chose not to do that. This, along with their woeful lack of preparation in analysis and writing in previous writing classes has done them in. But since at least one of these students received a very good grade in her college writing class, she blames me. She is trying; I am trying, but at the same time, I have known that it was probably not possible for her to pass this class in one semester for a long time. She didn't want to drop when I recommended it, and because I have so few students left, I have been trying to work with her independently as much as possible. Unfortunately, I just couldn't make up for those shortfalls. I am sure I will hear about this if she fails, which I am afraid looks inevitable right now.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please--don't take this student's stress on as your own! You are doing everything you can, and it's sad that she didn't take your advice to get extra reading help, etc. You always seem to do so much for your students, and when they look back, I bet that will be what some of them remember. The class she can retake at a time when she is ready, but having a really good, caring teacher is a memory that hopefully will live on--if she's wise enough to see it!

Robbi said...

You are right. I do take on their stress. When they screw up, I feel as though I have. I have to stop myself from that, quite often. This is why I never became a therapist, though I thought about it. It would have made me insane.

Lou said...

Sounds like this student just was not prepared for the demands of WR 2. You did all you can.

Robbi said...

That is true, and I told her that back at the beginning, though she couldn't understand why. She had done so well in Writing 1, apparently. I never heard of the person she says was her teacher, though she was at this college.

Robin said...

Hi Robbi,

Just wanted to let you know I've been listed as anonymous in these last couple of postings. Sorry about that!