Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fatalism Followup

This is a follow up to this post in which I e-mailed students in grade trouble in my freshman level course. Several of the students I e-mailed "snapped-to" and showed up to office hours, signed up for tutors, and asked for study tips. That was rewarding. I paid special attention to one of the students I did not hear back from in lab. Though I did not explicitly address her by saying " Did you get my e-mail?", I sat down with her and directly but kindly offered her a critique of the work she was doing at that moment, saying she could improve her grade by doing such, and this, and adding more detail right here. She basically said "mmn, hmm, sure, whatever". And made no changes at all.

You hear these stories about students who achieve despite difficult circumstances because "they had a teacher that believed in them". The weighs on my mind though the easy route would be to classify this student as "uncorrectable". I am especially concerned because she is of the demographic that has poorer outcomes in college and I want to lessen the achievement gap in my own tiny little way. So I don't want to "give up on her" but the practicality of the matter is that I have limited time, and those who ask for my time will get it. I won't be able to chase the students who don't come to me. I really am rooting for her, but she'll have to do it on her own.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how it works at your school, but my previous one had a large student retention effort which included the ability to narc on students who were doing this kind of stuff, which would prompt a call and, if at all possible, a meeting with a retention counselor.

    Maybe hearing the broader message of how to let people help you might be of some assistance?

    That said, I have a little ocean liner tanking himself in my class this semester...