Today was the last day to withdraw from courses for the spring semester. As I usually do, I had a conversation with my students about what it means to withdraw from a class: what it can do to (or for) their GPA, how it can affect their financial aid, what it might mean when it’s time to transfer.
However, this time, I did something a little different. I reminded them that getting a D isn’t the end of the world (they will get elective credit, but not gen ed credit). But I also told them that there’s value in staying in the class even if they are pretty sure they are not getting a C–or maybe not even a D–because they’ll be practicing the skills they’ll need when/if they have to retake the course.
I have at least three students who I know probably are sticking it out because I said that, which is, I think, a good thing.
On Tuesday, in my comp 2 course, I was putting in a plug for my fall creative writing course, and one of my students asked me if I preferred teaching creative writing to comp. And I told him, quite honestly, no. Creative writing is fun to teach because most of it is completion based, but the classes are very different. The part I hate about teaching comp, I told them, is the grading.
Anyway, they understood that. I also pointed out that for every paper they write, I’m usually grading 60-80 of them. So.
Then, one of my students came in late, and he looked a little…let’s say out of it.
Me, joking: Are you sleepy or high?
Him, completely serious: Oh no I’m not high. I’m sober four days.
Me, now completely serious: Oh good.
Dual-enrolled student: Wait, I thought sober was just for drinking.
Other student: Oh sweet, innocent, baby [classmate]. She’s so sweet. I love it.
The rest of the class then had a good laugh at the innocence of the high school student. She really is a sweetheart.
4 thoughts on “Conversations With My Students #sol17”
Three cheers for real talk. Honesty in conversations can be both helpful and humorous, as your slice shows.
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That’s some honest conversation! Kudos to you for making your classroom a space where that kind of talk can happen. Like Brian said, having such frank conversations is helpful and funny.
Persistence. That’s what it’s about. I like that you make clear that if they stay, they practice the skills that will potentially make them successful the second time around. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but there is value in these honest conversations. And your students: LOL!!!
A day in the life of a teacher, never dull!