Conversations With My Students #sol17

March 22, 2017

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.

 

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

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4 Comments

  1. Brian Rozinsky

    Three cheers for real talk. Honesty in conversations can be both helpful and humorous, as your slice shows.

    Reply
  2. Stacey Shubitz

    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.

    Reply
  3. Classroom Liner Notes

    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!!!

    Reply

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