The scene: After Exam 2 in college math class where homework is “graded” on completion. You bring it with some numbers written down, you get full credit. I assign it and answer questions on it so the students get practice for their assessments, but I don’t check it. Class is also a pass/fail class. Students need to earn 730 points to pass. Student who has been struggling since the first night of class comes up to me.
Student: “What can we do to ensure that I pass this class?”
Me (Trying to hold my complete surprise at her comment): “Um, you can start by doing all of the homework.”
Student: Blank stare
Me (Trying to continue in a polite tone): “The homework is 300 of the 730 points you need to pass, and it is free points. You didn’t do all of the homework for the first test, and you didn’t finish this unit’s homework either. I’m hardly going to do extra work to help you pass this class if you aren’t going to do what was already offered to you for practically free. If you do all of the homework you’ll do better on the exams as well.”
Student: “I was just too intimidated to start some of the homework.”
Me: Blank stare because I’ve told the student numerous times to make appointments in the tutoring center to do her homework or make appointments to do it with me. She’s been to the tutoring center multiple times. I don’t have anything else to say to her at this point.
How do college students have the nerve to walk up and put the pressure of their passing on the professor? I know this is “normal,” and it will never go away. I just am still floored sometimes when a college freshman acts similarly to a 12-year-old. I expect neediness from a 12-year-old. I expect an 18-20 year-old to take responsibility for his/her own learning.