They should be fired

I have many students who behave in ways in class that would get them fired in any well run business. Some aren’t there when they are supposed to be, either arriving late, leaving for long periods of time during class, or missing class entirely. Many don’t do the assigned work. A few cheat. These students generally flunk, and aren’t really the problem. I’m wasting my time with them, and they are wasting their time in school, but they will eventually flunk out or shape up.

There is another category of student that is harder to deal with. It is the student who appears to work, but doesn’t learn anything. I wonder how they got into my class, because their skills are so poor, I can’t imagine them passing the prerequisite course. The online homework is attempted, they come on time, they pay attention, and work in class. But in Intermediate Algebra, they haven’t learned elementary school math. Four times one-fourth? Three times seven? Two numbers whose product is forty-eight and whose difference is two? They simply don’t know.

I don’t grade on effort, but on results. It bothers me more to give an F to a student who worked hard than one who didn’t, but I give the F.

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