December 14, 2010

Thanks For Ruining My Day, PITA Student.

Posted in student stories, teaching revelations at 5:40 am by profart

Every semester there’s at least one. The student who either can’t be bothered to read the syllabus, or doesn’t think it applies to them. They ask for extensions, but granting them makes things worse. They complain about the formats of tests, that there is too much work, that they just can’t be expected to do all this on time, they have other things to do!

Then they go running to your boss to complain about you. And that is when I am glad I keep my emails, both coming and going.

As the years press on, I am less and less inclined to shift due dates, grant extensions, or do anything else to bend the rules stated in my syllabus. The fact that a student is asking now sends a red flag up the pole: Potential PITA. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

It is the kind of get-under-your-skin itch that makes you wonder if you want to be teaching anymore, especially when the boss the student goes whining to then comes and starts asking you about it, as if you should have to defend yourself against a whining student. Some department chairs just want the facts. I think this current one just wants to cover bases. My last one? Lambast. Full in the face, writing it up on my eval to the dean. Great. Peachy.

Maybe I really ought to be looking for a new line of work. Apparently asking students to complete work, and complete it on time, is no longer fashionable at the college level. I wonder what my new boss will say when I start whining that I have a family, can’t I finish that important project I was supposed to do yesterday sometime next week? And just because I do a so-so job on it, shouldn’t someone give me a medal or something?

Yah, that will go over so well.


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