So Many Gripes, So Little Time
I am officially going back to Corporate America. That's right, bitches! I've been interviewing for a "real" full-time gig, complete with benefits and a 401k for a while now. I start the 8-5 grind the Tuesday after Memorial Day.
I have very mixed feelings about this and the day I got the job offer I wasn't exactly leaping for joy. And that was also the same day I posted final grades. So of course within about 6 hours, I got this pleasant little e-mail:
Mrs. Teacher Lady,Why is it that I checked my final grades 2 days ago and I had a Final Grade of a B in your class and today I check and it dropped to a C+? Joe You-Work-For-Me-And-Don't-You-Forget-It
I responded politely and professionally (believe it or not!) like so:
Good morning, Joe!I'm not quite sure. I download the electronic gradebook from WebCT Vista weekly, and most recently, I have your final score at 435. If you check the syllabus, you'll see that 435 lands within the high end of the C+ range of 418-439. Did I fail to enter one of your exam or reaction paper scores? If so, please help me out and we'll get this fixed. Teacher Lady
Of course, I was right and he was hallucinating but I didn't want to be unnecessarily bitchy and point that out. Do you THINK for one second I heard back from the punk? Something along the lines of, "Wow. I guess my e-mail had a really accusatory tone and I didn't realize it and also, since I missed ALL the classes between the first and second midterm which means I missed 5 out of 10 quizzes and since I didn't even HAND IN one of the three papers due, I guess a C+ is a damn good grade"? No. Of course not.
Mr. J., who is intimately familiar with such e-mails and much less reactionary than I am said he didn't think the e-mail from Joe had anything wrong with it and I was just reading too much into things. His exact words, "I don't think it sounds demanding or accusatory." On one hand, Mr. J. is so often the much-needed voice of reason in my life, this could be very true. On the other hand, I KNOW this student. This SAME student who came to me groveling before the second midterm with this sob story about how he bit off more than he could chew this semester and he really needed to do well on the second midterm and did I think he could do well enough to save his grade so he wouldn't have to drop the class? He did really well on the second midterm and I thought we had cleared things up, except for every subsequent class when he did show up, he spent the whole time leaning forward and whispering into the ear of the hot little sorority honey sitting in the desk in front of him.
Now although I bitch endlessly about my students, for the MOST part, they get how insane I am (well, in general, of course) about not talking when anyone else is talking. And yet, every week, dirty looks, calling on him, asking him questions, doing everything but grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and throwing him out of the classroom . . . nothing. He insisted on having conversations with HSH throughout the entire 3-hour class. If I weren't afraid of getting sued, fired or ending up on the local news, I would have said, "Dude. Go buy a condom already and get it over with. You're disrupting my class."
So, it is with mixed emotions that I bid farewell to the classroom. I may return next year in the spring if my schedule permits, because I truly do enjoy my actual time in the classroom. It's everything else teaching involves that I hate.
As always, Rate Your Students summed it up for me. Check this out.