Teacher’s Bargain

Semester grades have been in for about ten days and I received fewer grade-related pleas than usual. I receive them every semester, yet still they take me aback. I do not share academic DNA with students who treat the close the semester grades as a signal to commence deal-making. Somehow they miss the point of my grading formulas, spreadsheets, and mid-semester grade updates and believe their grades should be calculated differently. There is no better way to send me into paroxysms of sputtering incomprehension than to request bonus work to raise a grade after the semester is over. I offer a simple deal: I’ll help you as much as I can during the semester and let you know where you stand so your grade is not a surprise. In exchange you have to take advantage of my help and do everything within your power to improve your performance while the course is in session. Simple, yet every semester students fail to grasp it.

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