I just want to tell you that it’s time to take responsibility for your own learning. I’m trying my best. Are you?
I had a student ask me the other week why I kept lower their grade. Why I was lowering their grade. Not how they could help their understanding. Not what they could do to increase their grade. I was lowering their grade and they wanted to know why I was ruining their GPA. Seriously.
I’m not ruining your GPA or lowering your grade. I enter grades in the gradebook based on your performance and understanding. Why are you turning in assignments half completed and expecting full credit? Why aren’t your taking responsibility for your learning?
I had another student ask if they could have extra credit. This student is missing half of the assignments I have given out. Why should I go out of my way to give you extra credit when you don’t do the regular credit? Why aren’t you taking responsibility for your learning?
I am at school at 6 am every morning and I leave school around 3:30 pm every afternoon. I work nights and weekends to ensure that you have fun in class, are engaged, are stimulated, and are learning the material. I bring papers home and ignore my pets and friends because I need to grade and provide meaningful feedback. I lose sleep at night because I’m trying to figure out new and better ways to teach concepts that I know are difficult. Please don’t mistake this as a complaint. I love my job (despite what pop culture leads you to believe about teachers). I really enjoy working with you and teaching you and watching you grow into the young adult that you will become. I don’t mind grading and planning on my off time. I understood the time commitment of the job when I signed up. So I don’t mention these things to complain. I mention them to illustrate my dedication to you.
I know you have other things going on. I know you have sports and clubs and jobs and friends and family and stuff. I don’t expect you to live and breathe chemistry, but I do expect you to try. I do expect you to do the work. I do expect you to ask questions. I do expect you to get help when you are struggling. I don’t think it unreasonable to ask that you think about things and challenge yourself. You will certainly be expected to once you leave the comfortable halls of high school.
So please, start taking responsibility for your learning. If you don’t know, ask. If you don’t understand, get help. I am here for you and I am always happy to help in any way that I can. But if you don’t do the work, don’t blame me for your grade.