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  1. #1
    jam937 is offline Registered User
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    Student says "I dont have time to read, study or do the work ... can I pass?"

    First, this is not a joke. This really happened to me this week. I teach at a nationally accredited career/technical college. The class I am teaching is designed by the school so that simply showing up to class and doing the hands on work during class is worth 43% of your final grade. So you get 100% on that 43% just for showing up. So you can see it takes very little effort to squeak out a D. You could get a 30% on all other work (midterm, final, quizzes, etc.) and still pass.

    So I have a student that is failing with a 58.5% in my class. Since my job requires me to counsel students in matters of attendance, academics and personal issues as well as tracking there whereabouts when they fail to show up to class for zero pay, I had a talk with him.

    The first thing he asks is if I think he will pass the course. I ask him about his 31% on the quiz today. I point out he has scored very low on all quizzes. I ask him if he studies for them. He says no I don't have any time to study for tests. I asked if he paid attention when I did the review right before taking the multiple choice quiz. I told him I went over all 10 questions and their answer. He says he did but forgot it. I ask if he even read the required 15 pages in the textbook which was used for the quiz since last last class a week ago. He says no I don't have any time to read the book. I asked if he has read any of the book in the past 8 weeks. He says no I don't have any time to read at all. I asked if he can turn in any of his missing assignments. He says no I don't have any time to do the homework. I ask if he can attend the remaining 3 classes and not leave early. He says he will try but that he usually is tired and has to leave early because he can't learn when he is tired.

    I asked him if he was joking. He says no. He asks me why I would ask such a question. I say because you're asking if you can pass a class without doing any work and that's ridiculous. I tell him that if he comes to the remaining 3 classes and studies for the final he has a very good chance of passing. I tell him in 2 weeks there is a final lab project which is easy to pass (its made that way) and counts for 15% of his grade. He says he'll try but not sure he can do it.

    Sadly it seems that a third or more of my students are just like this one. I deal with this stuff every week. It's making me have second thoughts about teaching . I have my own problems in life like everyone else. I don't want to deal with other people's personal problems. I wouldn't want to do it even if you paid me. I'm making roughly $14 an hour teaching on campus if you count prep time, lecture, grading, counseling and tracking down students. I am just trying to get experience while I finish my master's degree so I can eventually teach online at regionally accredited colleges for a little better pay and freedom.

    I was thinking at the college level I would be passing out a syllabus, handing out assignments, giving exams, grading assignments, giving lectures and discussing the course material. I thought The grade a student receives would be determined by how much effort they put in. I thought if a student does not come to class or fails a class it would be their fault not mine. I mean all of my past and present college work as a student has been this way for me. I never thought there would be pressure and intimidation to pass students. I'm also amazed at all the government tax dollars being wasted at my school.

    I hope somebody can get a good laugh from this and brighten your day! I feel a lot better after writing this post. I even had to stop writing and laugh a couple times myself.

  2. #2
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Recently I posted an article relevant to this issue. Here's the thread,

    Not everyone is suited for college

    Maybe this kid will make it in college someday but it seems clear that this is not happening now. I don't think you'd be doing him any real favors by stringing him along. He doesn't belong in college, at least not right now, and so he's better off walking away from those ivy walls and getting a job and starting a career from another angle. Lots of kids go to college just because they don't know what else to do. They accumulate all kinds of debt and have nothing to show for it when they drop out in the middle of their sophomore year.
    American College of Sports Medicine

  3. #3
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    First of all, if he has no time for college then what is he doing there? If he really is that busy, then adding more to his schedule could be hazardous to his health. I don't even know the guy but I'm worried that he will suffer from a huge crash- a stroke, an ulcer, chronic migraines or a nervous breakdown.

    Second, he sounds like someone who should be taking CLEPs. Or taking naps. Whichever he can fit into his 28 hour day.
    BA, Social Sciences ---- The University Formerly Known As Thomas Edison State College

    If you're tired of starting over, STOP GIVING UP!!! -Shia LaBoeuf

  4. #4
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    When I read "I don't have time..." what I interpreted was "I can't be bothered..." Maybe I was wrong.
    American College of Sports Medicine

  5. #5
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    When I read "I don't have time..." what I interpreted was "I can't be bothered..." Maybe I was wrong.
    I get the same feeling.
    BA, Social Sciences ---- The University Formerly Known As Thomas Edison State College

    If you're tired of starting over, STOP GIVING UP!!! -Shia LaBoeuf

  6. #6
    ryoder is offline Registered User
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    He should just file for unemployment. He can get paid for 99 weeks and do absolutely nothing.
    That is his best bet.

  7. #7
    jam937 is offline Registered User
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    I think this particular student is getting some Pell grants and taking out loans to pay for school. I can't imagine going into debt while not learning anything and getting next to nothing for the money. He will be in debt the rest of his life. He will have 15% of his social security garnished in retirement until he dies. It costs $50,000 to get a nationally accredited associates degree from my school and $100,000 for a bachelors.

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  9. #8
    edowave is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by jam937 View Post
    First, this is not a joke. This really happened to me this week. I teach at a nationally accredited career/technical college. The class I am teaching is designed by the school so that simply showing up to class and doing the hands on work during class is worth 43% of your final grade. So you get 100% on that 43% just for showing up. So you can see it takes very little effort to squeak out a D. You could get a 30% on all other work (midterm, final, quizzes, etc.) and still pass.

    So I have a student that is failing with a 58.5% in my class. Since my job requires me to counsel students in matters of attendance, academics and personal issues as well as tracking there whereabouts when they fail to show up to class for zero pay, I had a talk with him.

    The first thing he asks is if I think he will pass the course. I ask him about his 31% on the quiz today. I point out he has scored very low on all quizzes. I ask him if he studies for them. He says no I don't have any time to study for tests. I asked if he paid attention when I did the review right before taking the multiple choice quiz. I told him I went over all 10 questions and their answer. He says he did but forgot it. I ask if he even read the required 15 pages in the textbook which was used for the quiz since last last class a week ago. He says no I don't have any time to read the book. I asked if he has read any of the book in the past 8 weeks. He says no I don't have any time to read at all. I asked if he can turn in any of his missing assignments. He says no I don't have any time to do the homework. I ask if he can attend the remaining 3 classes and not leave early. He says he will try but that he usually is tired and has to leave early because he can't learn when he is tired.

    I asked him if he was joking. He says no. He asks me why I would ask such a question. I say because you're asking if you can pass a class without doing any work and that's ridiculous. I tell him that if he comes to the remaining 3 classes and studies for the final he has a very good chance of passing. I tell him in 2 weeks there is a final lab project which is easy to pass (its made that way) and counts for 15% of his grade. He says he'll try but not sure he can do it.

    Sadly it seems that a third or more of my students are just like this one. I deal with this stuff every week. It's making me have second thoughts about teaching . I have my own problems in life like everyone else. I don't want to deal with other people's personal problems. I wouldn't want to do it even if you paid me. I'm making roughly $14 an hour teaching on campus if you count prep time, lecture, grading, counseling and tracking down students. I am just trying to get experience while I finish my master's degree so I can eventually teach online at regionally accredited colleges for a little better pay and freedom.

    I was thinking at the college level I would be passing out a syllabus, handing out assignments, giving exams, grading assignments, giving lectures and discussing the course material. I thought The grade a student receives would be determined by how much effort they put in. I thought if a student does not come to class or fails a class it would be their fault not mine. I mean all of my past and present college work as a student has been this way for me. I never thought there would be pressure and intimidation to pass students. I'm also amazed at all the government tax dollars being wasted at my school.

    I hope somebody can get a good laugh from this and brighten your day! I feel a lot better after writing this post. I even had to stop writing and laugh a couple times myself.
    This is why I stopped applying for adjunct positions. 1) The aggravation you described. 2) The pay. I make double that with part-time pet sitting.
    BS, MS, PhD - University of Florida
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  10. #9
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryoder View Post
    He should just file for unemployment. He can get paid for 99 weeks and do absolutely nothing.
    That is his best bet.
    Unemployment doesn't pay enough to sit around and do nothing. It barely paid enough to cover the bus ride I took to the library every day to use their computers to send out resumes. Often times, I had to walk several miles to get to a job interview because I had no money for the bus. Several miles with a painful foot condition on both feet that I couldn't afford the surgery to get repaired. I was living it up! I did nothing for work and still got paid!
    Last edited by Maniac Craniac; 02-18-2013 at 07:44 PM.
    BA, Social Sciences ---- The University Formerly Known As Thomas Edison State College

    If you're tired of starting over, STOP GIVING UP!!! -Shia LaBoeuf

  11. #10
    truckie270 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by jam937 View Post
    It costs $50,000 to get a nationally accredited associates degree from my school and $100,000 for a bachelors.
    Are you serious? And you get $14 an hour? With the pressure to pass these types of students and the obvious credibility issues it creates with your school downstream, I would put the bullet on your resume and move on. You are likely doing more harm to your future teaching prospects being associated with this institution than if you were doing nothing.
    Last edited by truckie270; 02-20-2013 at 08:02 AM.
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  12. #11
    iamthere is offline Registered User
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    Are you working in Korea or is the student Korean? The Coen Brothers already made a joke out of this situation. They must have taught ESL at a University in Korea. And just to avoid being called racist, the Korean word for cheating is cunning. Here are a few other mass classes caught being cunning. Pharmacology Students Caught Cheating at SNU | Asia News – Politics, Media, Education | Asian Correspondent

    [url=http://nwww.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20111031000756]
    http://travelingman3.wordpress.com

  13. #12
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    I think I know him, ask him if he used to study culinary arts. <smirk>
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  14. #13
    jam937 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by truckie270 View Post
    Are you serious? And you get $14 an hour?
    Sadly yes. Here's the breakdown. I'm not sure if this is typical.

    4.5 hours lecture
    0.5 hours questions before/after class
    1.5 hours grading/entering grades/attendance (can be more with bigger classes)
    1.0 hours prep/printing/etc (can be a lot more if no material provided)
    0.5 hours counseling /calling students
    --------------------------------------------
    8.0 hours per week

    $118 per week ($1300 per 11 week course)
    --------------------------------------------
    $14.77 per hour (not including drive time)
    Last edited by jam937; 02-22-2013 at 04:04 PM.

  15. #14
    jonlevy is offline Registered User
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    You really have the wrong attitude here; you must do everyhting necessary to help the student achieve success. refer the student to all possible resources, make academic counseling referals, call the student up at home and offer "help." When they finally do make a feeble effort, code it as a SUCCESS. Then if they fail, it will be the course designer's fault not yours. Too many failures, and you will be out of your job. A very wise adjunct once compared online teaching to a video game and they were right, rack up the points and stay alive, that's all you can do.

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  17. #15
    CornCod is offline Registered User
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    I teach at two 2-year institutions and many students are distracted by "life-issues", others are lazy. Most of the students I fail probably watch five to seven hours of television daily. They also spend at least a couple hours a day sending idiotic texts on their Android and I-phones. Where these impoverished students get the money for a data plan and these fancy cell phones, I don't know. I can't afford one myself. Sadly, I think a lot of my "D" and "F" students have problems with reading comprehension.

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