Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Best Policy

Exhibit A 

Student fails to submit essay by deadline. When corrected essays are returned, student says, "I didn't get mine back." Teacher replies, "That's because I never received it."
Student: "But I sent it to your email." 
Teacher: "Perhaps you misspelled the address. What's the earliest time at which you can forward me your original email with the attachment?" 
Student: "2:30."
Teacher: "I will give you until 3:00. But remember, in order to receive credit, you must forward me your original email with timestamp." 
Two days pass. Student sends email with essay attached. It's not a forward. Student expects credit (and must assume teacher is a moron).

Exhibit B 

Student meets with teachers and parent after school to discuss academic difficulties. As the team is determining if student struggles with organization and time management, teacher asks student, "Do you use your planner?" 
Student: "Well, I use it one or two days a week for one or two assignments."
Teacher: "So as you were telling us this, what were you thinking about?"
(Teachers and parent expect answer something like "That I need to use my planner all the time.")
Student: "That I wasn't telling the truth."
Group stifles a collective laugh. Student removes glasses and wipes eyes. Teacher thanks student for having integrity. 

While we'd all probably prefer to work with students like the latter, more of them fit the description of the former. But both provide us with moments to teach and to learn. Both offer lessons in veracity and in caring. And we gotta love 'em both. 

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