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How far can teachers go?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bob Clayton, May 19, 2004.

  1. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    As teachers, aren't they supposed to be supportive of students and act as role-models? Not being critical and unsupportive?

    I think my teacher took it too far.

    On my paper that I wrote, she gave me a 78 ( which is a C in my school, C's are 74-81). fine, if she thinks that is the grade i deserved, so be it.


    the comment she wrote was what got to me and IMO totally uncalled for and unprofessional.

    on the cover of my report was written "This is the worst paper I have ever read here at BTHS."

    if it is the worst paper. why didn't she fail me?

    is this becoming a common practice for teachers or should i talk to administration about this?

    btw. she is known through the school for not being a good teacher, and she has had atleast one other complaint against her.
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    clay, she shouldn't of said that.

    i'm a firm believer of positive reinforcement - you are obviously smart enough to challenge this - this is good - its making you think.

    as to the other students that can't deal with this like you - she has failed as a teacher - she should get the "F"
  3. fatbassjazzer


    Feb 27, 2004
    Harsh man. Thats really odd how she can say it was the worst paper she has ever seen and yet you get a 78. Some teachers are doing some really weird stuff and its getting on my nerves. I had to do a research paper earlier this year, and in one of the sentences i forgot a comma. My teacher took off 10 points. I think thats a little ridiculous to take off 10 points for forgetting to put a comma though. Long story short, i lost everthing for my research paper and I got a 37 on it. OUCH! It knocked my grade down about 15 points. The final tomorrow determines weather or not i go to summer school. *crosses fingers*
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Yeah, some teachers are stupid and spiteful. Pretty much your only option as a student is to have your parent take it up with the principal. I think you have a real case for inappropriateness if it can be shown that she has ever given someone lower than a 78 on a paper. It probably won't result in any action but at least it would be another mark against that teacher in the eyes of the administration, which could possibly lead to her watching her behavior...or maybe she'll just get even more psycho and take revenge on you in more drastic ways. It's your call.

    brad cook
  5. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Former teacher on board here.

    So you get a 78 which is a C, and you get a comment that it got was something like "the worst paper ever". The problem here is inconsistency. Two of the keys to effective teaching is consistency and clear expectations. Niether was met here.

    If it were the worst paper ever, you should have received an F. Unless she's one of those teachers who don't give anyone less than a C out of kindness or inflating their performance, the comment was not consistent with the grade. C passes. If she's saying that the worst paper ever passes, what does it say about the class?

    The other problem is that her comments were not helpful to you. What made it the worst paper? What could you do to improve? Those would be helpful questions to have answered.

    As a former teacher I have to say, teachers are humans, just like cops, doctors, and adolescents. They make mistakes and have feelings. Could have been an "off" day. Maybe you laughed the hardest when your buddy shot her in the a$$ with a rubber band. Who knows? Yeah, teachers should be professional. The problem is that the only true 100% 24/7 professional is a Vulcan or a robot. Only in school can a kid be a total prick to their teacher/boss,slack off, goof around and still get promoted. Sorry kiddies, it doesn't work that way in the real world. (BTW, the last comment wasn't intended for you Clay)

    So you're all pissed off. What do you do?
    Take this time to work WITH your teacher. Give her a chance to explain why you got the grade you did, why you "earned" that comment, and what you can do to improve next time. If she isn't clear, then you have room to escalate the situation. If she refuses to work with you, then she's a problem. But, if you can work with her, it's a win win situation.
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    If the teacher was clear in the beginning about how and what your paper was graded on, it's fair. If not, then it's stupid.

    I taught history, but I still included grammar and punctuation in grading. I made it clear that it was included in part of the grade, how it would affect the overall grade, and examples.

    I know it must look mundane to you, but, if anything it will teach to proofread and pay attention to details :D

    Anyway, good luck on your final so you can spend your summer jamming on your bass.
  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Damn slackers. Try having drunk Jesuits for teachers you little whiners. :D :eyebrow:
  8. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Also: If he's in college, I think it's perfectly fair to knock 10 points off for bad punctuation, grammar, or spelling. By then, you should either know what you're doing or know how to use the tools available to you (spelling and grammar check, etc).
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I've had teachers that would work something like this:

    In you case the C grade comes from: Doing the assignment, completing all the assignment parameters, proper spelling and grammar, turned in on time, formatted correctly...etc.

    or whatever other more 'technical' stuff

    The A or B grade comes from whether or not your paper is actually doing the assignment WELL.

    Now, I can't say I agree with this method, but I've seen teachers work like this before. I don't really dig Grading at all, personally I think it should all be about comments and critique, but that's way more time consuming for the teacher I guess.
  10. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I don't believe that grades are not an accurate discription of a persons intelligence or work. I actually dispise grades. They should critique you on how well your idea is, or how well you can show what you know and how hard you work on something.....other then how well you can remember something for a day or two until you take the test....or how many grammar and punctuation errors you make in a paper.

    Seriously.....for one of my classes i got a D+ on a major paper. It said the idea was good and all. But the reason for this was because i had a lot of grammer and other such proof reading errors. This wasn't an english class. This kind of stuff really discourages ones self confidence.

    I wish more teachers out there felt this same exact way.....
  11. I agree with what jive said. It is inconsistent and not helpful to you in any way.

    You should talk to your teacher about it, but make a point of expressing your concerns in the most intelligent, polite, and respectful way you can. If you take a harsh tone or are overly critical of her teaching methods then she will not listen to what you have to say (trust me ;) ).
  12. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Knocking it down that far for grammar and spelling is harsh; but I really think that by the time you're in college you should be able to clearly and eloquently express your point.

    Besides, if there isn't any sort of grading being recorded, does everybody get an A just for showing up and turning in work (albeit, the returned work would have lots of comments and self-esteem boosting phrases like "I really,really like this, but...").

    My design classes have critiques for each that have gotten more brutal as the classes have progressed. People bitched a lot about it, but of all the design I've gotten paid for, I've never once been told "you know, I really, really like this ad, but could you maybe, if you have time, tweak this block of type in the headline a little bit." All you'll hear is "This headline needs work. Fix it." That's best-case.

    I don't think it's fair or building of realistic expectations to pat every student (especially at a college level) on the back and tell them how great they are unless they really, truly are turning out some badass work.
  13. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I'm going into a lot of art and design stuff. I actually like the way they critique, it helps you realize how and what you need to improve. If you really work hard enough on something hand on then you shouldn't have anything to worry about (unless your just god awful at it, in that case you probably wouldn't be taking the class). Hard work usually shows,

    Regular testing is what i'm against. I think you forget like 90% of the stuff you memorized for the test just 2 days later. If your like me, your awful at taking tests. When i get a bad grade in classes like these, espically the once where the entire grade is based off of just 3 tests, i think it just tells me i'm bad at taking tests. I don't think your grade should be based like this.

    As for the grammer and spelling thing, i have always been bad at that, always have been, always will be. Usually my posts prove that point :p
  14. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Yeah, it does. The cream'll rise to the top. I mean, some of it is talent, but there's a lot of safe things to do that'll just about always make good, solid design, and it's good to realize what those rules are. I think that critiquing is one of the best tools you'll have to realize what you're doing right and wrong.

    I loved my sociology tests this past semester. They were all in-class essays. Tests like that, I think, really show whether you actually know what you're talking about or not. My history of graphic design and illustration tests were retarded, like you're talking about. All they were was a slideshow where we had to regurgitate the information we were given in the form of names and dates. I didn't learn anything in that class, cause once the test was over I didn't really retain much of it unless it was a period or designer I really liked and did reading on my own time about.

    Well, that's what spellcheck's for (although it'll bite you in the ass if you're not careful). I generally don't worry about it too much unless I'm writing copy. I can understand your posts, which is way more than I can say for a lot of people. :D
  15. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Sometimes instructors make harsh criticisms to motivate you. In my required English class for college, I scored C's and D's in five of the papers for the semester, but ended up with a B+ (there was no curve). He gave out bad grades to get the student to look deeper into the technical stuff.

    But then again, maybe she didn't even read your paper at all and wrote some bad comments and gave you a high C to compensate...
  16. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Welcome to the "real world". In most corporate workplaces bad spelling and grammar will not be tolerated. The odd typo etc is okay, but if you have constantly bad grammar and can't string together a formal sounding letter then you may have problems.

    A lot of people (myself included) take proper spelling and grammar for granted, but if you ever land yourself a job where a lot of time is spend creating documents, then you better know how to do it properly, because I can guarantee that your boss will get sick of proof reading everything you do before it can go to a client.

    FWIW I think the orignal poster should take up that comment with the school administration as it provides nothing in the way of objective criticism of the work.
  17. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Right on the money.

    Additionally, it doesn't' matter if your idea is good if you can't pull it off technically. It's no different in bass playing (for some topicality) - the greatest idea in the world can sound like bunk if you can't play it.
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    i'm an english teacher, who quit and now subs, basicaly due to the fact that waking up on a saturday morning to 200 essays that needed to be graded was to me the absolute worst torture imaginable. i hated it beyond belief. especially when 175 of them were written by kids who were nearly illiterate. it was really a difficult thing to do. it was incredibly hard to keep a good attitude. i didn't want to write things like your teacher did so i quit. i made the right choice.

    when i was in my freshman year of high school a teacher told me i was a really creative writer. he lied. i sucked. my writing sucked. but because he kept telling me that, i thought i was great and began to LOVE writing. in college i had ego maniac professors that knocked down every single thing i wrote. hate to admit, but it really disheartened me after a while, and i don't write nearly as much as i used to.

    what i believe you have is an ethical dilemma. if the teacher is a bad seed, and it's not just your opinion i would heavily consider having your parents speak with the principle. parents calling the principle with something like that has a whole lotta weight, at least in the school i work at. chances are it's going to weigh heavily into the teachers career. wil it help her to be a better teacher? i doubt it. will it keep her from making comments like that in the future? probably. will it threaten her job? maybe.

    on the other hand if you think it may have been a bad day for her, i'd try to discuss it with her and ask her why she wrote it.

    i don't have time to finish my thought cuz i have to get to work - and SUB, NOT TEACH ENGLISH, so forgive my terrible writing skills, typos, and lack of explaining my point. it's amazing the people they'll give teaching licences to. :)
  19. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    this is why I teach PE...and I don't take off points if your team loses a game of kickball either... ;)

    *seriously though, you've got some inconsistency with a 78 and "worst paper ever"
  20. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Bad papers come because of the lack of effort put into them. I doubt she would have said "worst paper ever" if you were a moron, because she would expect that. However, she may have detected that you spent extremely little amount of time on the paper; thus, she was very disappointed with your work. That or you blatantly ignored the assignment. Either way, her comments were likely justified, but not necessarily.