Thursday, October 31, 2013

This is a Rant

Every year I become struck more and more at how entitled younger generations assume themselves to be. They don't pay supply fees, feel others should subsidize them or even that teachers should magically be able to pay for all materials out of their own pockets. Even more, these same students often believe that they should not be held to the same criteria as others. They blame teachers, the schools and indeed everyone but themselves for failure.

While I do have some diligent, intelligent and courteous students, today I was faced again with what I can only call rank ingratitude. I teach an AP Art class. My students have deadlines every three weeks. Sometimes, if a student is struggling or has bitten off more than they can produce, I have been known to extend deadlines. In one particular case a young man slept through the first three weeks of class. Parents were called, but no return calls were made. The second three weeks I did the student the favor of listening to his case and extending deadlines on the first work. Needless to say, all subsequent work was late up to the day of the semester exam, which is a portfolio for this class. Rather than twelve pieces, this student had nine. He said he couldn't find work from earlier classes so I cut him a break and gave him an 80 on the portfolio rather than the 70 he deserved. I also accept work that was weeks late for a late grade to avoid zeros.

So imagine my frustration when this same student comes striding in after school complaining about my favoritism to other students and demanding to know why I was so hostile to him. I admit it, I lost it. I had had to confirm grade changes with my principal in order to give the student credit for late grades and as a result his grade jumped from a 60 to a 72. And after extending deadlines, working to get him a passing grade, he accuses me of favoritism and hostility. I told him he needed to get out of my class if that was his opinion. I have beggared myself to get supplies for kids. I have done without things to get kids enrolled in elite schools, writing recommendation after recommendation. While a few express thanks, more and more I am getting the impression that too many kids are gaming the system through intimidation or extortion to get higher grades. I'm tired of the ingratitude.

No comments: