“I Do Not ‘Take Off’ Points. You Earn Them.”

A cri de coeur from a university economics professor, Art Carden, has been circulating lately, in which he begs students to understand that a) professors do not live to torture you, b) teachers are not punishing you because you don’t know everything, and c) a bad grade does not mean that a teacher dislikes you or thinks you’re stupid.  The most convincing part of his article is the conclusion.

Dear student, I once thought as you do. I once carried about the same misconceptions, the same litany of cognitive biases, and the same adolescent desire to blame others for my errors. I was (and remain) very poorly served by my immaturity….Economics is hard, but becoming a responsible member of a free society is very, very, very hard.

This plea is hitting home today, as I am about to meet with a student (if she shows up) who has demonstrated these “misconceptions, cognitive biases and adolescent desire to blame others” more blatantly than most.  And this, after a single class meeting, and only four days into the fifteen-week semester.

On Tuesday I got a call from the coordinator responsible for placing students in their intro English classes.  The weakest students go to my class, a pre-intro course meant to help with severe second-language problems.  Apparently, one of my students, M, had written directly to the coordinator, asking that she be transferred to an intro class even though she has failed the Prep class more than once.  “I assume she failed your class last semester,” the coordinator said.

“No,” I replied, “I haven’t taught this student before, but I have her writing sample right here…Let me pull it out.  I’m meeting with her on Thursday morning for her oral interview; maybe I can talk to her about it then.”

“Huh.”  The coordinator paused.  “Her email gives the impression that she has the same teacher this term as she had before.”

I was only half listening, as I was scanning the paragraph she’d written for me the previous morning.  “Nope, that wasn’t me.  I’ve never seen the girl in my life.  Her writing is definitely very weak; I hadn’t flagged her as someone who should be transferred.  However, if she really wants to move…I don’t think she’ll pass a 101 course, but keeping her in the Prep might not be effective either, if she really resents being there.”

“True.  However, this email…let me forward it to you, and you can see what you make of it.  If I’m interpreting it correctly, she’s not being honest about the situation.  Maybe when she comes to your office you can give me a buzz and we can both talk to her.”

He sent the email over.  It is indeed very strange.  In it, M does seem to be claiming that she has the same teacher this term as she did last term, but it’s always possible that her language errors are obscuring her true meaning.  Less ambiguous, however, is the language she uses to describe her experience with this teacher.  The language is troubling, not only because of the attitude it reflects, but also because this attitude is so common.

“My teacher failed me.”

“She failed me unfairly.”

“Her class was really bad.  She was never clear about what we have to do.”

“Her class has not helped me at all and I don’t think it ever will.  With her I will never pass.”

My emotional response to this is so complicated that I’m not sure I can parse it.  First off, she seems to be claiming these things about ME, even though I am not the teacher who “failed her,” and so I feel irrationally defensive.  Second, I am outraged on behalf of her former teacher – it could be one of a few people, but I know they are all excellent teachers and extremely nice people.  But finally – I am just so tired of this attitude.

How many times have I said to students, word-for-word, the admonition from Art Carden’s article: “I do not ‘take off’ points.  You earn them”?  So many times that I’m sick of hearing myself say it.  This belief that teachers “fail” you and that your “failure” is their fault is not unusual, nor is it incomprehensible.  I’m still taking courses, and I still get mad at my teachers sometimes for their grading practices and their refusal to recognize how absolutely infallibly brilliant I am.  That is, I get mad at them for a few minutes.  Then I try to analyze the part I played in the situation.

The fact is, I’ve read this student’s writing, and she’s in the right class for her level.  I don’t know why she hasn’t made more progress, or why, in particular, she failed the last time, but the insistence that she is not responsible for her failure is not just wrong; her failure is likely due in part to this attitude.  So I’d rather not have her in my class.  I’d prefer to push her on, and let her fail her 101 course and blame her teacher for that scenario.  But of course that is not a responsible way for me to do things, at least not if my motivation is just to get her out of my hair.

The conversation will happen later today.  I’m very interested to hear her explanations of the confusing claims she seems to be making, but I’m also interested in learning what I will say to her about her approach, because I’m not sure yet.

Is it possible to make an angry teenager understand that her teacher is not the one that “failed her”?  Or will only time and maturity teach that?  Granted, there are irresponsible teachers who treat students badly, but what does one do with a student who says that it is the school, and not she, who has caused her problems and must solve them for her?

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38 responses

  1. Education requires commitment from both teacher and student. Some students are simply not ready to accept their role in that equation. All you can do is give her your support, and if you reach her . . . great! If not, she will eventually fail and there is nothing you can do to help her.

    • LWW: “Support” is a funny one – I often find myself wondering what it consists of in a particular situation. I had a couple of instances last term, for example, when I tried to be “supportive” by being patient and receptive, but I eventually decided – quite consciously; it wasn’t a knee-jerk response – to be “supportive” by getting visibly angry, in order to drive home to a student how unacceptable her behaviour was. It seemed to work. I’m wondering which of these approaches might be appropriate here. I’m going to see how it unfolds before I decide.

      • ‘Supportive’ is, imo, oftentimes condescending and paternalistic. In my years (many) as a parent of 5 successful children and a teacher of many adults (at graduate level) I got the best results when I told them what I expected and responded honestly to what they did.

        Everything, everything, in life is real, not practice and reality isn’t supportive as much as it is responsive.

  2. I think it’s a maturity issue. If a student blames the school for his bad grades, then something must be wrong with the student, because other students get better grades. Teachers can try and explain that it is not them who make the student fail… but only a mature student will understand what the teacher is telling them. If that’s the case, the student will change his view on teachers and failure. Hopefully.
    Great post, Siobhan! Cheers.

  3. My colleague and I just had this conversation. It is almost as if students are refusing to take any responsibility in their education. This is so frustrating because as much as we as teachers try to give detailed rubrics, information, assignments, students will still turn and blame us for their poor assessments. I wish I knew the magic way to fix this. All that has worked for me in the past is the one-on-one talks where I ask many questions pertaining to the work they have done. Sometimes they will actually begin to see that they didn’t put any effort into that assignment and it was because of their lack of work that they received less than stellar points. Good luck and know that I (and many others) are right there with you.

      • Much of this, I think, stems from the growing consumer mentality of parents, students, and society. Education is not simply a service to be purchased and used; it involves dedication and diligence on the part of all involved in order to be successful.

        As a high school teacher, I still have to painfully defend my expectations, practices, and reasoning* because I am “preventing” Young Whoever from going to Harvard, Princeton, or wherever. There’s such a difference in perception among us of what it means to work hard, and a refusal (sometimes) on the part of those around me to realize that sometimes we work awfully hard…and it’s still wrong.

        Sorry so discombobulated in my thoughts. Tough day.

        *Don’t get me wrong. I fully expect to explain things. I just hate being blamed for something that isn’t all my issue.

        • OKP: occasionally, a student says something along the lines of, “But I’m paying your salary.” My response is always, “Yes, but what are you paying me to do? You’re not paying me to be a babysitter or your personal cheerleader. You don’t seem to understand the service you have purchased.”

  4. Age and maturity might help, eventually. Maybe not, though. I still run into people who are completely positive that things happen to them, and that their success at things is out of their control. Even basic things like ‘getting a first job’ – no-one will hire me translates to “I applied to a few places, for a position I think I should get (though not necessarily something they’re qualified for), and they didn’t hire me. So i’m going to stop looking, because ‘they’ are out to get me.”
    It’s very likely that if you tell her that it is her own fault that she failed, she’ll just continue calling you ‘that Witch who keeps failing me’.

    • Yes, there are some people who see failure as an excuse to stop trying, whether in school or in work, but be careful about the first job analogy here. Nowadays getting that first job, at least the kind of first job that family members tend to expect, is a lot more difficult than it used to be. There are plenty of people, myself included, who embarked on a particular educational program only to find once they got the degree that the jobs they trained themselves for dropped away. This doesn’t mean giving up. One may end up taking multiple part time jobs and/or work in a totally unrelated field, but I don’t think that being upset about the situation is necessarily a sign of immaturity. It’s only human to be frustrated, especially when you’d made all the “right” choices, the ones that parents and educators told you would get you on the path to success.

      • Connie: I think the “they are out to get me” attitude is the one that Lexy is emphasizing here. You’re right – we’re all frustrated when we work hard and don’t achieve the results we want, and sometimes it just isn’t our fault. The person who, as you say, takes multiple jobs or something outside his/her domain is responding to the situation in a productive way; the person who says “the world doesn’t appreciate me” and gives up (or, like my student in this situation, insists that someone else should fix the problem) is avoiding the real issue.

        • yes – Siobhan, that’s definitely the aspect I was aiming for. The “i deserve to get a great, kickass job because I exist” people are the ones without maturity in this situation. The ones Connie is describing are the ones who have maturity. Frustration is one thing, quitting any attempt to find a job (any job) is quite another

  5. I had my first day with this semester’s students yesterday and I said the same thing “I don’t give grades. You earn them” Also, “You don’t deserve an A, you have to earn it.” I have been dealing with a very hostile student over break who failed my class int he fall, and just like your student’s email, my student blamed me for everything. I want nothing more than for my students to pass and succeed. And I went above and beyond to give him multiple chances to redo assignments that he either didn’t do or were so far from the assignment that they received a zero. And here I am being attacked and called neglectful and a terrible instructor. Some days it was infuriating. Others, I was in tears. Finally, I can be annoyed and frustrated, but I know 100% that I did my job, and I did it well and he just isn’t willing to accept the consequences for his actions, or lack thereof. I have a theory as to why this has become such a problem, but it would be a purely American cause, so who knows.

    Wishing you luck with your student today and I hope she can either adjust her attitude or at least put in a little more effort to finally pass the class.

    • NTW: Oh, so exhausting; I’m sorry to hear about it. In the end, we can only fall back on what we know; we did our very best, and we can’t make up for what students fail to do. I hope your situation resolves itself, or at least fades away into nothing very soon…

  6. Siobhan,
    I share in your frustration. I am not sure what the answer is here. Unfortunately, many students feel entitled to good grades for no reason except they are breathing. If they don’t do well, it is the teacher’s fault. I wonder if we help create this by putting so much credence in student evaluations (at least at my University). I have often wished there was opportunity to “evaluate” students at the end of a semester, beyond the normal grading feedback. I think that even though it is difficult, the best thing for the student is to do what you can to make her repsonsible for her own learning, even if that means that she needs to stay in your class. But maybe there is another option that won’t be so painful for you? That is one thing with responsibility: making sure that one assumes it in his/her own life is awfully inconvenient sometimes. I have noticed this with parenting too!

    I find myself very discouraged today, so in that narcissistic commiserating kind of way, it is nice to read about another teacher who gets discouraged as well. I had a student in class yesterday very vehemetly argue against not just a single piece of Impressionist art, but against all art of the 20th C. Said this student “Impressionism is the start of the collapse of worthwhile art in Western Civilization.” This student said things that may have appeared well informed to the rest of the class, but were absolutely un-true, egotistical, uninformed. And I am not one of those people who does really well cleverly refuting things on the spot.

    Did I mention I teach a 20th C. humanities class?

    Why, oh why, does a stubborn, closed-minded student have to be in this otherwise fun and dynamic class? I don’t mind if a student disagrees with me–in fact, I encourage healthy and passionate dialogue, but I get so VERY TIRED of having to defend my entire curriculum. A curriculum devised by six well qualified, hard-working individuals. All who have spent their lives studying this topic. Why, oh why, do students spend time and money to come to class, just to inform us, the teachers, of what it is they need to learn?

    Like you, I just get tired of it sometimes. And angry too. It is one of those “why do I bother days.”

    Please let us know how it goes! And if you have any helpful advice, I would love to hear it as well. I have just barely started the semester, and I can’t imagine feeling this way the whole time. I am wondering what is the best way to handle this student before the attitude rubs off on others.

    • It is indeed frustrating when the student blames you for, most likely, their shortcomings. I have learned, having started my teaching career with high schoolers (9th grade) that I have to let it go. I will also say that the few problems I HAVE had, did not come from the 9th graders or their parents but from the college students.

      Just this past semester (Fall 2011) I had a student with disabilities. I did whatever I was supposed in regards to the ADA regulations and said student came up with a B. Not bad, two days after the semester, I was getting e-mails and phone calls from the student saying he wanted a ‘conference’ to discuss his grade. Being that the semester was over, I told him no and directed him to my department head AFTER the Christmas break. I also sent my dept. head an e-mail giving her a heads up.

      Sure enough, three days into the new year, I get a call from my dept. head, telling me that the student had filed a grade appeal and claimed discrimination. Apparently, he thought he deserved an A. My gut reaction was one of annoyance. However, I put that aside and told my dept. head I would send whatever documentation was needed. (I ALWAYS keep documentation, ALWAYS) He claiming that because he came to every class and was my ‘best student’ he should have gotten an ‘A’. Bless my dept. head, the student was told “I have plenty of students who think they are my best students too. That doesn’t get them an ‘A’.”

      Surprise, surprise, when pressed for specific details of the discrimination that supposedly took place, he didn’t have any and withdrew the grade appeal.

      This is the first time, for me, that I have EVER had a student appeal their grade and in this student’s case, with the disability, I think someone in the family was putting this student up to it. Somebody was telling the student that they had been discriminated against.

      Shame really, that someone would do that.

      What do I do when faced with such a situation? Let it go. Really, How do I attempt to keep from getting into the situation in the first place? I am ALWAYS up front and direct about my grading policy. I list EVERYTHING that will be for a grade in the syllabus. I tell the students that I am always there to listen and help but it’s their responsibility, not mine. If I don’t allow them that avenue to complain (which, by being direct, I don’t) they don’t take it, mostly.

      I have found that being direct (a little too direct according to drama teacher friend of mine *g*) no matter the age group has always been the best way to do things. I

      I think as teachers we have a tendency to over think things. Don’t do it. Remember KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Makes my life easier.

      • Amy:
        It took me years to come to a place where I realized that if a student wanted to appeal his grade, it was no real concern of mine. I had all my documentation and was confident in my evaluations; if someone else decided if he deserved a higher grade, well, bully for him. I now encourage persistent complaining students to go to grades review. They almost never do, but if they do, I no longer stress out about it.

    • Damommachef:
      “I am not one of those people who does really well cleverly refuting things on the spot.” Me either. I have very slow reflexes. I have trained myself, however, to a default setting that I have found to be quite helpful. I listen very carefully to what a student says, nodding along, even when what the student says is bloated attention-seeking doodoo. And then I ask the class as a whole, “What do the rest of you think of that?” There is almost always someone in the class who is waiting to pounce on this student and tear him apart. This may lead to other problems that need managing, but more often than not, the student feels more or less put in his place. If no one responds, or if they respond in support of the student’s nonsense, I ask them to give the topic some thought as we continue our discussion, in that class and throughout the course.

      Your student reminds me of a belligerent pain in the butt that I dealt w/ last semester, and this technique worked quite well w/ him; some more thoughts on that situation appear here:

      http://siobhancurious.com/2011/11/28/f-is-for-facile/

  7. I’m so glad I found your blog! Bravo. Bear with me (or as students often write”bare with me” and then I giggle), I have a rotten cold and may not be thinking (or writing) coherently. Carrying on….

    I moseyed on over to your blog directly from the article you mentioned. I was pulled in by the headline, agreeing with just about everything. Your blog, however, honed in on a major issue: responsibility. And here’s what I did in 2010 that made the difference, for me.

    Western Lit is a required course at our college, and I know the kids would rather be strapped into a dentist’s chair having teeth removed than reading one last epic (or even worse…. gasp!…parts of the Old Testament). Students would try every “trick” in the book to avoid reading the book. And then, the audacity of audacity, they would expect an “A” because, after all, they had endured this required class. Talk about fighting an uphill battle.

    Then I read Maryellen Weimer’s book, Learner-Centered Teaching. I read it and thought, “I can do this!” And, I did. Wow… what a change! Let me see if I can hit the basics. First of all, YES, this approach will cause you to rethink everything you teach — but that’s a good thing, right?

    1) Everything is optional. Every test, assignment, quiz… — except what you, the instructor, decide is required. I looked at all the work in my course (everything) and decided on only two required elements — two things that NEEDED to be done. I needed one assignment to determine if the students “got” the concept. The other was presenting a scene from whatever Shakespearean play we were reading that semester (obviously if that wasn’t “required” who would do it — and it is the best assignment!)….

    2) Everything is given a point value — even participation and attendance. The students are given a grade scale. It’s like shopping for points. They need a plan and they’re off and running.

    3) Two other rules are in place. First, once the deadline on anything is past, that’s it. No late work accepted. After all, I will just assume the student considered it optional. NOBODY (seriously NOBODY) came whining to me … NOBODY… for an extension. The other rule: if a student doesn’t EARN 50% of the points on the assignment or test, he or she earns Zero. Yes, Zero. That rule is in effect because you really don’t want to be reading crap and allowing crap to add into a grade. That rule places the responsibility to study, back on the student. No whining about that either.

    4) Participation. This is great by the way…. The students write the Participation Policy. Yes. Takes part of two class meetings the first few days. Then they have to Opt In. I have them sign a contract. How to grade this? The students keep track of tangible ways they followed the policy and they write 3 installments about their participation. Those 3 installments add to 50 points. The other 50 points are mine to give, based on my experience of their participation. That is the BEST. They love it, by the way, because they hear all the time “participation counts” and nobody ever tells them exactly what that means. They love defining it, and they are great at following their own policy. (waaaaaaay less cell phone use in my classes!)

    I ask for feedback on this all the time and the feedback is 98% positive with comments like “why don’t all teachers do this?” Working my class this way has also made me a better teacher. I must get their work back to them ASAP so they will know how many points they earned and they can make better choices about what to do or not do next.

    I have many students who earn A’s — and I have the documentation to show how much they worked. They worked so hard that they didn’t have to take the final. Some worked so hard they didn’t have to read “Pride and Prejudice.” Trust me, that’s a guy’s dream — not to read it.

    Dr Weimer’s book is loaded with research and many more examples of how to make students responsible for their education. Even if you change nothing, it’s a great book to read, however, it changed my life. I’m much more a happy camper. Students who have been in my Comp classes and Speech classes as freshmen actually wait to take my Western Lit class when they’re sophomores or juniors. They tell me that they know they are in the driver’s seat, and they like it.

  8. Great points!

    I teach mostly junior high and high school music, and let me tell you, the lack of responsibility thing starts young. I believe that part of the issue is that when students are young and in our elementary and secondary classrooms, there’s very little to truly hammer home points like you are trying to do in meetings. The students who really pay attention to admonitions probably either don’t need them, or don’t need a big intervention. In the absolute rarest cases I’ve seen where someone does require something like a meeting and they are willing to listen, the parents of said children often buy in with you and the problem can be solved.

    However. The students who need the absolute most intervention and education on how to take responsibility for themselves refuse to listen because of this preconceived bias. Their point of view already proclaims that you are against them, so why bother to even take your words seriously? Even worse, these situations are often (not always, there are no hard and fast rules, but often) exacerbated by a family life that is unlikely to fully support the kind of turnaround this person needs.

    Thus, by the time they get to you, it’s already a habit. There are some individuals who manage to break it later in life, but I think there’s an unfortunate majority whom our ‘you can have whatever you want, and if you don’t get it, it’s not your fault’ society has let down from an early age.

    • Jazzman:
      One fortunate reality for college teachers is that we rarely have to deal w/ parents, but when we do, we can get some insight into why some students are so absolutely convinced of their own entitlement. Colleagues have told me stories of parents who harrass, bribe and and even assault teachers in order to prevent their children from having to face the consequences of their behaviour. What are these children learning? That, no matter what, they should be given what they want regardless of what they’ve done to earn it.

      • Very very true. It makes the job of educators even more to try and instill not only good academic knowledge, but also social mores and basic skills for getting along with a world that isn’t going to give you everything on a platter.

  9. Gosh, this post could not have come at a more perfect time for me as I have literally spent the last three days grading non-stop from 7am until 11pm trying to get grades finished for the quarter ending. With high schoolers, this attitude is so prevalent it is the norm. I am constantly being asked, “Miss, why did you give me an F?” and I have to consistently remind them to ask the question, “Why did I EARN an F?” As other commenters have said, I give rubrics, give written and oral directions multiple times, allow for plenty of in class practice, and use steps for big assignments and still students are shocked when they have not met expectations.

    I think the “it’s everyone’s fault but mine” attitude is something that is going to end up hurting these kids in the future. I think immaturity and lack of good parenting (parents who support this “it is the teacher’s fault” idea) is most to blame for this, but who knows?

    • TG: Your point about how prevelent this attitude is in high school once again suggests that maturity is a big part of the equation. We get it less in college, but it is still there. Some people grow out of it altogether (or mostly… I’m not sure even the most mature of us entirely let go of the conviction that the universe is sometimes out to get us…)

  10. I have found that self assessment goes a long way in helping students understand that they are the ones who give themselves marks. With every activity I give, I ask the students to assess their work first before I assess it. I provide a rubric, they examine their own work and effort, and indicate on the rubric where they think their work is positioned. If their assessment and my assessment differ we meet to discuss the difference. Rarely do I receive work that is below standard in this way; better yet, students no longer ask me how I came up with the mark. I love L. Christensen’s article “My Dirty Little Secret” which really does put marking into perspective and reminds us that we are nurturing learning, not measuring it.

    • Dorothy:
      I agree. I have my students do general self-assessments, but the most eye-opening activities are always the ones where they use my grading rubric to give themselves points and feedback. The downside – doing this is SO MUCH WORK for the teacher. Nevertheless, I try to incorporate at least one activity of this kind each semester, as it really does reveal a lot to them about how their work is being assessed.

  11. A couple of aspects of that have not been mentioned:
    1. The students who decide early on they don’t like a teacher, so they go out of their way to show this by failing the class and blaming it on the teacher. My son tried doing this in middle school. He actually told me one day, “I hate her, and I’m not doing anything she wants me to!” I convinced him that his actions wouldn’t change anything, and would only hurt him in the long run, and thankfully he re-engaged. It might not happen too often, but I did see cases of this periodically over the years.

    2. Teachers who purposely give good grades to all students to avoid the hassles. I worked with one such teacher at my previous position-high school (I now teach college). She didn’t advertise this, but those of us who knew her, knew she gave nothing below a B. It saved her from ever having to deal with students, parents, or administrators. Made her record look good too. Guess where she is headed? Into administration! She will carry this philosophy with her from the classroom into an entire school building.

    Now that I’m teaching at the college level, I’m seeing less “You failed me” instances, but they have not disappeared all together. Something I am seeing that has surprised me is some unfairness on the part of college teachers when it comes to grading. Last semester I was one of two teachers covering lab sections for a class. Half-way through, the students had to make a presentation on an assignment. After, I sat down with the other lab instructor to talk about grading the presentations, because I felt consistency between the two sections was best, and she also agreed. Now, we both had the same rubric for grading these presentations, but, she made it clear to me that her grades were going to be based largely on the number of “uhs” she had counted in each student’s presentation. I hadn’t done this because it was not stated on the rubric. So, what does one do in this instance, me a mere Master’s degree instructor talking to a PhD instructor, yet seeing her doing something I thought was very unfair? I just nodded in agreement, and then graded my students based on the guidelines they were given.

    A third instructor in on this, the one who handles the lectures, and the one in charge of the program has designed the grading so students have to pass both the lecture class and the lab in order to earn credit for the whole thing. The grades for the lectures come from four tests given throughout the semester. What I am seeing happen is a lot of students pass the labs, but fail the tests, so they fail the entire class and have to take it over a second, and sometimes a third time. In my opinion, the tests are too hard for this level of student. I took all of them myself last semester, did not pass any, and I teach the labs! What does that tell you? The questions are higher level critical thinking questions for the most part, but some are out and out trick questions. She does not throw out questions that the majority miss, nor does she throw out the test with the lowest score. Her rationale? She doesn’t “…want to just give it to them.”

    In my opinion, this is a case of ego run amuck. If students fail her tests, then she retains the status of being the all-knowing, master of the content, and supremely smartest person in the classroom. As the lowly lab assistant, it’s very hard to bite my tongue and sit quietly as she rants and raves, not understanding, “…why these students aren’t getting this!”

    I have instituted short test review sessions at the end of every lab, giving the students advice on how to prepare, and written examples of test questions. I will see how well this works in May, but it has been a hard position to be in….and I’m seeing the other side of the coin.

    • Unheardof:
      There are definitely instances of teachers grading irresponsibly. One of my colleagues recently told me that she knows for a fact that another colleague gives all students 75%. I have not been able to verify this (and I don’t know who it is), but I regularly have students tell me that none of their English assignments were returned to them the previous semester – that is, they received zero feedback from their previous teacher. I do not find this hard to believe; I have had the same experience myself, at the graduate level. Teaching and evaluating fairly is hard, time-consuming work. Not everyone is up for it.

  12. Was just about to close my email for the night when I decided to tackle another of your posts in my backlog of posts to read (still catching up from Christmas break!).

    I am so glad that I did! What you had to share (even though a discouraging situation to you at the time of posting) was very encouraging to me. I find myself sharing your sentiments of getting tired of facing yet another student wanting to pawn off on me all the failures he does not yet know how to deal with. I am fine with a working partnership of dealing with learning difficulties, but this attitude makes partnership impossible.

    So, thank you for sharing Carden’s words and your own difficulty with this student. I thanked God for you tonight!

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