Our semester’s almost over, and my sophomores have one major project left. About a third of my classes are failing, and about a fifth of each class has such a low F that, even if they get full credit on the final project, it’s impossible for them to pass.
Granted, most of those irredeemable Fs rarely, if ever, show up, but there are more than a few who show up every day. They just don’t turn anything in.
Some of them are quite bright, and, given how many of the assignments are credit/no-credit, should have the highest marks in the class. Throughout the entire semester, they don’t do any of the work, whether their in-class work or the rare homework assignment I’ve assigned.
Clearly, they weren’t motivated enough, even to come in at any time during my turn-in-make-up-assignments-at-lunch week. Nobody showed up after school when I offered time to help them out.
At least one world history student stopped showing up last month. Since then, truancy caught him once and forced him to come to class. I took the opportunity to ask him why he stopped coming to class. Exasperatedly, he said:
I already have an F. I’m already going to have to re-take this class. Why should I show up?
I checked his grade after class, and he was well within the passing range; he still had a shot. I would have told him this if I had seen him since.
So many have resigned to their fate already. Is there anything more I can do but resign along with them?