Teacher Behavior Scores A Zero

, , , , , | Learning | August 3, 2017

(We have a fun Hispanic teacher for geometry that is known for making sassy remarks or off-color jokes. They were sometimes borderline racist, but since she was another minority, it never seemed like a big deal. Then, there was the day we got our final projects back. Essentially, we had to use shapes drawn with protractors and compasses to create a picture of some sort. She is going around with a clipboard with our final grades on it.)

Teacher: *to another student, serious tone* “You failed.” *smiling* “Just kidding, you got a 100.”

(The teacher does this routine to one or two more students in the class. There is some idle chatter, but most of us are somewhat listening in out of curiosity. The teacher eventually reaches me.)

Teacher: *serious* “You failed.”

Me: *forced laugh, waiting for real grade*

Teacher: *still serious* “No, I’m not joking. Your project looked exactly like someone else’s. Cheating is not okay.”

(I know there is no way this could be the case and that she may still be joking, but I start to get worried.)

Teacher: “You failed this assignment. This is serious. You got a zero.”

(At this point, I’m convinced I did something wrong and start crying because I think I just failed the final.)

Teacher: “Just kidding. You did fine.”

(I start hyperventilating when I cry, so I am just gone at this point. I am not loud, but cannot say a single word without gasping. The class is watching by this point because she had spent so much time on me. The teacher continues giving other people their grades and I try to calm down. But then my Spanish teacher and her friend comes by to say ‘hi’. My Spanish teacher is super nice and I have never had any problem with her. She can see me crying.)

Teacher: “Oh, hey!” *they chat for a little bit before the Spanish teacher asks what happened with me* “Oh, yeah, look at the little Asian girl crying over her grade.”

Both Teachers: *laughing*

(I wish I was joking. At this point, I ran out of the classroom. I don’t remember if someone else got my stuff for me or if I walked back in, but I never trusted that teacher again. Last time I heard, she got fired for making inappropriate comments. Looking back, I think it was the betrayal of trust by teachers I respected than anything else that set me off.)

Teacher Does Not Score A Perfect Ten

, , , , , , , | Learning | June 26, 2017

My art teacher in high school was a piece of work. He was a good artist, but he had a very narrow view of what constituted ‘art’ — anything even vaguely cartoon-ish didn’t count, for example. He also tended to play favorites. For a while I was one of the favorites, but something changed in my senior year and he started to get hyper-critical of my work.

That year I was in an AP art class, since I intended to go to college for illustration. Some of the assignments he gave us were insane, especially for a high school class, but the nadir of the class for me was an assignment where he wanted 12(!) finished pieces, all in different styles, in two weeks. That’s almost a piece a day, and insane when you consider we had all of our other classes to consider, too.

I worked my absolute hardest, and managed to come up with 10 pieces. Not all of them were very good, but what do you expect on that deadline? I got to the class to find that, in spite of my worries over being two pieces short, I actually had the most pieces out of everyone there. Most only had three or four, and a few only had one or two, though admittedly they were all higher quality than mine.

However, I did not get any kind of recognition from the teacher for all of my work. In fact, he continually picked up various pieces of mine and referred to them as ‘crap’ in comparison with my peers, and he didn’t even mention the 12-piece goal that I was the only person to come even close to hitting. By the end I was crying silently in the back of the critique group.

Thankfully, the whole spectacle was so ridiculous that my classmates — even the ones receiving positive feedback from him — stood up for me, and one of his ‘favorites’ spent most of the critique rubbing my back and telling me she was impressed that I managed to do as much as I had in so little time, and that the teacher was completely out of line for talking about my art the way he was. But I do attribute a lot of my anxiety with my art now to that class, and the way he moved the goalposts.

Cheating Is Never The Answer

, , , , , , | Learning | June 22, 2017

I am a freshman in college working late one night on some homework with another classmate. Our professor encourages us to compare answers with our classmates to make sure we understand the material before handing it in. Our school has a very strict no tolerance policy against plagiarizing so while we are allowed to compare answers, we are not allowed to simply copy another’s homework. It’s about halfway through the term and usually there’s another girl (we’ll call her M) working with us in our study group. For some reason she can’t make it and asks for us to send her our answers so that we can go over them through email. However, once we send them to her we never hear back, despite sending her multiple messages. We eventually decide to just work without her in order to get the assignment turned in on time.

We don’t see M in class the next day and later that week I receive an email from my professor asking me to meet him after class. Naturally I spend the rest of the day trying to figure what I did wrong. Turns out the TA’s in the class noticed that M had turned in screenshots for most of her answers. Normally this wouldn’t raise suspicions since many students like to do their assignments by hand and turn in scanned copies. However, in M’s case they notice the handwriting doesn’t match up with the rest of her answers. Turns out that M had taken screenshots of my answer, pasted them into her own assignment, and sent it in!

Of course this got sent on to the Honor Board. I went through weeks of anxiety submitting a testimony, evidence, and having multiple conversations trying to clear my name. I even offered to have them pull my text messages to show that I never gave her permission to copy my answers. I didn’t care that M had messed up her own academic record but I was raging that she had put my own in jeopardy as well. In the end they cleared me and M was suspended. I’ve never been so relieved in my life and since then I’ve had no patience for anyone who cheats. I’d rather fail a class than get kicked out of school. M tried to contact me through Popular Social Media Site sometime during the next term. I simply deleted it and blocked her.

When Homework Doesn’t Work

, , , | Learning | June 20, 2017

(Our teacher has a rule that any work we don’t complete in the lesson is to be completed as homework. However, as she doesn’t care much for homework either, she usually gives up 10 minutes at the start of a lesson to catch up.)

Friend: *huffs* “I hate homework!”

Teacher: “I do, too…”

Friend: “Why do you force it on us, then?”

Teacher: “[Friend], I’ve taught you for three years. My policy has always been the same. If you have homework, it’s your fault.”

Friend: “It’s a stupid policy. Why can’t you just not give us homework?”

Teacher: “Because then you would never get your work done.”

Friend: “What do you mean?”

Teacher: *sighs* “Every time you have homework, it is because you didn’t finish your work off in the lesson.”

Friend: “Wait, what?”

Teacher: “Why do you think [My Name] and [Other Friend] have never had homework?”

(Friend looked at all of us as though this was a shocking revelation. Three years! It took him three years to clock on!)

Try Putting That Excuse On Paper

, , , , , | Learning | June 17, 2017

(I’m sitting in Spanish class when I overhear this conversation:)

Teacher: “You had the whole weekend to work on this paper. Why didn’t you do it?”

Student: “I couldn’t send emails!”

(It was a paper assignment.)

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