Thursday, October 18, 2012

Second Chances

Yesterday, as I was walking to my advanced Composition 1 class to give a midterm, I was stopped outside my building by three students.  I had recently given all these students second chances. 

My students will tell you I'm tough when it comes to grading, and deadlines are deadlines.  However, I do have a heart, and occasionally I allow students a second chance, when I feel their situation warrants such a move.

Two of these students were in my online World Lit course.  They were active in the beginning, then completely inactive for two weeks.  The online course is only seven weeks long.  They came to my office, and explained that they thought they could drop the class, but found out they couldn't drop the class, and they needed the credits.  Could they please rejoin the course and make up all the work???

I was skeptical, but I gave them very strict deadlines -- like finish one unit's worth of work in one day -- and told them if they didn't keep the deadlines they would fail the course.  I was happily surprised when they dove in and did a superb job for the rest of course.  So they saw me yesterday, and ran over to give me a handmade zippered small bag - see picture.

The other student also needed a second chance.  She had experienced a plethora of personal problems, and asked if she could make up the missing essays.  I also extended a second chance to her, but she decided to drop the course instead.

All three students were grateful to have a second chance, though the outcomes differed.  I will continue to extend a second chance, in very limited special circumstances, to needy students.  I'm thankful for the second chances I've gotten in life!

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