Week 43/52 : A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.

~John Burroughs

I shot this sometime during the end of October, but I didn’t have time to edit and post it until the other day.

I really love my job. However, I believe that there is no profession in the world that wouldn’t cause you pain/stress every once in a while.  For most teachers, this usually happens at the end of every semester.  As much as I’d like to pass all my students and give them a grade of 1.0 for my subject, my job requires me to ensure that a student is given a grade that they have earned.  I’m very transparent about my grading system and how I compute final grades, but there are still those who are shocked to see that they’ve failed my class when the end of the semester arrives.  Their disbelief often astounds me since I return their test papers and quizzes on time, so they pretty much have an idea on how they’re performing in my class. And yet there are still those who refuse to accept that they’ve failed the subject after failing all the exams I’ve given them during the semester.  It’s also usually during this period when these students approach me and start spewing out the most absurd excuses for why they failed.  I don’t really see why they feel that they have to provide me with a reason, but maybe it’s because these excuses are usually followed by phrases like “that’s why you need to give me another chance”. Yes, that’s right, some students actually *demand* a second chance. They don’t ask you for it, or beg you to reconsider, they give you reasons on why they deserve it. Thankfully I only get a handful of these every semester. I get more students jumping up and down (or dancing) in my office while thanking me for the grade that I’ve given them 🙂

The main reason I love to teach is because of my students. I don’t know if I’m just lucky, but I always seem to get amazing students every semester.  And when I say “amazing” I don’t mean students who gets good grades, but ones who take extra steps to stand out.  Students think that teachers only remember the star pupils, but honestly it’s not grades that make a student memorable, but the effort we see from them.  True, we do remember the brilliant ones, but some of my most memorable students were actually ones who struggled to pass the course.  A lot of the times, these are the ones who find the subject so difficult that they make the effort to visit me during my consultation hours and ask for extra help. Naturally, when the pass the subject at the end of the semester, I can’t help but be extremely happy for them because I know how much they worked hard for it.  While I do occasionally get students who can only be described as “a teacher’s worst nightmare”, the good ones often make up for it. Every semester I look forward to meeting my new students because I know that there’s always going to be someone in my class who will inspire me to do my best.

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2 thoughts on “Week 43/52 : A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.

    • I’m sure some of them are feeling some sort of pressure from their parents to do well in college. In fact a lot of students who ask for second chances tell me they have problems at home. Sometimes I believe them, sometimes I don’t. I try to look at the effort they put in my class first. But in the end I still have to be fair. If I do decide to give the person the chance to improve their grade, I have to make sure that everyone in the class is given the same chance, not just a single student.

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