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Poll: Have you ever asked your teacher to raise your grade to one higher than your work deserved?

Just once or twice 0 (0%)
Yes it doesn't hurt to ask 1 (3%)
No but I've thought about it 4 (11%)
I asked for a higher grade but I thought I deserved it 11 (30%)
Never 21 (57%)
   Discussion: Asking Teachers to Change Grades
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 14 years, 5 months ago
I've had 5 students this semester either question their grade or ask me to change it. In every case they wanted a grade higher than their test grades warrented. One student's highest grade on a test was 51, and he wanted to know why he failed. My officemate says that students in our school ask for grade changes more than other schools. I never noticed it till this semester. I'm trying to figure out how much this sort of thing happens. I knew some students in high school, including the valdedictorian who always worked their teachers for higher grades. I only questioned one grade. It was in high school English. In the first marking period all my grades were above a 90 except for two compostions which I got an 85 on. She gave me an 85. My average was well over 90 and I asked her why. She said I shouldn't worry, she just didn't want to have to lower my grade the next marking period. In the second marking period I once again got above a 90 on every test but got an 85 one a composition. Once again I got an 85 and she repeated her rational.

In the third marking period, the one that counted on my records, I repeated my grades from the first two marking periods. Once again she gave me an 85. When I asked why she said, "I couldn't just raise your grade like that after giving you an 85 the first two periods." I pretty much just rolled my eyes and let it go. OK I didn't let it go, it still bugs me. I didn't do anything about it though.

20 years later I met that teacher playing bridge. She played at the same club I played at. I am proud of myself for being nice to her and never bringing it up.
A girl named Becca Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
I can top that. I have a student who's gotten a 60% (the lowest grade I'm allowed to give) in my class in all 3 marking periods of this semester. Today I caught him red-handed cheating on my final exam. It was so blatant that when he saw me figure out what he was doing he said "alright, you caught me." Then later on he asked me to give him a project he can do in the next 2 days to make up for the 0 he got on his exam so he can still pass my class. Even though he was already clearly failing long before that, in a class where the ONLY way to fail is not to try.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
OOO we can turn this into a teachers complaining about their students forum :

What did you tell that student?

I had one student that I caught cheating on a test. I gave him a 0 but because the class did so poorly I told htem that if they corrected their work at home and handed it in I'd give them 60% of the credit back. I was soft hearted and let him do that. He ended up getting a 60 on the test. I'm sure he copied the entire thing. He failed the final by a huge amount, he go something like a 40. He then accused me of being prejudiced for failing him. The school decided to let him take a make-up final. This was two year ago. He still hasn't taken the final. He always says that he isn't ready yet.

A girl named Becca Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
Well, I didn't have a chance to consider, so I told him I'd think about it. I'm going to tell him tomorrow morning that there's nothing he can do in 2 days to make up for a consistent lack of effort for 18 weeks OR to demonstrate that he knows enough of the material to move on to Spanish 2. So, no, you decided to earn an F, you get an F.

I'm not looking forward to the conversation even though I know exactly how right I am.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
I hate that part too. The only student I gave bad grade news to was one that I really liked. He was a great guy just didn't do the work. I let him know that I thought he was smart and that I liked him on a personal level and that I know if he did the work he'd do great. He is someone I might have actually gotten through to.
caroline: tired. · 14 years, 5 months ago
What about when you do the work and you don't get the credit for doing it? I have two assignments in world civ being counted as 0's, even though I handed them in. I've asked my teacher about them, she just says she "hasn't gotten around to grading the late work." The only reason it was late is because I was absent, and handed it in the next day.
That's what happened with the 50 point packet, too. All the work was completed and correct, but I got a 40/50 for being late. It was late because I missed a page of notes, and since the only way I could get them was from someone else, and they all had to turn in their packets, it took a couple days for me to get the notes done.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
That's just unfair. You should complain. I don't know how your school is organized, is there a department chair? If not then to the principal. Do it calmly. Don't be accusatory. You don't want to put the school on the defensive.
caroline: tired. Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
*nod*

It's even worse that it's more than just me. This kid who's in a couple of my classes injured his hand and can't write, and he has a couple of the same issues. I write for him most of the time, but for homework and stuff, if his parents aren't home that night it takes more than a day. He asks her about this, and lets her know ahead of time, but then when he goes to turn it in she counts it as late.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
You really need to take this up with a higher authority. That is just wrong. No wonder you don't like the class.
caroline: tired. Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
I need to take it up with her again first before I go higher. And that's only one reason I don't like the class. :)

The other one is that she doens't teach.
sheryls · 14 years, 5 months ago

i never asked for a grade change, but my last final of my last semester of college, that my graduation itself depended on, i did ask that morning if i could take it later in the day. i had stayed up all night angsting about it and hadnt slept a single wink. another section of the class was taking it later, and he said no :/

i squeaked out of the class with a C, 1 point above a D. i had to have a C to pass since it was a required elective :P

*hung on by†a thread*

Phoenix · 14 years, 5 months ago
I never asked for a grade change out of a whim but IIRC I asked for a grade change thrice proving the teacher wrong in these cases (presenting evidence) and always got the grade change.
*joolee* · 14 years, 5 months ago
When a bunch of friends and I did this half-ass'd poster on the death penalty depicting all of us in various states of execution, our group begged the teacher not to fail us.

We got just a point above failing... :)
Yvonne Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
That sounds almost as good as my grade 10 English project group's idea to make a video montage of different ways to kill a mockingbird for our To Kill A Mockingbird presentation. ;)

Unfortunately we didn't have the resources. One scene required a blender.
sheryls Back · 14 years, 5 months ago

for spanish II class, we had to make posters for Foreign Language Week at school, and i did mine last minute. we had a list of suggested slogans. two on the list are "Sonrie en Espanol!"† (Smile in (with?) Spanish!) and another was "Habla espanol o muerte!" (Speak Spanish or Die!).

I combined the two and drew†a huge smileyface (using my bird's cage as a perfect circle template and spools of thread for the eyes) hastily colored in with markers. I then took a 3rd circle and placed it in the center of the forehead, colored it in red and drew blood dripping down the face. i used my (this was 1995, folks) dotmatrix printer and MSWord to print out in giant letters: Sonrie en Espanol o Muerte! :D

I got a 'b' and the teacher was just horrified by it, she hung it in the darkest, lowest corner of the classroom :P

Talcott Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
For 11 grade American Humanities (English and History combined) we had to come up with our own version of the New Deal. We had a few weeks to work on it, but sorta forgot about the project until that day. Fortunately, class was after lunch, so we smuggled a bunch of supplies out of the art room, and threw together a basic poster board. We then went into class and each of us took turns throwing ideas out there off the tops of our heads. I think we pretty much suggested anything that might possibly generate jobs or money.

The great part was that our presentation was used as the good example my the teachers (it was a team-taught class). Our plan was "broad" and "full of possibilities". I think we did better than we would have had we spent the time to come up with something.


Then again, when one of the other groups suggested a giant shopping mall (complete with a happy sun!), we weren't up against a lot ;-)
Rachel Marie aka RAI · 14 years, 5 months ago
One of the first things I was assigned in high school English was doing a research paper on any topic we wanted. I wanted to do mine on aliens, and I told my teacher and he said he didn't like the topic but I could go ahead and do it. I took out all the non-fiction books on aliens and I actually called a Ufologist from our local chapter of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and recorded his interview and everything. Most people just interviewed a neighbor or a parent. I was SO PROUD of this paper, and when I got it back, I got a C! Why? Because my BIBLIOGRAPHY was done wrong. He didn't grade any of my content, just the bibliography. I never questioned his methods, but I wish I had. I put my heart and soul into that. No wonder for the rest of my high school career I couldn't give a crap about my papers. That is until 12th grade when I made up for it by doing a paper on the Pagan references in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and got an A. Thank you Dr. Raff, forever will you be the savior of English class.
Mamalissa! Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
Odd off the topic story about Tess of the D'Urbervilles. For some reason, half of my English class was pronouncing it as Tess of the D'Ubervilles when we first got the books, though it was clearly typed D'Urbervilles in the text. Then someone noticed it was printed incorrectly on the spine, which is where we had all seen it first in the library, and we figured it had imprinted in our brains.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 14 years, 5 months ago
Getting more off topic. That reminded me of something that happened in college. There were signs up about a discussion on "Women in Love." My druggie roommate got all excited thinking it was about Lesbians. I didn't tell him it was a novel by D.H. Lawrence. When he came back all disappointed I found that I was as wrong as he was. The topic wasn't "Women in Love." We had both misread the odd font. It was actually "Women in Law."
meh · 14 years, 5 months ago
For a Jr. High Honors English class, we had an assignment to show our understanding of items on a list of poetry terms and concepts, either by finding a poem that was a good example, or by writing our own. I wrote my own for each one (and boy was concrete poetry a headache). When I got the paper back, a few of them (the only one I even vaguely remember was alliteration, I think. And I'm probably spelling it wrong) had notes more or less saying I'd over-done it. I pointed out to the teacher that since I was supposed to be providing an example, of course I'd over-done it (and it had been very intentional. I've never liked doing anything on-purpose with poetry, and so writing the examples was sort've like a little creative writing drill for me, to see if I even could come up with anything for some of the form stuff, specifically). She very politely apologized, and I think I got a few more percentage points. Not enough to raise me a grade, but it was enought to make me happy.
Michael Paluzzi · 14 years, 4 months ago

As a college professor, i continually am asked by students why they didn't get a higher grade. And my typical response is because you didn't "earn" a higher grade.

My grades are calculated via a spreadsheet, and the students have all their grades except for the final exam.† So they have a pretty idea where they stand in the class.† I try to make it so there are no suprises come grade time.† But there are always a few........

I made additions to my syllabus this semester stating:
"8. Grades are non-negotiable. Every effort is made to keep the student aware of their progression throughout the semester. If at any time you have questions surrounding your grades, please see me before or after class.
9. Course grades are not given in this class. Thatís not to say students will not receive a grade upon completion of this course - each student receives the grade they EARN as a result of completing the assignments and exams."

Now if I make a mistake calculating a grade, I will obviously fix it. But if i hear "but i needed an A" or a B or C, just one more time i'm going to scream. Coming to class and doing decent work doesn't equal an A. An A is superior, and if your work is not superior, then you will not get a superior grade.

I have a similar policy for late assignments. I don't want them. If you learn nothing else in my class, it will be that deadlines are met, or I don't want the work. Call my crazy, but I tell them this from day 1, and last year, out of 120 students, only a few missed assignments.

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 14 years, 4 months ago
What do you teach?

I use a spreadsheet too. That speeds things up so much.

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