- I am not an English major, so I shouldn't be held to the same standards as people taking this class who want to be English teachers. Sorry to break it to you, but college doesn't work this way. Courses are not individual experiences. They are designed for specific outcomes. If you are taking a class as an elective that is required work for someone getting certified to teach the subject you are held to the same standards and expectations.
- None of my other teachers expected me to do X. So, I shouldn't get counted off for it here. Every class is a new experience. It's a lot like a new job or going to work in a new department at the same company. The context (there's that word--if you are in my classes you'll see it a lot) determines a lot. So, your last teacher didn't make you put your name on your paper? Great for him/her. That's not how I operate. When in my classroom, you are expected to follow the guidelines I give.
- I didn't realize you left any feedback on my draft, so I didn't change anything. I shouldn't be penalized because I didn't know. I post updates in the board every time I return a rough draft with commentary. Not only does it announce the feedback is in your grades area, but it also outlines specific revision points that the entire class needs to consider. If you aren't reading and applying your feedback points are lost because you're not meeting your end of the deal.
- I had to work late so you should let me turn in my paper without penalty. All major assignments are posted on Day 1 of the course. This means that if we're in Week 6 of a six week course that you've had the assignment sheet and calendar of due dates in your hands from the start of the course. As an adult, you are expected to manage your time. We all have sick kids, sick parents, dogs who eat our homework, bosses who are mean and don't understand. It's up to us to navigate that world. Adult-ing is hard. Thankfully, I don't have to judge if one person's adult-ing is more of a burden than another's because we have an institutional late policy that means late work gets no credit.
- I have never struggled like this and have a 4.0. Some people are better at some material and fields than others. If we were all great at everything think about how hard it would be to pick a job that suits us. This kind of statement really isn't relevant; maybe you're having a bad six weeks and your performance in my class is where the pressure is showing. Or, maybe you're simply not putting for the same level of effort that you perceive you are (sometimes when I run it's hard and I think "man, I'm going really fast." My pace on my Nike+ shows that I'm not. That's the difference between perceived effort and reality. It happens in classes, too). If you are struggling and don't know why, sit down with all of the feedback--both from interactions in the board and from papers. What patterns of behavior seem to be an issue for you? Make a list of notes that demonstrates to me that you really are interested in doing better and that you've actually read and processed the notes I've given you. Then ask questions. Don't just fling at me that you're a 4.0 student. That isn't relevant. And don't put in the discussion board that you made an A+ in the class before this one--that's like discussing your salary at the company cocktail party. It's gaudy and inappropriate.
I once had a professor (Dr. Anderson) who replied to my request for an extension on a paper in a 16 week course with something like, "I'll give you an extension, but realize that it can become an albatross." I turned the paper in on time. The extra time wouldn't have been useful because he was right--it was better for me to focus and meet that deadline than it was for me to think about the extra burden that extra time added on me as a student, which would have been more paralyzing than putting aside other things so I could finish the paper.
Realize that when you are in a classroom that you are not a customer. You are part of a learning community. If you're not showing up and collaborating your grade will reflect that. If these courses didn't require showing up and being present, applying instructor feedback, learning new skills, we'd just ship you a textbook and some scantron sheets and be done with it.