Ohhhhh, The Things They Say…

On Friday February 19, I attended a discussion on “fine young scholars and their classroom excuses.” The Georgia Southern University presenters leading the discussion included : public relations professor, Urkovia Andrews, communication studies professors, Dr. Abby Brooks and Dr. Chris Geyerman, and theatre professor, Kelly Berry. This panel lead a hilarious conversation about common student excuses and ways to deal with them.

The professors recounted their favorite excuses they have heard:

  • “I regret not doing the final paper, but I just don’t understand why you failed me.”
  • One student claimed their mother died… THREE TIMES!
  • Students at a christian university often ask: “Will you show me some grace?”
  • One student claimed to have amnesia and even produced a bogus doctors note

Dr. Geyerman came prepared with some example e-mails he has received from students in the past, as he read them out loud the major theme he addressed was responsibility. He expects his students to be mature adults and to take responsibility for their actions. Professor Andrews talked about the recurring “family issues” excuses and the struggle professors often have on how to deal with them. Professors want to be compassionate but they also have to be fair to the other students. Some suggestions for how to deal with these problems are:

  • A coupon that allows a 24 hr extension on ONE assignment for the semester
  • Establish common ground, every student will have roommate problems and family issues sometime during this semester. that is life, not an excuse.
  • When approached about turning in late  Ask the student “Put yourself in my position. How would you handle this while still being fair to the other classmates?”
  • If a student asks for an extension, refuse them in front of the class. This reinforces that fairness is being applied to everyone in the classroom.

One Response to “Ohhhhh, The Things They Say…”

  1. Andrews Says:

    Thanks for writing this post and attending the session. It’s always nice to have student’s weigh-in on the conversation.

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