Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Changing attitudes, changing grades

There are many teachers that get offended by the way students write emails. They start off with "Hey," they include shorthand and misspellings, and they just seem rude. I've never been offended, but I also want to teach students something more proper. So I recently presented my students with this offer: Send me a polite email -- one dripping with respect and appreciation -- and I will change one of your bad grades with a good one.

And so students sent me the most sarcastic emails I've ever received. I've always thought using satire and wit was challenging, but these kids nailed it. Here are some examples:

Thank you for being such a merciful and generous teacher.

Thank you so much for your kindness in allowing us to replace one of our bad grades with a better one. I promise that the bad grade will be my last and i will always give my best to achieve good scores on every assignment you throw at me.

I'm so honored to have this amazing opportunity to change my crappy grade to a better one.

Thank you so much for being such a great person in understanding students struggles and being kind enough to provide a second opportunity to increase our grades. In taking hold of this opportunity you provided,  I  kindly request you to change my grade for "Thank you for arguing" quiz, in which the result was 2 out of 10, 20% , in accordance with  my  recent essay plan which was 28 out of 30, 93. 3%. Thank you again for considering this small favor and thus helping me in saving myself from mental and physical disorders such as depression, constant head-aches, late night sleeps, sleep-talking, etc. By doing this you are not only helping me in the improvement of my grade but also lightening my burden of worry a little, which currently seems to be the main reason for all the disorders in me.

Thank you so much for this opportunity to raise my dismal mark in English to a slightly less dismal mark. I received a total of twenty-nine (29) points out of thirty (30) on the Leadership and Madness Essay Plan, which roughly translates to ninety-six point six recurring percent (96.6%). On a previous quiz, the first Train to Pakistan Quiz, I scored an abominable twenty-two (22) points out of thirty (30), which roughly translates to a horrendous seventy-three point three recurring percent (73.3%). It would complete my life if it were possible to substitute my twenty-nine (29) points in my Leadership Essay Plan into said quiz, which would bring the total points up on that quiz to twenty-nine (29) out of thirty (30). Thank you so much for the fantastic opportunity and for taking time out of your incredibly busy and fulfilling schedule to even consider my humble request.

And more than that, thank you for helping me (along with the rest of my class) brush up on my mathematical skills. I did more calculations trying to maximize my overall grade for English than I did in all my Math classes this semester. What an incentive! I can't help but wonder if you're secretly a mathematician at heart....

You are a very, very sweet person, and I would not complain about you to [your future wife] anymore.

Thank you for this opportunity, i will work harder and focus on the criteria and rubric next time, to create better paragraphs in every essay :)

I'm truly sorry for adding another annoying message in your inbox but if you could do this small thing for me, it would really brighten up my day. I got 22 out of 30 which is a 73 percent in the essay plan. I would like to replace my first  quiz on Train to Pakistan (I'm very sorry for not italicizing.I just can't figure it out how to do it) with the 73%. I promise I'll strive for the best in the upcoming assignments. If you're not in a good mood right now, please do come back and check this pitiful message again. :)

Thank you so much for reading this. Have a wonderful evening!


Anonymous said...

Remind me never to start off with a 'Hey' again.
Hey, Mr P, are you considering offering the same (similar) deal with the latest essay that is plaguing your entire Junior class?
I'll take that as a 'No.'


PS - It's awesome that you're blogging again. Will A.M. in India come back to life too?

Anonymous said...

Hey, that made my day!!!

AP said...

Hey, PD, Nope. I'm offering a different deal. But that'll have to wait until next week. I'm not sure if I'll stick to Teacher Man or AM in India or create another one entirely. But I'm blogging so that students don't get too cranky when I require them to blog. That one will have to wait until next quarter.

And anonymous: Thanks!