“Michael” was graduated from high school with no academic skills and unrealistic expectations. Now he’s at an open-admissions college, where he’s  trying hard, but failing. What can his instructor do?

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  1. Florida resident says:

    “Siobhan Curious,who teaches English in Quebec’s version of community college, …” ,
    author of the original post,
    linked by esteemed Joanne Jacobs,
    should tell him, that life is not fair.
    No method exists to deliver this message tenderly.
    Just be blunt and honest.

  2. Not much. Inform the student where his biggest deficiencies lie, suggest where he may go to work on them, and bid him godspeed.

  3. “I must be cruel only to be kind.”

    Every hour Michael spends there is an hour that he’s not learning how to do something that he can be successful at.

    • Entirely true. The teacher should be spending time not trying to ameliorate the student’s deficiencies or trying to counsel him into another line of endeavor, but tracking down the student’s high school and excoriating it for its failure to put this young man on a path he could cope with.

      • Yeah, that’ll do something. Especially for Michael’s future.

        • But, bocomoj, how does letting him waste time and money on classes he can’t pass help him?

          • If you provide Michael with one-on-one assistance to mediate his challenges, I’ll bet he could at least eke out a D. Which is passing.

            Instead of, you know, telling the kid, “Sorry, there’s nothing you can do to become successful. Damn your high school!”

            Waving your fist in the air won’t do anything to correct the problems at the high school that graduated Michael. And it sure as hell doesn’t help Michael.

            Educators help students, no matter what.

  4. Michael was cheated by every single teacher he had, back to the first grade. How is such serial failure acceptable to anyone?

  5. To bocomoj: you don’t appear to have read the article that this post linked to. “Educators help students, no matter what” is a good generic statement, but it doesn’t mean that every student must be passed in every class. If you placed me in an astrophysics class, no amount of one on one help would make me pass unless the teacher was delusional. Educators help students by figuring out what educational program a student can succeed in, not by ignoring the obvious gulf betweene what a class requires and what the student can do.

    • Michael is in community college. That means he is taking basic liberal arts courses, probabaly in three core content areas, and none of these are astrophysics.

      The article was about his English class. Teachers all over the world teach five year olds to read, write, and speak properly. If this “educator” can’t teach a willing young adult to do these things, she is an abject failure in her career choice or just doesn’t care about Michael.

      Either way, she has no buisness being in a classroom.

      • bocomoj, empirically you are wrong: Teachers all over the world do not teach five-year-olds to read, write, and speak properly; you’ve conveniently skipped over the fact that this did not happen in Michael’s school, though you throw around a lot of disparaging words and false accusations to those you project the blame onto.