The current letter I want to post on my office door

Dear Students:

It is never a good strategy to blame your teacher for your poor decisions.  Believe it or not, I did not actually create an assignment so impossibly difficult that you had no other recourse but to have a friend do the work for you. That is called cheating. It is always wrong. It is never acceptable. Not ever. Even 5 year-olds know this.  Some of you have children around this age.  Ask them.

I also did not tell you to procrastinate on that big project, nor did I lead you to believe that procrastinating would not result in frustration and a failing grade. When I gave you the assignment weeks in advance, I actually did so because I expected the assignment to take you a significant amount of time.

Surprising as it may be, it is not my fault that you spent hours doing the assignment incorrectly.  My directions are not so absurdly complicated that they cannot be followed. They are worth reading at least once, however.

When apologizing to me, you probably should have stopped after “I’m sorry.” The part about how I caused your incompetence was a spectacularly poor move.  I was already frustrated and disappointed.  But now I’m angry.  And that, I think it’s fair to say, is your fault.


Your teacher

(I probably shouldn’t have waited to publish my first blog post of the New Year until a few weeks into classes, when the frustration sets in. But thank you for indulging me.)

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