These are all actual statements either a colleague or I have heard from students. Maybe you've heard something similar, too?
I think a lot about the burdens our students bring with them into the classroom, and I try to keep those burdens in mind when weighing the importance of a missed deadline or poorly completed assignment against the life challenges they are facing. And I get caught sometimes. Caught between holding standards firm and clear for each and every student, and making allowances for circumstances the likes of which I have never had to face in my privileged life.
Students must earn their credential from RRC, I know that. And I firmly believe we must hold them to account as adult learners. But what margin is the right margin to give them in the face of sometimes very challenging personal circumstances?
How can any student learn effectively when hungry? When sleep deprived? When homeless? And how can we best teach for learning when our students are carrying heavy burdens in their personal lives?
I'm not looking for easy answers here, because there are no easy answers. But I am wondering what your experience is with students who are struggling with life's circumstances. I'm asking for your wisdom in how you deal with them.
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