Almost a month ago, a teacher went to Reddit to ask if she was an a-hole for failing 27 out of 31 students in her class.
Reddit user TeacherByHeart21 teaches an 8th-grade math class. It looks like she’s really passionate about teaching, as she’s active in the subreddit r/Teachers, sometimes asking other teachers how to make teaching fun and how to handle her students better.
Failing the majority of her class doesn’t seem like it was done just because she felt like it. Just from reading the title of her post and up to the 4th paragraph, I already have my opinion on who’s the a-hole in this scenario.
The teacher wrote that she announced to her really loud class that there would be a 10-item online quiz that was going to be uploaded the day after her announcement and that it must be submitted a day after it has been posted. The quiz was mandatory and graded and she repeated herself twice to announce the importance of the quiz, she wrote.
So the quiz was posted and only four students took it. The rest got a 0.
“In less than 15 minutes, the first student mailed me that I could not just fail him. A few students joined in complaining about the 0; some of them apologised for not turning it in,” OP wrote.
But it wasn’t only the kids who were complaining. A student’s mother also e-mailed OP asking her how she could fail her child and that if most of her students failed, it could only mean that the quiz was too hard. The mother told OP that she would be an AH for failing 27 of her students.
To clarify the severity of the failed quiz, OP wrote that it was maybe 1% of the students’ grades. So maybe it’s not really that bad? But a failing grade is a failing grade, and no student would want that on their record, I suppose.
Since posting, OP has provided a lot of updates. She clarified as well that the class was loud during the entire period, but they weren’t always like that. She wrote that when she announced the quiz, the students were a bit quieter but were apparently distracted with packing their things up, as it was the end of the class.
It’s also important to note that, along with announcing the quiz verbally, it was also written on the board and was written in the class book where “stuff [is] written down in means of tasks and topics from their classes,” so I don’t think the teacher is to blame here.
The top comment said that this might serve as a lesson for the students and added some suggestions on how to save the students’ grades at the same time.
Some Redditors were not kind in the comments section, to say the least. Some have sent private messages to the OP just to insult her, and that’s not okay. Maybe it’s the parent in them that’s causing the secondhand outrage, but I think that she didn’t fail to do her tasks as a teacher. All in all, Reddit has tagged OP as not the a-hole.
“I do not need your advice on classroom management, my teaching skills, or my personality for asking a judgment of one specific situation. The situation is this one quiz. Not my general teaching, because you don’t know my teaching style, as you only got told this one single situation,” OP wrote as an update.
In the end, OP and her students came to a compromise. The children apologized to OP and promised to take the test as soon as they go home, but it would be a different test and with less credit.
Check out the original post below!