PSA On Missing Work

PSA: If you’re a student, or the parent of the student, or a mentor to a student, maybe check in on how they’re doing keeping up with their work. Both Kevin and I are seeing more missing work from students this semester than we’ve ever seen before (in 30 and 25 years of teaching, respectively).

In my case (English professor), I mostly have students who come to class (most of them, anyway), seem to be doing at least some of the reading, but then don’t actually turn in any of the assignments. Kevin (math professor) has some of that, but also has a larger than normal number of students who just didn’t show up for the first four weeks of the semester or hand in any homework assignments, but still plan to take the upcoming exam and don’t seem to realize they’re really behind.

Kavi (our daughter, high school freshman) has also had a shocking amount of work that she just didn’t turn in, as we discovered looking at her mid-semester grades this week. She’s catching up now, and at least some teachers / professors will allow you to make up the missing work, but the window for that will close soon. (Kavi spent all of last Sunday catching up on missing work, and she’ll be doing the same this coming Sunday).

I think this is a combination of cumulative pandemic trauma, disrupted schooling (Kev and I are both teaching lots of sophomores who had their first year of college entirely remote), lots of families under financial and other stress, and that stress having a knock-on effect to the kids who have been pressed into helping out.

I’m sorry — I know we’re all exhausted. The teachers are exhausted too, and while my two classes are small enough that I can follow up individually with my students who are missing work, that’s just not going to be feasible for a lot of teachers with larger classes (and/or more of them).

We can keep the students on track, but it’ll take a little extra effort right now, I think, from everyone involved.

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