Teachers, Stop Telling Students To Value Our Health, Then Lower Our Grades If We Miss Class
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Student Life

Teachers, Stop Telling Students To Value Our Health, Then Lower Our Grades If We Miss Class

We’re told we need to put our health first, but it’s implied that your grade will suffer should you do so.

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Teachers, Stop Telling Students To Value Our Health, Then Lower Our Grades If We Miss Class
Claudia Wagener

In college, one is bound to get sick at least once a school year. For most students, this happens in the fall, when colder weather makes catching a cold a likely occurrence. It happens even to people who hydrate, get enough sleep and wash their hands frequently. Staying home is usually in the best interest of everyone — it allows a sick student to get rest and prevents other students from getting ill as well.

So why are students penalized for missing class?

At my university, the standard attendance policy is that four absences mean your professor will lower your final grade by 10%. They also typically take off daily participation points per absence on top of that. I missed one day of class, and my overall grade went from an 84% to an 81%.

Pretty harsh penalty for being sick.

Had I gone to class, I would have learned practically nothing anyways, and I would have exposed my germs to others to potentially get them sick as well. But, I would have gotten my daily participation points, which are really only based on if you’re physically there in a desk. Otherwise, I don’t have to do anything to earn them. My mere presence grants me full points.

So, is it easiest to just go anyways and feel gross?

Sometimes a student isn’t literally sick, but they’re stressed and overwhelmed with responsibilities. Taking time to rest and not focus on school is healthy, and sometimes an entire day is needed. That shouldn’t be met with a stern belief that the student is just being lazy. Chances are if they chose to go to college, they want to be there, and for this time, they just need to rest.

Of course, during dead week, students live by the motto “sleep is temporary, GPA is forever.” We tend to suffer those last two weeks as we attempt to pull together everything we’ve learned in preparation for our finals. It’s hard to stay on top of one’s game when there are a million things due. It’s my third year of college, and I still scramble at the end of the quarter. I’m sure that’s the case for many others as well.

My point is, cut students some slack when they miss your class and realize they’re doing it for their own well-being, whether or not it’s the end of the quarter. People get sick any time of the year.

In another class of mine, I was marked absent for being a minute late because in the real world, if you’re late, don’t expect to be taken seriously. Then I was sick one day at the beginning of the quarter and one day a few weeks later. So I have three absences in that class. I was sick other days as well, but I came to class anyways to get the attendance points. I’m on thin ice... I can’t miss another day or else down my grade goes.

Stay healthy so you don’t have to worry about that nonsense! And don’t miss class (unless you live by “Cs get degrees,” which is valid as well).

Missing lecture days is much more insignificant than missing a lab, a test or a presentation. So it’s best to allow students to stay home when sick so they don’t end up poorly prepared for a major class. Don’t make their final grade lower because they were sick. Evaluate their knowledge based on how they performed on tests.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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