What do I do about my teacher's harsh grades?Because I'm beyond my year level in English, my teacher is being extra harsh to ensure I'm getting the most out of my education. However, this critism...

What do I do about my teacher's harsh grades?

Because I'm beyond my year level in English, my teacher is being extra harsh to ensure I'm getting the most out of my education. However, this critism affects my end marks, and those who are doing a satisfactory job get 16-19.5's, whilst to get 18.5+ for me, my work has to be Year 12 standard.

What should I do? Is there anything to do?

Expert Answers
stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is a difficult situation for you as the student and for your teacher/tutor. You are being challenged to produce superior efforts because you apparently have shown potential to be able to do so. Your teacher is responding to this situation by asking for a very high (possibly unreasonably high) standard of work.

Communication is definitely the first step in trying to resolve the dilemna. Does your teacher provide you with a rubric of expectations when you receive your assignment? If not, ask if this might be possible. When you have a clear understanding of what marks will be given for what level of performance, that may help you to adjust your responses to achieve the quality of work the teacher is demanding.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The other posts are correct concerning you dealing with your teacher face-to-face. Since he/she is treating you as an older (and more mature) student, you should try to respond in a like manner: Discuss the situation with your teacher in a calm way to get a better idea of what is expected. It's actually kind of flattering that your teacher expects more from you than the others, and you already seem to realize the true reason--that it's not a personal thing, but an educational necessity.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If these marks are undeserved and if they will negatively impact your academic future, you should follow the advice offered above and talk to your teacher. There is a chance, however, that you are not going to be negatively impacted by slightly lower scores, that you will learn the valuable lesson of holding yourself up to your own standards, and that this teacher will be able to write you an honest recommendation full of praise as you move on to your next level of study. 

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, communication is always key. I think you will find that your teacher is doing this with your best interests in mind, and that she/he will be more than happy to lay out what is expected of you, and help you reach expectations, if you just communicate. The approach seems a little harsh, as you say, but the end product may be well worth it. But the key is to discuss your point of view honestly, openly, and courteously with your instructor, and of course to work hard.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that you should talk to the teacher and let him or her know how you feel.  Also, take some initiative to advance your studies on your own.  Explain that you need good marks, but that you want to be challenged too.  You don't want the fact that you need to be challenged to get in the way of getting good marks that you will need later on.  Find some interesting, complex projects you can do that might make the process more interesting for both of you.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous two posts are correct.  You really have no choice.  I would suggest, though, that you be very careful about how you word your questions to your teacher.  Don't confront them aggressively.  Maybe say something like "It feels to me like you're grading me harder than others because I'm ahead of my year level.  Am I right?"  That's better than "why are you grading me so hard?"


accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Speak to your tutor/teacher. That is the biggest and most important thing for you to do. Speak to him honestly about your concerns and the way you feel he or she is marking your papers and how that is impacting your work. Being honest and open about it is the most important thing you need to show. Bear in mind to that your teacher has years of experience at getting the best of his students.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Go to your teacher with clear questions which will help you remain calm and objective. Think about how you will approach the tutor and what your concerns actually are. You could even write down a couple of questions that you would like to ask: are the end marks recorded as part of your progress? Can your teacher tell you your value-added performance as a key to how you are doing?

lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that you should speak to your teacher. And as mentioned above, be courteous when you speak to your teacher. Do not come across as accusatory. Be positive. Ask your teacher what you can do to get higher marks. Perhaps, she or he would have extra credit assignments.

loraaa | Student

Speak to your teacher, Communication between you and your teacher is very important.