What should I do....?  I did an English project and I worked very hard on it. Today was the due date and I handed it in. During class I noticed the teacher marking them. I saw him look at my...

What should I do....?


I did an English project and I worked very hard on it. Today was the due date and I handed it in. During class I noticed the teacher marking them. I saw him look at my project, read one paragraph out of one of the 5 parts we had to do, and give me 40/60! He didn't even read the project and he did this for all the students. I don't want to confront him because I'm scared!

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous post is exactly right.  I think that once you receive the project back, you should put it aside for a day.  There seems to be a note of hurt and strong disappointment present in your voice, so I would take a break from it.  Once this day has passed, you do need to confront it, so I would look it over and as objectively as you can, examine where the points were deducted and what his comments, if any, were.  Where did he suggest the points were lacking?  If you have a rubric on grading, or some type of measuring stick that tells you how the grade is determined, I would use that to see if you followed what was present.  I am not saying you didn't, but it might be helpful for your case to be able to clearly identify where you followed the guidelines in attempting to find explanation for the score.  Once this is done, I think you have to open a dialogue with the teacher privately and away from others.  I hear you on your fear.  Completely agreed.  Yet, this will not be the first time that you and someone in the position of power over you will have disagreements and I believe that you have to become used to the idea that discussion does not have to be adversarial and oppositional. You simply want clarification as a student and are entitled to that.  I agree that telling your folks about what happened and how you are going to speak to the teacher is a good starting point.  I think this might be a life lesson, a teachable moment that will far outstrip the work itself.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I feel your pain. I'm an English teacher--6'4 and 290 pounds. I know I have frightened a few students in my time, but once they've gotten to know me, they know I'm all bark and no bite. Perhaps this is the case with your teacher. In any case, ANY student should be able to receive a responsive explanation for ANY grade given by a teacher. That's one of your rights as a student, and one of his responsibilities as a teacher. You could be wrong about him not reading the entire project, or you may have failed to answer one or more parts properly. I would absolutely request an explanation of your grade, but I would try to make it in a non-confrontational manner. You could be right; after a second (or complete) re-reading, he may reconsider your grade. What can it hurt? It's the end of the year. If you don't get a satisfactory explanation from the teacher, you still may be able to speak with the department head or a counselor. I've changed many grades and, as a student, had lower grades than I've expected. It's part of life, but you still deserve an explanation and a fair shake, so don't let this pass without bringing it up on Monday. Getting your parents involved is another option, but I'd talk to your teacher first. Good luck.

timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All these posts are good information.  I would add that you should bring this situation to the attention of the Chair of the English department.  If you are absolutely certain it is happening, the it's probably happening in all 5 of the teacher's classes.  When a Department Chair hears that things are happening in their department that do not reflect well on the work of everyone, there are ways they can bring this up that will not threaten the teacher and will not reflect back on you at all --- I did this for years.

But it is important that someone with supervisory responsibiliies be aware of what is going on in the department --- and I am sure they will move to remedy the situation.


besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Any student should be able to talk to their teachers comfortably. I think what may be the best thing for you to do is talk to him about your grade. Ask him why he gave you the grade he did. Ask him to explain this to you so that you can improve yourself. You definitely do not what to be confrontational. Remember, he is your teacher and you should be respectful, but not scared. Teachers are very happy when their students show that they are genuinely concerned about their grades.

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with the above posts, and feel it's important for you to review your own knowledge of the project before discussing it with your teacher. If he feels that you did not fully cover the requirements, either direct him to the portion of your project which does reflect that you completed all that was asked of you, or request an oral exam instead. Perhaps by showing that you are confident in your work, he will see that you indeed achieved more than he originally saw.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might have missed his complete review of your project.  Yes, it's true that teachers sometimes do choose one part to grade.  Don't confront your teacher or be rude.  Ask to speak to him and go over your paper.  Ask him to tell you specifically where you lost points.

nissou | Student

First,have confidence in every thing you do even it is simple. This confidence encoureges you to confront either your teacher or any other person. Second put in your mind that's your right to undrestand what is the problem with your work in order to correct if there is a mistake or misundrestand to the topic. third your hesitation and fear don't let you to improve your level

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