compassion.

i wonder sometimes if i have too much compassion.  can compassion get in the way of fairness, or does it insure fairness?  grading papers today, i know of at least one instance where i gave a student the benefit of the doubt (maybe my instructions just weren’t as clear to him since he was absent…?), and on others, i proudly wrote a 60 as if their little amount of apparent effort was insulting to me.  i let a student read instead of take a test today because i knew that he had been absent at a funeral in new york when we had read and discussed the play as a class.  there were others missing the test for a field trip, so shouldn’t he, who just lost his grandfather, get the chance to wait another day or two?

how is it that we try to standardize this thing called education when so many individuals are involved?  so many individuals with so many situations and outside factors?  isn’t it all relative…or is it?  am i just too nice?  too quick to be “understanding”?

i mean, what is the point of education?  to trick students into bad grades? to have a no-pity poker face or to invest in their future success?  to show them grace in hopes that they’ll show it to others?  to remind them that we are on their side and want them to be the best?

teaching is constantly walking on a tight rope.  there’s such a strange line between too personal and too impersonal.  between too understanding and not understanding enough.  between too compassionate and too cold.  which way am i going to fall?

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