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Andrea,

I recently wrote a column for RTDE re: teaching students responsibility.  On
the one hand, I agree with many of the points you made.  However, locking
students out is not always the answer.  I was thinking about this last night as
I was taking an alternate route home because a tipped trailer truck accident
had major highways in downtown Minneapolis, enroute to & from campus for many
folks, tied up for hours.  This am I learned on the radio that what took so
long was trying to remove the driver from the truck.  They finally had to
amputate his leg on the spot.  He is currently in critical condition.  Many
students on their way to evening classes last night were likely delayed because
of a situation over which they had no control, and at the time had no idea how
much longer they would be sitting in stopped traffic.  Should those students
arrive, finally, to a locked door?  I know that life is not fair, but I also
know that there have been times when I have appreciated that someone took  the
time to hear my side before judging me.  When we lock students out, I think we
are making a judgment before hearing the facts.

Jeanne Higbee

Motyka/MathCenter wrote:

> Steve Runge said:
> >>It sounds like a few legends about stern disciplinarians
> >>is enough to keep us from having to be ogres.
>
> A faculty member here brought an end to students arriving to class late by
> getting keys for all her classrooms and locking the door when class began.
> I was surprised (should I have been?) when the students complained about
> things like whose watch she was going by. One student even rattled the door
> for a few moments and then went and got a janitor to let him into the room.
> But all this eventually stopped. She has not had to lock a door in 2
> semesters and has no problem with lateness anymore. She has her reputation
> now.
>
> In comparison to offering rewards for behavior which should not need to be
> rewarded (bonus points for perfect attendance, etc.), the repercussions for
> unaccepatable behavior were stressed - if you're late, you are absent and
> still responsible for the work. I think it sends a stronger message when
> there is a price to be paid for wrong behavior instead of prizes awarded
> for behavior which should have been there in the first place.
>
> Andrea Motyka
>
> Director of Math Center
> Washington College
> Chestertown, MD 21628
> 410.778.7862