Afterword: With and Because of Genevieve

Afterword: With and Because of Genevieve

Donna Qualley

Two Contrasting Student’s Views on Participation Policies

From a Student’s Retrospective-Prospective Draft:

“We were able to create our own unique classroom guidelines. This was a really cool experience for me. I have never been given a position of power within a classroom environment, and I have never been asked to contribute my input in classroom rules. My instructor gave us a few days to discuss topics like late work policies, attendance, punctuality, electronic use, and common annoyances. We divided into small groups and all contributed to these topics. Afterwards, we all reviewed the general consensus of the entire class and made our own participation policy. Here are some rules we came up with: It is acceptable to miss three classes without explanation or penalty; late work will be accepted up to three days past the original due date; there is a 20-minute grace period in order to be considered present in class for the day. This was so different from high school, where the rules are constructed by the teacher even though it [sic] may not reflect the writing culture of the students. It is special because no other English 101 class had rules identical to ours. I felt that discussing rules and expectations with my classmates was a great way for me to feel more comfortable within my environment. Every person was able to have a voice, and that made me feel like an adult."

From a Student’s Course Evaluation Comment

“I was most frustrated with the participation policy. As adults who have been preparing for college for four years, I felt it was a pointless waste of time coming up with a set of rules that I felt we all had in our minds. I feel like it’s up to the teacher to choose how to deal with late assignments and such. This would be nice if all of our classes were run like this; however no other class really lets students choose the rules. If English 101 is supposed to help lead us into college, how is doing something exclusive to this class helping?”

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