Letter From Students With Borderline Grades


Emma Dessau

Emma Dessau, Reporter

To the teachers who are ruining my future over .3%:

I’m writing on behalf of not only myself, but of all my fellow classmates who lie just on the border of a slightly more respectable grade; whether it be a wannabe D, C, B, or A. We’re all in the same boat, really. What boat is that, you might ask?

‘Tis the “’I’m so so close to a better grade” boat. It’s the “I can almost taste that sweet [insert grade]-minus” club. We’re the “hi super wonderful, extraordinary teacher, can I please have some extra credit?” kids. We’re the “my grade is giving me hives, chest pain, confusion, excessive swelling, fainting, unusual weakness, persistent nausea, severe indigestion and any other potential side effects mentioned in prescription drug commercials” students.

I could write for hours about why I deserve some extra credit; a paper, attending an event relevant to your subject, some busy work worksheets, whatever your heart desires really.

I could tell you that I know that I’m not your favorite student. We both know that I never come to class with my books highlighted. I’m not the student who arrives at class with a sticky note full of germane questions I’ve been dying to ask you since doing my homework on the night it was assigned. I leave class every once in a while to visit Apollo for a snack. I’ve been late a couple of times. I forgot about that one test that one time that totally ruined my test average.

But then, I’d remind you that I do raise my hand in class. I get my work done, not perfectly, but usually. I try my best. I’m a solid 9/10 kinda kid. Which should round my 89.3 to um, oh I don’t know, a 90?

I’d pull at your heart strings and mention that I am 0.3 percent away from being a winner. That I’m 0.3 percent from making my parents proud. That I’ve always been 0.3 percent away from stepping out of my sibling’s shadow. I might tell you that my whole group has a super cool beach day planned on the day of your final and if I don’t get out of it then I’ll be a sad mess.

But you know what, this isn’t even about me. This is about YOU. You have the opportunity of a LIFETIME: you can be the cool teacher! You can be that teacher that everyone talks about (positively) in the hallway! You can be the teacher that has girls saying “Dang, I sure am a grateful young scholar for [your name].” “[Insert again] just has me absolutely elated to come learn!”

Teachers, don’t miss your chance to be the cool teacher.

Oh, and if you just so happen to be a religion teacher, then this is my official plea for forgiveness and for grace. #WWJD.

Yours truly,

Your students with borderline grades


Letter to Students Wishing/Asking For Transcript-Increases (SAWFTIs [yes we have a name for you]):

Thank you for your e-mail!  Even though I was not awake at 3:40 am, please ease your mind that my iPad did beep and wake me up.  It was with such joy that I read your request!  I think I have finally gotten through to you; I am proud that you are finally showing an interest in your grades.  Your grammatically errant e-mail asking me to wave a magic wand to make the laws of mathematics disappear brought joy to my heart.  The argument was very well thought out, but in case you forgot, let me remind you what you said: “Taking your final would really ruin my last week at Pres.” I truly apologize that an education most women around the world are clamoring for has gotten in the way of your trip to the beach.

Like Jesus, let me use a parable to address your 92.43%.

There once was a baseball player in Game 7 of the World Series.  The team was down by one in the bottom of the ninth; there were two outs and one man on base.  The batter swung and the ball looked like it was going out of the park.  At the last second the outfielder jumped and snatched the ball.  The batter’s team lost the World Series.  The player ran over to the umpire screaming about how hard he tried to hit the ball and it would really be great if the umpire could just give him a homerun because he was having a really stressful week.  The umpire felt really bad, but there was nothing he could do.

Remember students, grades are not given by teachers, but are earned by students.  I have never given a grade.  A grade is a reflection of the student’s work over the course of a semester, not a day or a week.  Your grade is not a reflection of your human worth.  I look forward to seeing you at the final exam.