If you’ve experienced failing a grade at some point in your life, you know the pain that follows. Your mates all leave you behind while you’re seen as the dumb older guy in your old-new class.
It’s easy to simply blame the teacher for failing you at the initial stages. After all, the teacher could have made a different choice irrespective of the student’s grade. But is passing failing students something teachers do?
While most teachers speak out against passing such students, there’re various reasons why a teacher may pass a failing student. This article will look into these reasons and answer whether they can pass such students.
Why Do Teachers Pass Failing Students
While there’re various reasons why a teacher might pass a failing student, we’ll be looking at some of the most popular reasons.
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Teachers don’t get to choose their students. You’re bound to come across a student you might dislike as a result of their behavior. Some students might outright be disruptive to lessons and serve as bad influences on other students.
Failing such students could expose younger students to this disruptive behavior which would not be good for them. Teachers may sometimes pass such students simply to prevent them from influencing younger students.
And while this may not be ideal, teachers who resort to such measures may have already experienced the impact of such students’ behavior on other students.
In some cases, the school is unable to do much about the student’s behavior for various reasons including fear of the influence of the student’s parents. These students can be outright disruptive to school activities without any significant consequences.
Some schools have a no-fail policy which teachers are unofficially mandated to comply with. Failure to comply could lead to various challenges for the teacher including transfer from the institution.
To preserve the image of the school, teachers are required to provide a minimum of a passing grade even to failing students. Society and parents expect students who go to these schools to get good grades.
Failure to do so could have negative ramifications for the school. As a result, these schools mandate teachers to pass every student irrespective of their grade or even avoid dishing out failing grades on relevant tests.
Held Behind Multiple Times
Sometimes a student may have failed and repeated the grade multiple times. In middle or high school for instance school districts may only repeat a student twice in most states before it becomes necessary for parents to seek alternative options for their child to complete a high school diploma or even GED.
Depending on when they entered preschool or kindergarten, the majority of pupils are expected to complete their education the year they turn 18. However, the US public school system only offers instruction to students up to the age of 20, thus retaking a grade more than twice would push the student over the limit.
To avoid this, districts leverage social promotion once a student has repeated a grade, especially in cases where the failure is due to some form of learning difficulty.
Some parents of students know how to work the system to get what they want. They have the necessary influence to ensure that things go their way in the case of their children’s academics.
No student likes repeating a grade for any reason at all and would do anything to progress with their peers. These parents want to make their children happy and have some form of influence that can be leveraged to achieve this.
Grade Bump Up
Sometimes a teacher may choose to bump up the grade of a student who was close to the passing grade. This is quite common, especially in cases where the teacher is aware of the student’s effort in class activities and towards their academic work in general.
If a single point would be enough to give such a student a passing grade, most teachers would happily include the point. After all, various factors could impact grades including extra credit and other academic activities.
In some cases, the student may be close to passing and the teacher simply didn’t want to deal with them for another year.
A student may have been identified as having learning disabilities and reached the upper limit of their abilities in a subject area. Basing a student’s failure or success on a subject area where they have some form of disability preventing higher comprehension alone doesn’t seem fair.
Why would you fail a kid in algebra, for example, if the law forced them to take algebra and they had a learning handicap that prevents them from even being able to perform fundamental math? Teachers could simply grade on the effort to help them to pass such subjects.
Do Teachers Pass Failing Students
Now that we have a better understanding of why a teacher may pass a failing student, let’s answer the general question.
Teachers sometimes pass failing students but only in extreme cases where the decision is influenced by the school’s no-fail policy, student behavior, parental influence, or the desire to avoid the student aging out of the system before they graduate.
Do Teachers Like Failing Students
Teachers were once like their students and were taught by other professional teachers in their academic journey. Having been through the same struggles in their education, teachers are just like any other students.
Their job in the classroom is to train their students, making the academic success of their students key. Teachers with a higher student pass rate are also well-regarded by their peers.
No sane teacher would ever want their students to fail in their academics. Failing a student doesn’t come with any joy as teachers understand the implications for students who have to watch their peers progress while they’re seen as the dumb older kids in their class.
Unfortunately, it becomes necessary to fail students sometimes to ensure that students have a better comprehension of concepts taught during the course. Students go on to become productive members of society which require the necessary training.
Why Teachers Fail Students
There’re various reasons why a teacher might fail students. And while we cannot take a look at all these reasons, we’ll take a look at a few.
Poor Academic Performance
Poor academic performance is the leading cause of student repetition. A teacher’s job is to ensure that their students receive the necessary academic training and they leverage examinations, assignments, and other forms of assessments to determine the level of comprehension of each student.
Students who are unable to meet the outlined target from these assessments may then be required to repeat the grade before progressing to a higher grade. Unfortunately, students find it difficult to see the positive aspects of repeating a grade.
Teachers put a lot of effort into ensuring that they present lessons that are easy to understand and also examples that may be relevant to their students and their modern lifestyle.
It can be quite annoying when some students refuse to attend the teacher’s class or constantly miss some classes. Most teachers would put in the effort to identify the reason behind the student’s habitual absence from their classes.
In cases where the teacher receives no justifiable reason for the behavior, the student would be given a few warnings. Students who continue to miss classes would most likely underperform which could lead to the teacher failing them.
Missing Academic Work
Education goes hand in hand with assessment and teachers leverage various forms of assessment. And while examinations could make up some percentage of the total assessment, teachers leverage other forms of assessment including assignments and other activities.
Students who neglect these could end up with lower grades even in cases where they perform well in final examinations. In such cases, the teacher may end up failing the student.
Teachers are responsible for training their students to prepare them for life after school. Unfortunately, some students with behavior problems go the distance to make the teacher’s job more difficult.
These students can be outright disruptive to lessons and rude towards their teachers. And while teachers may not take any action against such students that could impact their grades, the teacher is less likely to bump up the student’s grade even when an additional 0.5-point mark could give them a passing grade.
Academic Integrity Breach
Educational institutions take any academic integrity issues very seriously. They expect their students to be honest in their academics and students caught plagiarizing could be heavily punished.
Punishments include cancelation of paper to dismissal from the institution. Students who end up with a canceled paper would repeat the grade. However, this punishment may be on the lesser side in most cases.