A couple of weeks ago, the course coordinator for finite mathematics (one of the courses I’m teaching in the fall and the first class for which I’m preparing standards) came to discuss my ideas. The concern is that I would, potentially, be giving so many make-up quizzes. Aside from the extra work and stress it would put on me, the main issue is that it is fairly standard here for professors to have a “No make-up quiz” policy (independent of other faculty, this has always been my policy, as well) and mightn’t students in other sections of the course become hostile to their instructors upon learning that they can’t re-assess content while their peers in my course can?
The Unspoken Bit
This next year will be my third year at Suffolk and that marks a key point in my academic career—the 3-year tenure review. The last thing I want is to jeopardize tenure by irritating faculty, especially those faculty who have supported me and are simply trying to avoid disasters.
The Spoken Bit
Another faculty member supported my system, arguing to the course coordinator that as long as I didn’t use class time for re-assessment, then my system isn’t a problem. I argued that there is still the issue of other faculty being affected by my cavalier ways, but he was not impressed.
The Tricky Bit
I think they’re both right. If other students react by challenging their teachers, it might turn those classrooms into nightmares to teach. On the other hand, some of those classrooms may already be nightmares to teach; I should have the authority to design my course around demonstrably solid academic principles and it isn’t clear to me that the other students will respond so negatively to their teachers.
“…and to make a long story short—TOO LATE”
I’m not sure what to do. I want the best for me and my students, but not at the cost of making the lives of twenty or so adjunct faculty extremely difficult. Ideas, anyone?