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English Teacher Keeps Bringing Down My Grade For No Reason

sbtenacioussbtenacious 4 replies3 threads New Member
I'm a sophomore. I have English II Honors, and my teacher keeps bringing down my grade for no reason. First off, my teacher is a compulsive liar. He literally lies about anything and everything. Seriously, even his colleagues know he's a liar. Whenever we complain to other teachers, they aren't fazed and tell us that's how he is. One time, he gave us a Kahoot pop quiz and said it was 200 points. When all of our phones kept loading and started slowing down, we told him we weren't able to answer the questions. He then said that he programmed our Kahoot for that to happen, and kept clicking through the questions even though no one could answer. After that, he said that in college, professors will give us Kahoot tests and if our phones start to malfunction they'll just give us an F because it's not their problem. So afterward, he said that "that's why I don't do Kahoot tests" and then said that we would have an actual test where all the answers had to be written in (no multiple choice). This was the day before Thanksgiving break. When we came back, he literally took us to the computer lab and gave us a Kahoot test.

He also doesn't follow the syllabus. We are in Quarter 2, and it says we're supposed to be reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" but we've been working on "The Laramie Project" (a true story about a gay college student named Matthew Shepard who was brutally murdered in Wyoming) since school started. That's literally all we've been doing. One time, he was reading the script to us and he was reading a part where a guy was talking about the murderers. He said, "the murderers came from broken homes, like black youth." One of our classmates was following the script on her phone and told him that the script didn't say anything about black youth. He lied and said that he has a different version of the script. Mind you, we are a Title 1 school where 99% of us are black. He also made us write one page in our journals about what would be going through our minds while we were torturing Matthew if we were the murders.

Recently, we spent 3 days taking notes on the History of Theatre. It was a ton of information. We all literally had a minimum of 10 pages of notes in our notebook. On the last day of taking notes, he told us that we had a test on it tomorrow. When we entered the classroom the next day, we saw Kahoot on the projector. He told us to choose a partner. Then, he told us to face our desks to each other. He told us to get one laptop. Then he told us to choose who would be Person A and who would be Person B. He then said that Person A would take the Kahoot test and Person B would write a one-page essay on the history of theatre. The combination of the two would be both our grades. My hand was literally shaking while I was taking the Kahoot "test". No one had higher than a C on the Kahoot, and he was happy about that. He even wrote on the board that nobody did well. And he made sure that even with essay factored into it, no one got higher than a C on the test overall.

When the whole class started complaining, and people were telling each other how they were going to tell their mothers, he said that bringing our parents up to the school isn't going to do anything/stop him. He said that his IB class took the test and they all got 100's. We know the students in his IB class and they never took that "test".

Is this going on at other schools? Because I didn't know that a teacher could use a game quiz where we have 10-15 seconds to answer a question as an actual test grade.

All of this happened yesterday. A couple of my classmates and I ranted to our freshman English teacher. She said she was going to print out the syllabus and report him since he's not following the syllabus in the first place. She said that what we're going over is not even in the curriculum. Also, my friend's mom is planning to speak with the Head of the English Department. But again, I don't know if all of this will actually happen.

He likes to manipulate grades. In the first quarter, we had to make a website. He gave me a C on the project. When I talked to him so that I could understand why I got a C, even though everybody else had at least a B or higher and I didn't do anything wrong on the project, he lied about what he wanted us to do. He said that one of our webpages was supposed to be a whole page, even though he never said that. And, nobody else's was "one page" but they had higher grades than me. He didn't even give us a rubric on the project. He just made up stuff on the spot as to why I got a C and there was nothing wrong with my project. I literally went over it with him and read everything out loud and said "Oh, there's actually nothing wrong with it. But the page with theme analysis is supposed to be one page." I fail to understand how you can see if something is "one page" on a WEBPAGE. And even then, we didn't have a rubric, he never said anything about it, and my theme analysis webpage was literally similar to everyone else's.

He also grades our "participation". It's out of 100 points. I currently have a C in participation, even though I haven't done anything wrong. He uses our participation grade to manipulate our overall grade. When I asked him why my participation was C, he said that the only way to raise it is to raise my hand up in class. There are rarely any opportunities to do this, and when I do, my grade still doesn't change. He says that our participation grade will go up and down based on how you do that day. Literally, there's a girl in the class who is quiet and doesn't raise up her hand or anything, and she has an A. So, I know that isn't the issue. One day, he used a bunch of smelly markers. The whole class started to complain because the room was already stuffy and the room started to smell horrible. People were complaining loudly, saying if he could open the window and everything. He was silent for a couple of minutes and then went up the board and wrote that our grades were going down, meaning he was taking points off our participation grade. He took off 10 points off of mine, 5 off of one other person, and nobody else. People who were complaining the most, who were closest to his desk, didn't have their grades changed at all. I was on the other side of the classroom and all I did was cover my nose.

I haven't done anything wrong to this teacher. I don't disrespect him, I keep quiet, and I don't even call him out on his lies even when the rest of the class does. He literally told us a few days ago that Juice Wrld died because he was in the bathroom and had the flu, so he accidentally drunk too much cough syrup and passed away....

He keeps messing with my grade (I really don't play about my grades, I have all A's except for his class) and he's unpredictable. I'm going to talk to him on Wednesday about my grade again, and ask him why my grade hasn't changed even though I'm quiet and "participate" when need be. I always make sure I'm kind and respectful to him so he doesn't have a reason to say I deserve my grade or that I'm a disrespectful student. If he lies again, I'm thinking about my mom meeting with the Head of the English Department so we can find a solution. I'm just scared that he'll start grading my stuff even harder and make it impossible for me to get an A in the class. I've cried over this class way too many times. What should I do???
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Replies to: English Teacher Keeps Bringing Down My Grade For No Reason

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3503 replies11 threads Senior Member
    Is it possible that you can switch to another teacher for next semester? I would make this request. Tell the academic dean or whoever that you as a college-bound student are frustrated by the arbitrariness of the grading and you would like a fresh start in another class. Your mom could follow up.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2658 replies55 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    He sounds like a bully, although we are only hearing one side of the story.

    If you have approached him in the past about his grading, lack of rubrics, and what you can do to improve, then perhaps all you can do is, in fact, escalate it. Have your mother talk to the head of the department, but insist your guidance counselor and principal (or VP) be part of the discussion as well. Don't be surprised if they include the teacher. Arm your mom with a printout of all the facts as you have outlined them here. Add even more dates and detail if you can supply it.

    Your concerns about retaliation are valid. That is precicely why you want more than the head of the department involved. If it happens, the more people involved in hearing the complaint, the more people will be watching his performance (and he will know they are watching), and the harder it will be to cover up or bury his shortcomings. If your classmates are experiencing the same, encourage them to get their parents involved in a similar way.

    Keep in mind, though, the goal isn't to gang up on this teacher, but to make administration aware that there appears to be a problem with his organization, methodology, and skill set, and this teacher is likely in need of additional coaching in order to be effective in his profession.

    Good luck to you.
    edited December 2019
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