Most of my college students are bright, fun to teach, and work hard. But each semester I get interesting letters, emails, and phone calls from a few students. I save these, and occasionally I compile them into a column. The last couple of years I have shared some of these, and, with school just starting, I thought I’d share a few more. I don’t think any of these comments need any explanation, other than to say that I changed or removed any names for anonymity. Also, I pared down a few of them a bit.
Dear Professor Howard, This is Aaron from your 10:15 class. I guess you know from my grade that I have done worse and worse on each test until I am now failing your class. It just seems that the farther along we go, the more boring your class is, and the harder it is to concentrate. So, I was wondering what time you teach next semester so I can sign up for your class again.
Hello Professor Howard, I was just checking my grade online and it says I have an F. I’m not quite sure why that is. Could it be because I haven’t turned in any of my projects and I bombed the test? Just checking.
Professor Howard, I’m sure you want to know why I am so far behind on my work in your class, so I thought I should tell you. I have been sick, and I can’t do homework because reading your math stuff just makes me sicker.
Dear Professor Howard, I want you to know that I just checked my grades. I found out that I have missed a whole bunch of assignments that I forgot to turn in, and my grade is suffering. I want you to know that I am concerned about this because it doesn’t reflect what I have been doing in the class. I just didn’t realize a person had to turn in stuff to get credit for it.
Professor Howard, I want you to know that I took your multiple choice placement test. I feel like I almost knew every answer but I still got 0 on each of them. Somehow I feel I can do better than that.
Dear Professor Howard, I called and left a message about getting into your class and you never answered back. I was very upset, but then I realized that I never told you who I was or how to get hold of me, and my phone blocks showing its caller id. So I am including my information in this email this time, and hoping there is still room to add.
Dear Professor Howard, I am a student in your class and my name is Danyell. I just thought I should explain about the strange spelling of my name. It is actually pronounced just like Daniel, and, yes, I am a guy not a girl. The reason it is spelled strange is that when I was born, my mother wasn’t feeling too well, so she passed the paperwork to my father to fill out, and he is a terrible speller.
Dear Professor Howard, I just wanted to write a thank you note. I want you to know that I really enjoyed your class this semester and I’m glad I took it. I didn’t plan to because I saw that you are a writer, and I didn’t think someone that is a writer could ever be a very good math teacher.
Professor Howard, I need to apologize. I wrote you an email telling you that I would miss class. I then realized that your class was Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, not Tuesday like I was thinking. So I actually made it to class. I’m sorry about making it to class when I told you I wouldn’t.
Professor Howard, I am sorry I am going to miss class today. I came down with something dreadful and I have already spread it to my roommates and those who live close to me. They already hate me for it, so I thought it would be best to not spread it any further.