Kicked Out

Laura Shears
Mathematics Professor

I had to kick him out. There was no question that this student was capable of learning the material in the course that I teach, but motivation was a different issue or maybe it was just a priority problem.  Coming to class didn’t seem to be this student’s priority.  So I dropped him.

A couple of weeks later, he came back. He had a bunch of add slips in his hands and he had been going to his professors and getting them to sign.  He expected me to just sign the slip, no questions asked.  I refused.  I told him he could sit in on class and do the work. He would have to get printouts of the quizzes that other students could see in D2L.  I told him he needed to pass the next test and a makeup test with at least a 2.0 and attend every class before I let him back in.  He also had to complete another set of problems perfectly before taking the makeup test.

I have quizzes in D2L that students are expected to take before the corresponding test. He had to turn his in on paper.  Students are allowed multiple attempts at the quizzes so in order to get feedback he had to work with other students to see if his answers were working.  He would gripe about this (the fact that he didn’t have access) in the Learning Commons.  One tutor would remind him, “Well, you know if you had done the work and didn’t skip class . . .”  “Yeah, I know,” he would reply.  He didn’t want to be reminded of his responsibility.

Working with other students inside and outside of class on all kinds of problems, especially the challenging ones, seemed to excite and motivate this student. He would get very animated and excited when arguing a concept with his classmates.

Eventually I was able to let him add the class again. Immediately after he was back in officially, he skipped a class again.  I threatened to drop him again.  He must have believed that I would do it because he never missed another class.

It turns out that the student I kicked out of class, not only got a 4.0 in my class, but took several advanced math and physics classes that this school offers and did well. He just had to be kicked out to get motivated.