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Topics/tags: Teaching, short

A few weeks ago, my department was in a training session and someone posted a question for us to discuss. I think it went like this:

A student comes to you and asks for an extension on some work because they are feeling stress from an assault that happened a year ago. What do you do?

My answer was

Give them the extension and then make sure that they have someone that they are talking to.

A colleague noted that it’s not necessarily equitable to give one person an extension since you haven’t made that option available to everyone.

I’m pretty sure that my students know that I’m a softy [1] so I don’t think that’s really an issue for me. And even if I was a bit more strict about these things, I’m pretty sure that I would make an exception in situations like this [2].

Nonetheless, I was somewhat sympathetic to my colleague’s point, even though it’s not my approach. After all, we want to be fair to our students.

Our speaker had an interesting take on the matter. If I recall correctly, it was.

Not everyone is coming from the same place. Equity can take many forms.

And they were right. It can be equitable to give one student an extension and not another, depending on the two students’ situations. It’s just a different kind of equity.

Postscript: I wonder if the difference of opinion between my colleague and me [3] is revealed in the third letter of our Myers-Briggs personality types? Perhaps they are a T and I am an F [5,6].

[1] Literally and figuratively.

[2] It’s hard to tell because I’m not the more-strict type of person.

[3] Is that supposed to be my colleague and I? I don’t think so. Grammarly doesn’t either [4].

[4] Or at least it objected to the I in the prior endnote.

[5] Is that the right part of Myers-Briggs? I rarely get it straight.

[6] I realize that Myers-Briggs is not necessarily accepted by many psychologists. Nonetheless, I find it useful as a way to think about the difference I mentioned above.

Version 1.0 of 2019-10-08.