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Privacy and Harassment

I hand back quizzes by passing the pile around the class and letting students grab their own. Is that okay?

Remember, the key idea is that students should not be able to figure out each other’s grades without permission. So if put the student grade in a big circle on the front page, you method is NOT okay. If you discreetly put the grade on the last page, that is better. The best way is to put the grade on the last page, and also to hand it back to them yourself! It’s a great way to learn their names faster, and they do appreciate the fact that you know who they are. -EH

I have students fold their papers in half lengthwise and put their name on the outside. Then I hand back an alphabetized stack.-JK

What is the policy on publicizing grades?

You can not post your student’s name with their ID on the same sheet ever! If you do you must dispose of is securely.

I know the university is super-cautious with grades. One of my student's parent wants to discuss the student's poor progress with me. How do I deal with this?

This is a university and the students are treated as independent adults. It may seem cold, but I suggest you keep your relationship to being just with the student unless your student authorizes you to discuss his/her work with someone else. After all, the parental involvement could be unwelcome.

Here is one GTA’s careful e-mail response to a parental offer to help:

Thank you for your email. While I appreciate your concern, I am not at liberty to discuss a student’s progress, or grades, with anyone other than him or her. The University has very strict rules about this. I can say that I look forward to meeting with (Student) and outlining a plan for his success. I am very dedicated to helping each of my students, and will continue to make myself available to assist them outside of class and beyond my office hours as needed. I trust (Student) will keep you apprised of his situation.

Any thoughts on sexual harassment?

Obviously, don’t do it, and don’t take risks around the edges of questionable behavior. We had an incident a few years ago when a GTA said inappropriate things to students. He thought he was making jokes, but the students thought he was offensive. So take to heart the standard warning about maintaining a professional relationship with students. Office doors should be kept open unless the student asks that the door be closed. GTA’s have to know not only to behave themselves but not to put themselves in a position where they could be accused of misbehavior. -DM