What will your letter of recommendation say?

Last week, two students who owed me a project later that day, came asking essentially how they should get started.
It was assigned two weeks earlier.
I saw another student, in a different class, tell his classmates that he forgot his radio broadcast stories in his room. He came back 15 minutes later with an empty WORD document and began writing, again on a day it was due.
Some students have upwards of 10 skips at the semester’s midpoint, despite being told that my attendance policy allows only four.
Some students stroll into class 15 minutes late. I know I should probably lock the door and not allow them in, but that’s not how I work.
Others offer to write for the Spartan newspaper. They come to me eager and excited and vow to have their story or column done by the end of the day, or tomorrow, but it never comes leaving Spartan editors scrambling to fill a hole.
I’ve been a little frustrated lately.  I’m questioning my ability to inspire and teach. I have always felt that students like to please me and do good work, in part because I praise the hell out of them when they do it. I love it when they come to me with a draft of their story and we work on it together and it comes out in print and they get so proud – and so do I.
I don’t know why it’s different these days, but I seem to be seeing more apathy and indifference than ever before. I hate it.  
I know students sometimes have issues at home that prevent them from focusing and doing their best work. But I’m becoming more cynical about the doctor’s visits, the ill aunt and the go-to “family emergency” reason for skipping class or not doing work.
Did I go to every class while in college? God no. Did I hand in every assignment? Nope. But did I try hard for the professors who cared about me and had the ability to help me after college with a great letter of recommendation and assistance with job searches? You bet I did.
Now it’s not all doom and gloom. Thankfully there are still amazing students I deal with every day who make me smile when I read their work or see their face at my door asking for assistance.
But for those students skating by with little regard for professors or classmates, just think a little bit about your future needs, would you?.   

Think what you would write about you in a letter of recommendation to a future employer. I don’t think employers like to read “he had great potential.”

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