F very good?

In Korea, my students understood their grades. They knew they should be sad if they scored 50% on an exam, and they knew they could be happy if they saw A+.

Saudi is different. Not only do the students not know how to take an exam, most of them don’t even understand what it means when they get their results back. They don’t know that anything under 60% means they’re going to have to retake the class.

As a teacher, I didn’t realize how much of a stress this could be. I’d gotten over dealing with the results of poor performing students. It’s (mostly) never fun, but I’ve done it enough for my heart to glaze over during those post-exam, class periods.

In Saudi, though, since the students don’t understand the grading system, not only do I end up having to give them their exam scores, I also have to answer the¬†inevitable tough questions that follow.

“Teacher, F very good?”

“Teacher, why no score?”

“Teacher,” as he points to 47%, “What meaning?”

The students who flunk the exam because they hardly ever show up aren’t so much of a problem. They don’t come up to me to ask about their scores after class. They’re probably not in class at all the day the scores come out.

It’s the students who try but can’t keep up who ask.

Like for the rest of class, I need to remember to answer these questions before they come up, just to save myself the wear and tear.