Logo Universiteit Utrecht

Docentencommunity TAUU

Lieve Willemijn

A lenient or strict teacher?

Dear Willemijn,

Due to personal circumstances some students cannot hand in an assignment on time, especially due to corona. How lenient or strict should you be in these cases? Is it necessary to ask them about all details of these circumstances? In this case it results in much more work for me, as a teacher, it even means other parts of the course have to be adjusted as well for that student.

Do you have some advice?

Kind regards,

A hardworking teacher


Dear hardworking teacher

I think many of us can relate to your question. These are trying times, for all of us, teachers and students alike.

Having said that, I believe it’s important to strike a balance. Adjusting part of an entire course is something you normally wouldn’t do, except when there’s an immediate emergency situation. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic is an emergency situation, but ‘personal circumstances’, on the other hand, are vague. You can also check this article from DUB to see if it isn’t an excuse!

If individual students can be helped out with certain measures (an extension of a deadline, for example), such that they can graduate this summer, I would not hesitate.

But… How much more work can you take upon yourself? No, is also an answer.

Good luck!

Kind regards,


U moet ingelogd zijn om te reageren, gebruik het formulier aan de linkerkant om in te loggen met uw solis gegevens.