When it comes to excuses about missing homework, most teachers have heard a lot from elementary and high school students. From animals eating their assignments to out-of-this-world scenarios, students give many explanations for why they cannot submit their work.

Believe it or not, adult learners also have their share of justifications. The difference is that many of them are actually true. The following are the top reasons that I have heard over the years about why their homework is missing.

  • I was too tired

Many adult learners, particularly those who are in graduate school or are reviewing for something, know that the professor cannot discipline them in the same manner as they do undergraduates or high school students. Because they are working, taking care of the home, or both, they simply tell the truth, which is they did not have enough energy to do the homework. Despite this, they should still be reminded of the importance of managing their time so that they have enough energy for their assignments.

  • My computer was on the fritz

Another common explanation is that something was wrong with the computer or even the internet connection. Viruses, broken parts, or faulty internet service providers do exist. So as their teacher, we cannot directly say this was a ploy for an extension of time. But if it happens often, then one has to wonder just how true their story is.Because many ladies do use several bags, this is something that happens quite a bit, especially if the student comes to class directly after work. For students who keep switching bags, I recommend them to assign a particular one for school so that they do not forget again.

  • I thought it was due next week

On many occasions, one or even more students claim they misheard the due date. As busy adults, it is possible that they mixed up their dates. But of course, they may also be trying to pull a fast one by saying it is the teacher’s error, not theirs. There is also a possibility that instructions were not delivered well. To ensure it is not the latter, it helps to post the due dates on the whiteboard (if you use one), on your PowerPoint presentation, or in the email that you send out. Verbal instructions alone are subject to misinterpretation.

  • I didn’t think it was important

Depending on what you are teaching, you may find some adult learners giving you some attitude. This may happen in classes where the grade is not of importance, like in review classes.

Even if the assignment was really below their capabilities, you need to remind them of their purpose in joining the class. Practice makes perfect, so they should still do their homework to make the most of their time in class.Regardless of the level you teach, teachers will always encounter someone who has an excuse for not doing their homework. For adult learners, although the justifications may be true, it is still important to encourage them not to do it again.

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