It seems like this semester, I have more students than ever before needing special arrangements for stuff at the end of the semester. It's all reasonable and legitimate: too many finals on one day, emotional health issues, and so forth.
The thing is, though, I'm getting to capacity.
In one course, I got an electronic thing asking for a rescheduled final because the student had three finals on one day. But the electronic thing basically asked me to just set a time.
So, I chatted with the student, and found a time that makes sense for both of us, and filled out the form. That means I need to write a second final exam for this student. Okay, it's extra work, but it's reasonable and has to be done. (I do write a different exam because I don't want a copy of the one this student takes to find its way to other students, giving them an unfair advantage on their final.)
Then I got an electronic thing from another student requesting to take the same exam in the services office, but asking for it to start after the real exam had finished. So, maybe this student has no nefarious plans (I don't think they likely do), but that seems problematic, doesn't it?
I called the office, and the people in charge weren't there, and the student worker answering the phones suggested that the student probably had another final after mine and so wanted a different time because they get extra time. And I said that they'd asked for the exam right after mine, and that I'd have to write another exam. Then he said that most professors don't write a different exam. Which pissed me off. First, I think that's BS. Second, how would he even know. Third, what does it matter? If I, as the person responsible, say that I'd need to write another exam, then that's so because I'm the person responsible. I didn't tell him off, but did say that even if no one else ever wrote a different exam, I would have to. (Only many hours later did I realize I could use the other exam I will have already written.)
So I asked the student, and the student said they just wanted an extra couple of hours to study. I suggested that making me write an extra exam so that they got a few extra study hours was inappropriate (and actually, against the rules), and could she take it at the regular time. She agreed that she could, and filled out a new electronic form, which has the correct starting time. I clicked my clicks, and sent it in.
Then the wrong starting time form got re-sent to me, probably because it's an automated thing.
I have two students in another course that need different sorts of accommodations.
So I make the accommodations as best I can. But inside, I'm tired of having to make accommodations. It's especially frustrating when the accommodations are for mental health issues, which look through the semester like the student isn't coming to class or doing their work. When they communicate with me earlier on, and the deanlings that work with them communicate, it's less frustrating. But when I get an email just before the last week of class suggesting that we faculty folks might be able to make accommodations, well, again, I probably make the accommodations, but I do feel frustrated. (Yes, I know my frustrations aren't anything like as hard as clinical depression or anxiety.)
It's hard to balance the special arrangements with the requirements that other students are meeting without feeling like things are a bit unfair to someone. (At the same time, one of my colleagues is dealing with a death in the family, and we've been covering in various ways for them. And that's what colleagues should do when it can be done, of course. So, special arrangements ARE good and important.)
I guess what I'm trying to get at is that we have bigger courses, and students are more fragile (because the economy sucks, primarily, around here) and more easily derailed/hurt, and we're under more pressure to feel responsible for them (without having any real power in the world), and we're under more pressure to do more bureaucratic stuffs (assessment fail) for more students. Because of the budget crap, we're admitting students who are less prepared than our students on average a few years ago, and admitting international students who are less prepared and whose English is weaker than our international students on average a few years ago.
I have another student who's looking very fragile right now, too, and who's going to need special arrangements as well.