Teachers, what are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by futuremathsprof, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2018

    Right, the inconsistencies in the story make me skeptical. With that said, I AM criticizing the school’s policy on awarding credit for NO work because a student is breathing. Not to mention, the district even lied about their own policy because it is stated in the handbook that no zeros should be given out.

    And if the students have nothing to turn in after 2 weeks of “working,” then it’s on them, not you. You can’t make them turn in work that they refuse to do as you cannot occupy their minds. This is one of many reasons why students are graduating and can’t read or write or do basic arithmetic. Students should not be passing if they turn in nothing and cannot demonstrate they have learned anything. They should get a big, fat F as they did not put in the work.

    Life is like a function: You get out exactly what you put in.

    Would this kind of thing ever fly in the real world? This wouldn’t fly anywhere else outside of these “schools,” so why should it in an institution of learning, either?
     
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  2. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Sep 26, 2018

    Well yes it would be a 60% average for a student who is capable of doing work at 100%. My point being that it may not an accurate reflection of what that student can do.

    Realize this is also coming from a special educator who rarely gives grades at all. Most of my students will be graduating with an alternate diploma based on alternate assessments. When I have to give grades it almost never reflects what a student can or can’t do. That’s not based on feelings, it’s based on the data I have collected to report it.
     
  3. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2018

    I stand by the statement that if students have nothing to turn in after 2 weeks it is on me. I've worked with many kids who struggle with school in every way imaginable. Not counting my first year (where I made plenty of mistakes), I've never had kids have nothing to hand in after 2 weeks. Could they have very little to hand in? Sure. It might be incomplete. But nothing is more of a reflection on me than them. If they have nothing done after a day, I intervene. They would have something by the end of 2 weeks because nothing isn't an option. Plenty times in my career I've had kids say "please Miss just give me a 0. I'd rather get a 0 than do X." I always say no, taking the 0 is not an option. So by the end of 2 weeks they will have something to submit. It might or might not be a passing something. But they will have something.

    That's why I agree with a no zero policy but think this 50 percent policy is a poor version of a no zero policy. We can give incompletes. We can give failing grades. We don't give 0s.
     
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  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2018

    If a student has significant learning differences, then they should absolutely have alternative pathways to graduation. I believe that all students can learn and have a right to information and to receive a quality education, regardless of their socioeconomic status. My comments were regarding the normative student, who does *not* have learning differences or impaired cognitive function.

    And I don’t think it’s realistic to expect every student to have the same level of achievement, but we need to have established benchmarks for all subject matters of what constitutes acceptable work and unsatisfactory work. Think of it this way: Should an employee be paid for hours they refused to work or tasks they didn’t willingly complete? If they don’t fulfill reasonable obligations as set forth by their employer, then that is a dereliction of their duties and they are dismissed.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2018

    Then your students are not being prepared for the real world. There are no incompletes in the workplace or society and employers would not agree with you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  6. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2018

    There are so many incompletes in the real world. Life is messy. Things are not black and white.

    It's amazing to me that thousand of miles away you know how prepared my kids are for the real world.

    My kids are very prepared for the real world.

    In fact often the reason they need the support is because they've had way too much of the real world. Often at 15 they've had way more of the real world than I've had at 40. Often they are working as many hours a week as me plus going to school full time, throw in couch surfing because they got kicked out of their house and add in having no transportation to get their laundry done and they've got more of the real world then I can imagine.

    They don't need me to "prepare" them. They need me to provide them an equitable opportunity to access education and that means being willing to bend sometimes. And the truth is 1/2 the time as teachers we don't even know that all of this stuff is going on in our kids lives so the reason that the province I live in chose to get rid of zeros is because if you get a second chance shouldn't be the subjective realm of teacher judgement. It is something all kids need. I know when I moved from the classroom into a support teaching role I was stunned at how much I hadn't known about the kids in my class.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2018

    I “bend” when a student or students come to me and let(s) me know they’re parent(s) divorced, that they were displaced from their homes or were moving, that a close or distant relative died and they had to attend a funeral, that they’re family pet died, that they suffered a serious injury and had to be hospitalized, that they witnessed something horrific and are seeking counseling, if they have a significant learning disability, if they are suffering from some medical ailment which affects their learning, if they had late sports games and got very little sleep, if they were stuck in traffic and/or were involved in a motor collision, etc, etc, etc. I’m not so rigid that I’m heartless. There is a time and place.

    What I don’t allow is for a student is to use the same excuse over and over again: I’m tired — aren’t we all; I had to work late — so did I; I was busy — so am I; I had other things going on (besides the things l listed above), etc. That’s where I draw the line. I don’t just give a blanket free pass because someone happens to be socioeconomically disadvantaged. I certainly would give said person greater consideration, but it would certainly not be the sole deciding factor.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  8. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Sep 26, 2018

    I guess it would have to be f(x)=x.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 27, 2018

    Exactly. And it you let x=0...
     
  10. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sep 27, 2018

    FMP, I don't give a "free pass." What I do is hold kids accountable in ways that are not about grades.

    I also 100% disagree with a system of "bending" based on students sharing their personal story with their teacher. Kids should not have to share their personal situation to get what they need. And when we as adults assume they are sharing because they want to without considering that they might be sharing because they have to (in order to get the extension for example) we are really holding our privilege and our power in a way that I can't support
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2018

    While I'm not sure I full like the wording that it's all on the teacher, I otherwise agree with you.

    What learning is happening if we allow students to just accept zeros? I don't even think most are properly learning responsibility. Only students invested in their education will freak out over zeros.

    Indeed, fail students if their work shows failure. But we can do better than zeros.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2018

    In the real world, your employers aren't going to slap a 0 to you and shake their finger with no real consequences. A zero grade sounds scary, but is ultimately meaningless.

    Besides, this is school, not the real world.
     
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  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2018

    If I'm late handing in my report cards to my P to review and sign, I don't get a "zero" and then not have to do them. I also won't lose my job. What will happen, is that my P will talk with me, ask what the difficulty is/was, and ask how she can support me in getting them finished.

    If we are truly concerned about how and what are students are learning, and not just when they are learning, we need to look beyond just assigning a zero and moving on.
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2018

    My students have to have a legitimate reason for not turning in an assignment, not just because they didn’t want to do it or couldn’t find the time to get around to it, for instance.

    And just stop it with the privilege nonsense.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    In the age of safe spaces and zero accountability (where it always seems to be someone else’s fault but their own), much like in this thread, it’s no wonder that children are graduating with virtually no marketable skills and aren’t prepared for the world outside of high school. And it’s also why many companies and colleges are saying that students are grossly unprepared for college-level coursework and the workforce. Students lack organizational skills, executive function, critical thinking, and time management, in particular, *because* of mentalities like this.

    Call it what you want, but you and others ARE giving students free passes and this idea that in life you get constant redos is just unrealistic.
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2018

    This is another good real-world point: Yes, in the real world, employees are fired for doing stupid or awful things. Many if not most if not all these firings are probably warranted.

    But, just as often if not more so, a good far-seeing employer who wants to keep employees long-term or at least doesn't want to have to deal with new short-term employee cycles is going to find a way to first work with the employee in question.

    By golly, they have a business to run and money to make. They're in the business for that, not to punish people.
     
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2018

    I think you're misunderstanding what we're getting at.

    A free pass would be giving a zero and no other consequence. Your argument seems to be that a zero is the end-all. "Whew", says the student "All I had to deal with was a zero because my teacher is too afraid to make me do anything else. Now I will just continue on happily in my life because I don't have to fix this."

    My point doesn't have anything to do with safe spaces or zero accountability. Giving a zero TAKES AWAY accountability if the student doesn't have to do anything about it.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    But employees who don’t fulfill their duties and underperform are liabilities and a detriment to the company. It’s all about the bottom line. From a logistics standpoint, it makes perfect sense to reward the employees who are on time, do all work asked, and go beyond the line of duty, not those individuals who get around to it when they feel like it, can’t be bothered because it’s “too hard,” etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Yes, and once again by doing nothing but handing out a zero and saying "bad bad" and not making the student do anything about it, you're encouraging this mindset.

    In your example, the employer fired the useless employee. A real, solid consequence.

    How does giving a meaningless zero even compare? We can't kick out students for bad grades, so how else should they receive a consequence?
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2018

    No, a free pass is the exact opposite of what you say. A free pass (kind of like passing for nothing, kind of like what is being proposed here) is giving a student the same grade as if they turned in the completed assignment on the due date. The student gets exactly what they earn by doing nothing, which is nothing.
     

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