The Walkout and Quiz Grades

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by TrademarkTer, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    So many of the students in my school are planning on participating in the March 14th walkout over school shootings.

    On that day, I have a small quiz planned. It is only 15 points, which compared to the total number of points I have available, is very insignificant. (Getting a 0 on it would move a student's grade down by only like 2% at most.)

    I am going back and forth with this. I definitely support the students in walking out and agree with the message, but I am not sure what to do about the small quiz. Part of me wants to give those students 0s. Not because I disagree with what they are doing, but because I want them to see that actions have consequences. This is because I want the students to realize that affecting change is not going to be easy, and there could be unfortunate consequences to protests in the real world. If this issue is really important to them, the few points they are losing should be inconsequential. Facilitating the protest too much to me makes it less authentic, and it encourages kids to walk out just to get out of class. It is not an excused absence from class to attend the walk-out, and so, any other cut would have the same consequences.

    Maybe I'm thinking too much into it, but if the kids really feel this is an important issue to take a stand on (and I would agree that it is!), then they should show that they are willing to take a 0 to make a stand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm all for them protesting on their own time. Since it is not an excused absence the school's unexcused absence policy should apply.
     
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  4. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    We don’t have an unexcused absence policy. An absence is an absence and can be made up. Honestly I would change the date of the quiz.
     
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  5. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That's 100% not happening. The nicest I would be is letting them make it up during their lunch period.
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  7. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I guess it depends on your school and what admin have to say about it. I don’t know that dealing with the aftermath would be worth it to me (whatever that may be). Kids will find out real life consequences sooner or later. I think they arent always mature enough to understand that intent. They (and parents and admin) may see it as lack of support or getting back at them. I’m not sure yet what my admin’s take on it is yet. Well find out soon enough.

    Just make sure you’re super clear with your explanation.
     
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  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mantra, "I'm following school policy until told otherwise."
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    What would you do for students who are absent because they are sick or have an appointment?

    I always allow students to make up any assessments they miss, so I would follow my standard procedure.
     
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  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I would absolutely allow them to make it up during lunch or after school.
     
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  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    True, but those are excused absences, generally for the whole day. This is an unexcused absence for a single period....kind of like a cut.
     
  12. Janeway

    Janeway Rookie

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    I’d change the date of the quiz and offer any help to get them out there protesting. If you have that many out and offer a make up for the quiz- seems like you’re just creating more work for yourself. If they care enough to form an opinion and do something, I’d be cheering them on.
     
  13. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Thinking about this more, I think if you offer makeup that would be fine. I think a lot of kids are going to feel pressured to go out even if they don’t have an opinion one way or the other (or are against it but are too scared to go against the crowd). Having to make a choice between their grade and their peers can be agonizing to them at this age, which may not be the effect you intended.
     
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  14. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    True! I didn't necessarily think about that angle. I'm still not changing the date. Even if the whole class has to be in with me taking it during lunch, that's fine with me, but I think I may not go with the 0. I am going to see what my colleagues are planning to do as well for consistency.
     
  15. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Protest or not, it seems pretty black and white to me. Excused absence: make up the quiz. Unexcused absence: 0.
     
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  16. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I wish we had an unexcused absence policy....
     
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  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Isn't this another lesson they should be learning? They need to do what they believe rather than follow the crowd. Treating others badly is usually something kids do for the same reason you are giving here - peer pressure. It's a two-for!
     
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  18. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I agree with you. I guess I just wouldn’t want to be giving a reason for it or somehow feel responsible for it.
     
  19. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Even with the circumstances, a make-up quiz policy is a make-up quiz policy. If they want to not attend class and are still on school property, then give the zero.
    There is a quiz and that is it!
    Even if the student's absence is valid, quizzes that are not completed by marking period are zeros (or no grade is given, and ABS is put in place of the grade.) With that said, failing to attend class should receive a consequence, regardless of the situation (unless the situation relates to a student medically or personally when at home and not on the school property.)
     
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  20. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Sounds to me kids are in control then.
     
  21. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    No my boss is in control. Anything I do that may seem controversial or goes against what everyone else is doing goes through my boss first. This is why I say make sure to see what admin has to say about the situation (do we go out with them, stay in and conduct class as usual, do we decide, etc.). Personally im more concerned about the unintended consequences of a planned exodus from the school but I do support the idea behind the movement. I also don’t want to look like I’m taking a particular political stand one way or the other because that is not my job or to have unintended consequences of any choice I make. So really I’m more careful than anything. I’m not worried about students being “in control.”
     
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  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But if you are making your decision because you don't want kids to have to choose between peer pressure and a choice in making them take a zero because you don't want them to feel bad, students are ruling your decisions.

    There also might be kids who would be very happy to have a rule in place that they could point to as a reason to not go along with the crowd. So, actually saying zero for the quiz might benefit some students who really don't want to participate but feel pressured to do so with no consequence to use as their reason not to go along with the crowd.
     
  23. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Just out of curiosity, why are you so dead set against changing the date of the quiz?
     
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  24. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That would be a HUGE slap in the face to students to think they need to be babied like that for their protest. Turning it into the "McResistance" almost. Besides, I plan months in advance, and we are only allowed to give assessments on certain days of the week and so it would be a hassle to re-vamp the entire agenda. I was already hesitant to even offer a make-up for them on their own time. If they want to protest, I support it, but I think requiring a small sacrifice from the students for making that choice is entirely appropraite.
     
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  25. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    You bring up a good point. I do take students’ feelings into consideration when I make decisions about my job. I wouldn’t say they’re in control. All I’m really saying is just make sure admin backs up anything you do that may stray from the norm or might seem controversial. I actually like the Trademark’s reason behind it. I’m only concerned because it’s my job I have to consider and I worry about every angle (how will this be perceived by everyone - will people think it’s to show lack of support even if that’s not your intention? If admin is informed and has your back it could help the situation). That’s all. And admin might even say all teachers have to go out with the kids. Who knows. I haven’t gotten anything official from admin yet on how to handle this whole thing.
     
  26. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I think the fact that the quiz is planned so much in advance and it’s extremely difficult to move it back helps your case. In fact I’d lean more towards keeping it too. For me, I plan quizzes days in advance (well way more than that but I notify students days in advance) soit would look like I did it on purpose.
     
  27. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Here I am expecting the walk-out to be only 30 min or so, so any of my students who walked out would be back in class in time to still take the quiz. Then they would have extra homework of whatever the other students did after the quiz.
     
  28. Janeway

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    It kinda sounds like you don’t support it, but also don’t want to look like a jerk. I mean it’s fifteen points, what lesson do you think you’re teaching them over some small quiz?
     
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  29. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Oh Janie, have you done your reading? I might have to give you a 0 for homework : )
     
  30. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Honestly, not allowing them to make up the quiz makes it seem like you don't support the walk out. I don't think it's fair to use a quiz grade as a life lesson. I would support my students in standing up for what they believe in.
     
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  31. Janeway

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    “I have a small quiz planned. It is only 15 points, which compared to the total number of points I have available, is very insignificant.”

    I can read perfectly well.
     
  32. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    All of it Janie, or just the Sparknotes? ;)

    The full text gets into the lesson :p
     
  33. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Support them by not taking it seriously? You can't just be like "oh those kids, let them have their little protest". To me it's disrespectful if we aren't willing to take it seriously.
     
  34. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I love this reasoning and agree wholeheartedly. I think this is a great learning opportunity and you're right that it's important for kids to see that change doesn't come without consequence. And I wouldn't worry about whether keeping the quiz makes you look like you don't support their cause, because our political beliefs shouldn't be known to our students IMO, even when they are the same as our students'. I'd say in regards to a make-up or 0, go with your usual policy around absences and make it known ahead of the walkout that you're upholding that policy. Good luck, it's definitely not an easy choice.
     
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  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Don't change the date. Allow make-ups. This isn't really the same as ditching the period for funsies, and there is still a consequence. The consequence is that students will need to come in on their own time to make up the quiz. You can offer the make-up at a particular time that works for you so that you won't be terribly inconvenienced.
     
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  36. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    How does allowing a make-up make it seem like you're not taking it seriously?
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I don't agree with changing your policy or the schools policy for this. In a way, this really isn't different than skipping for funsies. If it isn't a school sanctioned event saying it is allowable without consequences, their purpose for the walk-out is irrelevant even if we might agree with their cause. Why should someone be inconvenienced? What if they chose to walk out for another issue that they felt was very important to them but not so much to the teacher?

    We shouldn't be picking or choosing the politics of the walk-out.

    There is a time and a place. Walking out on teachers, in my opinion, is not the time or place. Protesting on their own time, their fun time, shows more conviction.
     
  38. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That's the other thing I'm wondering. If they were having a protest, for example, saying they get too much homework, would my reaction be consistent? How about if they were walking out in support of gun rights? I would like it to be a consistent reaction.
     
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  39. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This.

    Unless you would be willing to work with the student on any category of protest, you need to be consistent.
     
  40. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I agree with Caesar whole-heartedly. Having to make up the quiz during lunch or after school or whenever works for you (and is maybe most inconvenient for them) is the consequence. But I've also never worked in a district that would let me choose to not give a make up so maybe I'm biased. That would absolutely not fly, regardless of the reason (or non-reason) for the absence.
     
  41. Janeway

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    Should the teachers in WV be protesting on their own time? These kids across the country are on the brink of doing something adults haven’t been able to do. They have the right to take peaceful disruptive action to bring about change.
     
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