Whose job to teach responsibility?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Teach4Kids, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Teach4Kids

    Teach4Kids Guest

    Oct 11, 2015

    I wanted to see what other teachers think about this. I have been teaching for 12 years and constantly here more and more that a teachers job is to teach responsibility. What colleagues mean by this is do not accept late assignments, those that do take off a load of points, and do not give kids a break. My thoughts are if I am teaching them something it is important enough to spend my time on it, they should be expected to turn it in. That is the responsibility that I want to teach them. Deadlines are important, but sometimes I need a break on deadlines as well. It is not important when they learn it, it is if they learn it at this point. I hate the argument and want to see what others think.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2015

    Like everything else, there needs to be a balance. You need to find what works for you in your classroom and within your school community with its particular vibe. What works for others may not work in your classroom, and what works at other schools or in other districts or states may not work in yours, and vice versa.

    When I was a classroom teacher, I used to accept late work but at a penalty--60% was the highest possible score a student could earn on work turned in late. Honestly I would have preferred to accept no late work at all, but my admin wouldn't have supported that. To me, turning in work on time is important because that work is meant to be practiced before an assessment--if the work is done after the assessment, what's the point? Another reason is that in my content area, everything builds upon everything else. If you didn't understand Concept A (because you didn't practice it enough), then you wouldn't be able to understand Concept B, C, D, etc. Yet another reason was that I always let students work on their practice assignments in class. I never assigned work as homework. The way I saw it, students had absolutely no reason to turn in work late. If they did, it was because they had been dicking around.
     
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  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Oct 11, 2015

    In my current job, the lowest grade we are allowed to assign is a 55% (meaning the work was not turned in at all). This means that our grading scale starts at 55%. I'm amazed that many kids still manage to fail. It takes a lot of effort to fail when you only have to pass one quarter to pass for the year.
     
  5. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Oct 12, 2015

    Learning.

    One can teach responsibility while still teaching the necessity of learning.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 12, 2015

    It's very hard to learn a thing when you failed to learn the prerequisite content. Good luck learning to read if you never learned the alphabet. That's what it's like in foreign language classes and many other classes where the material is not taught in isolated chunks.

    Assessments serve as benchmarks at which teachers and students can determine whether a student has learned what is necessary in order to successfully move to the next level of material. Students who failed to practice and therefore failed to learn certain material will undoubtedly fail the assessment associated with that material. They will likely subsequently fail to learn the new material the builds upon that material, fail that assessment, fail the new new material that builds upon the new material, ad nauseam.

    Of course learning is important and students should know that, but learning also requires a practical effort for most students. Sometimes students need a little extra motivation in order to put forth that effort.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 12, 2015

    I put a LOT of it on the students. If they take their time on the lessons and turn in things late, or if they simply decide to ignore certain assignments, that is their choice. They are responsible for completing enough work (showing mastery of the concepts I teach) to earn the grade they want to see on their report card each quarter. The students are always welcome to ask me for help at any time, and I am happy to work with them for however long they need, but in the end, I cannot force them to complete and turn in assignments. It is their responsibility.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 12, 2015

    I'm the type of teacher that accepts work at any time because I'd rather they do it and learn from it, rather than just not complete it and neglect to learn the material because they wouldn't have gotten any points from it.

    They have a responsibility to learn the material. That is the responsibility I put on them. My homework is worth very little anyway.

    But I teach middle schoolers who may have more organizational problems than high schoolers. So it may be different.

    There is a grade penalty too for turning in work late (though not much), but even without it, kids quickly learn that putting off the work means that you have to do the make-up work, plus the work we are currently working on, and it's not fun.
     
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  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I taught at a school where the penalty for late work was 10 points off. Until it was a week late then it was half-credit. SO many students would openly say to me that they would take a late grade because blank was coming on tv that night, because so and so was playing at a club that night, etc. They purposefully blew off homework because the penalty was nothing to them. The faculty decided to change it to a 20 point deduction for the first day and then a zero after three days late. There was an amazing shift in attitudes. The kids were very honest in that the new penalty was too great and that they'd rather miss tv than get a B.

    I think it is the PARENT'S job to teach responsibility and our job to reinforce it. As with any character trait.

    For me, late penalties serve two purposes - it gets the work done in a timely manner so the students can benefit from feedback. And it makes sure I'm not grading late work which is a pain in the rear for me.
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2015

    I find that your C and D students love teachers who will allow them to not do their work and just take a "0". This is a great trade for them. They can just not do homework, do mediocre on the tests, and skate by and pass. I don't allow any student to ever not turn in an assignment. Points are taken off every day and eventually it can reach a "0". Still I will keep work with the parents to see that every assignment is done. The "real world" doesn't allow a worker to not do their job. I can't simply not do my report cards and ask for a reduction in salary.

    Grades were never meant to allow students to get out of work by taking the option of a "0". I don't think it is right.
    If I taught high school, this might be difficult to apply, but I would really try to get as much work as is realistically possible.
     
  11. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I have no idea how to motivate kids to do work when they get a 55% just for existing on my roster. I wish I did. They only want a low D so they pass.
     
  12. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Oct 13, 2015

    Our school has a very strict late work policy. We don't accept any late work, and a student cannot take his final unless he has all assignments turned in. So, they have to do all assignments, even if they cannot earn credit on them. In conjunction with that, we are encouraged to be generous with time provided in class to complete assignments and to give several days to complete homework/projects/essays. Students are also permitted to speak with us in advance if they know they have something coming up that may interfere with their abilities to complete work on time.
     
  13. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Oct 25, 2015

    This sounds awful. So, in theory, a student could possess enough knowledge and have the potential to pass the final, but wouldn't be allowed to do so because of missing work? That's a travesty.
     
  14. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Oct 25, 2015

    Standards-based grading, people. Google it.
    I teach 6th grade math and a student's entire grade is based on how well they know the actual material (based on assessments). They can re-test on any standard at any time. That's what teaches responsibility, not lowering a student's grade for not doing homework.

    If the name of my class was "responsibility 101", then sure I would be on board. But I teach math, and I believe that a student's grade should reflect the MATH that they know, not how well they can follow rules and be responsible.
     
  15. dgebhart

    dgebhart Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2015

    My personal opinion is that late work/assignment policy should resemble the work force. If your boss asked you to do something, and then you didn't do it by the deadline, your boss isn't going to just say, "Well, forgot about it, you failed." They are going to say "Get it done!" and then think more poorly of you. I feel the same way, late work in my class gets 60% credit (minimum passing score) of what they would have earned no matter how late it is (up to the end of the trimester, because grades are due). I think this is more realistic to what students would experience.
    Now to the topic of the thread, responsibility is totally the job of the parents, but unfortunately, many parents suck at their job. So it falls to us. Remember, these students will be supporting you in the future, so make sure they have the tools, including responsibility, to do it.
     
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  16. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Oct 28, 2015

    I respectfully disagree.
    While we might be preparing students for the "real world", they are not in the "real world" YET. I don't believe the classrom should resemble the work force at all. I don't want to treat my students like employees, I want to be a caring adult who is on their side and will do everything she can to make sure they are successful in learning the content for my class.

     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oct 29, 2015

    I agree with you, Jeky.
    I will also say that this "real world" that we are teaching students to enter is so diverse that you can't say it is a certain way in the "real world". Some jobs have no room for any type of mistake. Other jobs (even in the same profession) have people making lots of mistakes and nothing being done about it.
    How many teachers have had their paycheck reduced or have been fired for one lesson plan not being turned in? Oh wait, some have, some haven't, and some don't even have to turn them in. That is the real world. The real world is "it all depends".
     
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  18. mrbooknampa

    mrbooknampa Rookie

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    I like the idea that I can increase my impact by teaching my subject and responsibility. Students need as much as I can give.
     
  19. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2015

    delete
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  20. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I teach elem. PE and have since the Reagan Administration. I think responsibility is about the most important thing I teach to many children. That said I listen to kids and some come with so much baggage you absolutely have to establish trust and demonstrate to them that you truly care. If not you spin your wheels with some of them.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I had a parent email me last week asking if she was putting school notes and forms in the Wong picket of her sons folder since they returned home every night and I wasn't getting. I emailed her back with this simple message.. "it's your sons responsibility to empty his folder every day and give me what you've sent". He hasn't missed a day since. M
     

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