This graphic by Thomas Guskey Thomas Guskey is a fantastic challenge to whether we should be averaging grades — or honestly, if we shouldn't just drop some BEFORE we average.
ONE THING I wish I could stop would be teachers who REFUSE TO DROP ANY GRADES EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Are you kidding? Who doesn't have a bad day?
I guess it teaches “a lesson”, but I'm not sure what? A zero KILLS an average. It just KILLS it.
I've lived through having one of my children make all A's and come back to school after an illness and bomb a test. The teacher wouldn't drop the grade. She puffed up her chest when I asked and said,
“I never drop grades. It teaches responsibility. Plus, I'm a tough teacher. They need to know I mean business.”
“My child shows by his test score that he doesn't KNOW the material. Even if you decide to keep the grade, when are you going to TEACH it to him? Or can you give me the material so I can teach it to him?”
The answer was that it was time to move on. Are you kidding? TEACH. A zero is a battle cry to get busy and make sure they learn. Do something. But don't just MOVE ON.
Ok, I am a teacher. I TEACH. I want kids to LEARN SOMETHING. I find that if a child makes a very low grade, I'm better off to call in the child and reteach and then do as I see fit. Sometimes I'll give another test and average the two together. It depends on the situation.
Rae Pica said it well, and I paraphrase, We know that two snowflakes aren't alike, then why do we think two kids will ever be alike?
Plus, if a child fails, I blame myself as much as the child.
I do tell kids I'm the scorekeeper. But I'm also the coach. I'm also the one who tells them to get back in the game and learn when they want to quit. I want to give everything I can to teach so they can learn.
But, in my opinion, letting a child just make a zero without following up, without additional teaching, without looking at the circumstances should reflect on me as a teacher. I'm not sure what you've seen, but in my experience, refusing to drop grades or evaluate the individual circumstances of a child makes me angry.
You can call me a softie. You can call me whatever you want. But you doggone well better call me a teacher. Because, in the end, they'll learn what I have to teach no matter what it takes, they'll learn. And that, to me, is what counts.
I'm a teacher.
Sometimes kids don't need another person being harsh, what they really need is a second chance. As for me, I'm all about more chances to learn, even if it is more work on me.
As for me, I'm all about more chances to learn, even if it is more work on me.
I'm curious, what are your thoughts? If you don't drop grades, how do you make sure that kids still learn the material? Please share. Perhaps there's something I'm missing here.