Something to Keep in Mind…

Today is the last day of the semester which means grades are due. One of my jobs is to check over the grades and make sure everyone has turned them in and to check for errors (missing grades, etc.) There are always a couple of teachers who are late completing their grades, and there are always teachers with errors. Sometimes teachers have a “valid” excuse as to why they are late and sometimes they just mismanaged their time or underestimated the amount of time it would take to complete their grades.

And, hey, let’s face it – we all make mistakes. We all mess up occasionally and sometimes we miss a deadline. We are human. None of us are perfect.

So, when someone makes a mistake in their grades, I ask them to correct it; and when someone is late with their grades, they get an extension or they face a consequence (i.e. students with no grades on their report cards). Yes, I get frustrated when teachers do not have their grades in on time, but we work around it and things always turn out fine in the end.

So, what I don’t understand is why this same consideration is often times not given to students. We are adults, professionals, and we make these mistakes, but quite often I hear teachers complain about students not turning in their work on time. “He had two weeks to complete that project, and he still didn’t get it in on time. I told him that I do not accept late work and that he will just have to take a zero.”

I get it. Part of our job is to teach students responsibility, but leniency and consideration should go both ways. Students make mistakes. Sometimes they are late. Sometimes they mismanage their time. Sometimes they get overwhelmed. And sometimes they make poor choices. And as teachers, we get frustrated with them. We don’t understand why they didn’t have their assignment in on time or why they were late to class. We lecture them about how to be responsible.

And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to accept all late work without question. I am not saying to allow your students to enter your class tardy every day. I am merely suggesting that you turn the mirror around on yourself every once in awhile and check the reflection. We make mistakes. It is part of who we are.

Next time you face a situation where a student needs to turn an assignment in late, take a minute to talk to him. Ask him why it is late. Talk to him about the importance of responsibility and then think about that time you were late and give him break.  

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Explore posts in the same categories: grades, reflection, students

4 Comments on “Something to Keep in Mind…”

  1. Shayd Speed Says:

    Very insightful, Angela. I have never thought about that – you opened my eyes. 🙂

  2. jerram Says:

    …and, Amen (to follow Dr. Brown) 😉

    I love it – what a great, down-to-earth example!


  3. Thanks for the support guys!


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