I know there are proponents out there who insist that a due date is a due date…no ifs, ands, or buts. And I understand that because, at the end of a quarter, I have to submit grades. There isn’t a way to push back the due date for final grade submission. But for all of those other times…when I can…I give students a Make it Better Moment.
If it’s not the end of the quarter, I believe that it’s important to give students the opportunity to submit late work and/or to fix their work if it is incomplete. Is it more work for me? Of course. But when it comes to students…children, in my case, I think a little leeway is warranted…and in some cases, welcomed.
Let’s face it. Students today have a busier life than we did. I know for a fact that for my middle schoolers, after school gets out some of them have to pick up little brothers and sisters from elementary school, others have to make dinner for their family, a few more have to babysit siblings until their parents get home…and then there are those who have to do a bit of all three. And that’s on top of perhaps, playing sports, going to tutoring, and finishing up any work that didn’t get done in class. So yeah, their life is busy. So I understand when their assignments don’t always get done on time.
Just so we’re clear, I give time to complete most of these assignments in class. But not all students work at the same speed. Some students are more methodical, others have a difficult time staying focused, and then there are those who just work at a slower pace than what the pacing guide allows. So I try to be flexible…to accommodate for their needs…because my job is not to penalize students. It’s to help them learn…to guide them…to encourage them in this learning journey.
So we have Make it Better Moments.
These Make it Better Moments is what puts the onus of learning back on the students, again. Sure, they were given this task earlier (with the original due date)…but sometimes students just need another shot at showing their best work.
Today is one of those days. And though I have a bit more to grade…I feel much better knowing that I gave my students another shot at showing their learning. I can’t control much in my life, but I can control the learning opportunities that students have in my class (well…fire drills, assemblies, etc. notwithstanding).