December 3, 2009

Learning Responsiblity

I'm curious... at what age should it become the students' responsibility to submit their homework rather than the teachers' responsibility to chase it down?

I had a parent track me down after school today and try to bully me into changing his daughter's grade from last trimester because he was unhappy with her grade. This student is very bright and produces high-quality work in class, but she had five missing assignments in the last two weeks of the trimester (which ended November 11), causing her grade to drop from an A to a C.

I understand that this would be a frustrating situation for parents, especially when they know their child is capable of better, but forgive me for thinking that the frustration should be taken out on the child, not the teacher.

How is it my fault that your child didn't submit her work even after I extended the deadlines for her? And why do you think it's okay to come into my classroom unannounced and question my procedures (which, by the way, have already been explained to said child's mother via email three times earlier this week)?

No, your daughter cannot still submit these assignments that were due over a month ago! I think this has been a very important lesson for your daughter, and I am confident that she will be more diligent about turning in her work in the future.

I believe that middle school is the perfect time to learn these lessons, rather than waiting to high school where more is at stake. This is exactly why we more responsibility on our students at this age. We expect that there will be bumps along the way, but that's part of the learning process.

I'm just glad I was able to remain calm and professional while still holding my ground!

1 comment:

  1. I think Middle School is a great time for this lesson Erin. Kudos to you for remaining calm and professional. Some parents need to let go. Helicopter parenting is a big item in parents newsletters/magazines about being TOO involved, holding on to too much, not putting enough on the kids etc.