Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reality Check

I commented in class on Friday about this, but I'd like to put it out there for all to see, maybe in print it will sink in as for real.

School started 3 weeks ago. Some students haven't quite accepted that as reality. While I have enjoyed my classes and the students therein, it seems we need the reality check.

Currently there is approximately a 50% turn in rate for homework, and I don't give that much homework. AND the homework I have given, I have given extra time to complete it. This is frustrating to me. When it comes to homework I do my best to review it quickly, to give feedback for improvement, and to NOT give homework unless it is to practice a skill, to finish work from class, or to read a selection so we can discuss it in class.

We are three weeks in to the school year. The first 'official' progress reports are at the six week mark.Right now, even if a student has not completed a single assignment (there are a few), they can still turn it around and have a decent, or a good grade, by the time we have progress reports complete.

This week we are starting our literature with short stories. This is a great place to start. Short stories are accessible to every reader! It also means, the workload is going to increase. Students are going to be expected to read at home so they can take part in class discussions. Students need to keep up with the work load as it is assigned. Another thing I can tell you about me as a teacher, I will never send you (or your student, if you are a parent reading this) home with 2 or 3 hours of homework to complete in one night. However, I may give you an assignment that should take 2 or 3 hours, but will give you a week or more to complete it. If you wait until the last minute, it's not going to be a fun night.

To be very clear, the point I am making in this post is that students need to be sure they are taking class seriously and do their work. My secondary point, but also a big one, is that all grades are a work in progress. Every student has the potential and the opportunity to receive a good grade on their first progress report no matter where their grade stands right now.

Finally, Back to School Night is coming up on September 22. I love B2S night and can't wait to meet parents! And as always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me!

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