We had a staff meeting yesterday, however, that brought up a subject that may be something that new teachers might be concerned with – accepting late homework.
I had to take a break to blog.
According to the philosophy of some teachers, accepting late homework is allowing students to get away with not following class guidelines which can set a bad precedent. They see their tough stance on late homework as a lesson that will teach the student to be more responsible. Some college professors don’t allow any students to turn in their work late, so the lesson will serve them well when they get to the university level.
That’s when one of my colleagues raised her hand and started speaking. Her name is Lee Ann.
She started by saying that she accepts late homework. She’ll give the student a harsh finger wag, and maybe a short lecture on responsibility, but she takes the homework. Then she reminded us, “They’re twelve.”
This hit it right on the head for me.
Although I agree that students need to learn to budget their time and to place value on due dates and be more responsible, they’re twelve. That lesson can come later in life. Right now, the positive effect of a passing grade in Language Arts or History or Science or Math will do more to make that student successful than the lesson they’ll learn about the importance of due dates.
Lee Ann went on and said, “The electric company accepts our payments late. They’ll ding us with extra charges or they’ll even turn off our lights, but if we pay them an extra fee, we’ll get our power back.”
In my class, I always accept late work. I tell the students that they’ll lose some points, because it’s not fair to those other students who worked hard to turn in the work on time, but I’ll take it. I’ll give them a speech about responsibility and how in college, the professors won’t be so nice, but I’ll take it.
I have so many students who would just give up on school if they saw that there was no way to turn the power back on in their grade. I can’t let them fail just to maintain a policy that has little to do with real life.
So all you new teachers out there, when the older teachers on your staff start pressuring you to hold to their “no-late-work” policy, ignore them.
Tell them Sam said so.
So, what do you think about accepting late work?