"But wait there's more..."
You can all picture it. The late night TV infomercial that shouts at you with enthusiasm and delight. Best part about it. You want to buy it (whatever it is), and there's more.
For me, that's the kind of energy and excitement that I want to bring to education...that actual desire to learn. It is my hope that by giving my students "real life" opportunities, they will learn that my classroom is a safe space where life learning can take place. Of course, I teach the standards. Of course, I adhere to our district and campus policies. BUT... when I can, why can't I do MORE. Why shouldn't I feel obligated to do MORE.
In real life, you CAN pay bills late. Are there consequences? Absolutely, but this hard and fast ridiculous rule that we think our course work is the most important thing happening is insanity. If I pay my electric bill late, they aren't going to cut my power right away. Why? Because I don't have a history of missing payments. I want to use that kind of real life common sense with the students (real life humans) in my classroom. If they don't have a history of missing work or missing concepts, can't I communicate to them, and then, expect "payment" in full. Not to say that a "late fee" might not be incurred, but that's a REAL LIFE skill that I can teach.
That is why this year I'm not taking corrections or late work... instead we are just going to "RESCORE FOR MORE". Sometimes that happens because I was too tough in my first round grading, and students deserve more. Sometimes I expect something more, and I provide students with the opportunity to go back and give me more. Sometimes, it is more from everyone.
The other half of this idea is that we all deserve a second look. It's such a cliche that we judge at a first glance, but it is so true! In real life and real world situations, I can think of very few times that something isn't allowed a second look. (Now, these second looks often come at a cost, penalty, or sacrifice of time, but again, I want my world to mirror the real world). I explained it to my students like this: If you mess up your taxes, you can amend them. The first contract you submit to buy a house is likely not the absolute first draft of that contract (plus you typically have a trained professional preparing that). No bill in Congress is submitted for review in the first draft stage. Because I teach English, it is very easy for me to contextualize this. Most of what we do is a FIRST DRAFT, and FIRST DRAFTS always deserve a second look.
Does this strategy help grades? Yes.
Does this help kids? Yes.
Does this provide me a chance to teach a real world lesson? Yes.
But more than that.... (and most important me)
This "RESCORE FOR MORE" and second look system is my communicating to my students that THEY DESERVE A SECOND LOOK. THEY DESERVE MORE OPPORTUNITIES. THEY CAN AND SHOULD KEEP TRYING.
So, for me, I'm done with "corrections" which imply you are WRONG. (Very fixed mindset). Instead, I will communicate that they just didn't get it YET, and I will provide authentic opportunities for growth.
Mrs. Autumn Riley
Native born Texan, Autumn Riley, is an educator-leader married to a dynamic high school teacher and mom to two wild little boys. When she isn't training for her next half-marathon, she spends time working on her sketch-noting and poetry.-writing. She is a Christ-follower and small group leader. All content is copyrighted to Autumn Riley. You may freely pin to Pinterest or link back to my blog. All other uses require permission. Thanks!