Variety Pack 2

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12 thoughts on “Variety Pack 2”

  1. Trying to get grades on kids who are absent is not rational. If a child misses a class and it is unexcused, it goes into my grade book as a zero. If it is excused, it is an X in the book (in IC this counts neither for nor against the child).

    One of the big reasons our system is failing is that teachers try mightily to keep up with who was absent when and schedule make up work and such. It is sheer folly. An excused absense is a no count; an unexcused is a zero. Simple.

    Of course, as always, this is just my opinion and what works for me to keep things simple as per:

    1. I think the other teacher is, unfortunately, caught in the system. She has to give the student a grade, but he hasn’t taken any tests or quizzes. What “objective basis” does she have for a grade? She can’t give him a No Grade or No Mark without bringing disapprobation upon herself.

      I think Bryce Hedstrom would argue that a good teacher knows how a student is doing without having to administer a quiz, but the system demands that “objective” piece of paper. (Which we know is anything but objective.)

      I have had the same situation – I got toward the end of a grading period and had nothing for a student because she had been absent every time I gave an assessment. It was almost like she had a sense for it and avoided assessment. Finally I had her take some class stories and get with a “superstar” to go over them, gave her the option of meeting with me outside of class, then she came back and talked to me in German about them. I also had her pick a German song to listen to and then talk about with me. I would have loved to have had a site like Sr. Wooly to send her to. I also had her give me her soccer record sheet for a grade. (Super easy – can you fill it out correctly?)

      1. Our school policy is that a student is responsible for knowing what was done in class when they were absent. So when a student who was absent for a test shows up, I send them to another teacher and they take the test in her class. The results are usually pretty bad, so they do try to avoid missing tests.

        1. Our district policy is that students have as many days to make up work as they were absent. I currently have a student who has been absent for two weeks because of acute appendicitis that went undiagnosed for a week, so he has two weeks to make up the work missed. When a student misses multiple weeks of school because of illness, it’s possible to run out of time for making up the work; I’ve had to give grades of “incomplete” to allow time for that. This, of course, can be disastrous.

          1. Update on my student. Not only did he have acute appendicitis, he had a ruptured appendix, but they didn’t do surgery until last Friday. So he’s been in the hospital for two weeks with a ruptured appendix that was turning gangrenous. I stopped by to see him yesterday, and while he was sore, he was already feeling better. When they took out the appendix they took out an enlarged lymph node as well – which they are pretty certain was benign. This is a student who often seems a bit disengaged, but his dad said he comes home and speaks German. Go figure. I’m glad that I took the time to go visit.

          2. So glad to hear that your student is on the mend. Something like this can have disastrous consequences. I’m sure it made him feel better to get a visit from you.

          3. So glad that he is on the mend!!!!! Sending prayers and thank you for sharing….our “being there” changes our lives as well as theirs…

            with love,

          4. They do Chris…they just don’t advertise it. They also go to calling hours when a family member passes, bring breakfast in on the sly to kids who don’t get it, leave bags of food on doorsteps anonymously at holiday time, slip gift cards into lockers, recommend students to local employers, hold fund raisers for student’s families, donate sneakers for phys. ed classes and much much more.

          5. Laurie’s right, and I certainly didn’t mention it for any sort of praise (but thank you, anyway). Next Saturday I’m going to another student’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. It’s just another way of acknowledging students as real people – and they see us differently as well.

            And as Laurie mentioned, so many teachers do things that are never recognized because they choose to do them anonymously. (And Laurie, I know your comment about not advertising wasn’t directed at my comment.)

          6. Whew!! Because I didn’t mean it that way at all. I didn’t even realize it sounded like that. Gosh darn the Internet!! I’m glad that you knew what I meant. :o) My mentors back in the day quietly told me all of the things that teachers do. Mostly by their actions. You, Sir Robert, do the very same. I’m grateful that you do. It is important that these, very human, parts of the profession do not disappear.

            with love,

  2. As the teacher, I own the grade. After 20+ years of teaching, I am not going to be driven to distraction by grading…too many times of hearing, “Your grades are too high/Your grades are too low.” Grading is subjective by nature. I follow Ben’s system and it works very well. I do have one parent who is upset that the grading doesn’t seem ‘harder,’ but that is the only one.

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