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What is your philosophy on homework and grading?

. It was my understanding that some school boards switched to a policy that virtually eliminated due dates, meaning students could theoretically hand all their work on the last day of class and not be penalized. My first thought was something along the lines of “absurdity!” But then I realized how very wrong I was.
Due dates often reward the most organized and penalize those who are not. Knowledge is secondary as is creativity. Homework can also reward the most organized and penalize those who are not, but there are ways around this. I feel that there is nothing wrong with bringing work home. Certainly there are those who feel that home should be a time for “play” and “family time”. I would counter with the argument that “family time” can make time for school work, and play can occur anywhere, anytime – even at school!
Going back to rewards and organization – homework should never be marked, in my opinion, nor should there be points awarded for timeliness. But it has to get down, otherwise what is the point? For those students who are disorganized, have a bad home situation or just always “forget”, every effort should be made to allow them time to finish the homework. This could be in class, before the bell rings, during lunch, recess or after school.
Most of all the homework should be a logical progression from work done in class. It should be engaging, just as the teacher would design work for in class time. I understand that in subjects like math, when doing division problems or multiplication there sometimes is not a way around the lists of simple equations. However, that is where the classroom differentiation comes into play. If the teacher allows for student differentiation in that math class, allowing students to discern their own methods for solving equations, instead of insisting on one particular method, then students will be much more likely to do and complete their homework.
In terms of grading I believe students should be given every opportunity to receive good marks. School is not meant to teach students lessons. It is meant to build students up to give them the best start in life they can possibly have. That means second, third and fourth chances. It means extra time dedicated by the teacher before, during and after school to help struggling students. There is no satisfaction in handing back a unsatisfactory mark to the class disruptor. He probably is not being given an adequate number of chances, and if he does get those chances, would he still be the class disruptor? Maybe not.
Is it fair to give students so many chances? What about the students who don’t need those chances? It is the teacher’s job to emphasize that all student’s are in school to improve themselves and be the best they can be. It should be made clear to students who don’t need extra help that they are fortunate not to need it, and that once they leave school this will be to their benefit. Furthermore, those students should be given opportunity to extend their learning and not sit idly by as they wait for the struggling students to catch up.


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