I’ve really tossed around the idea of writing this post but it’s something that I need to clarify in my head and writing does that so here goes…

I’ve been thinking a lot about our new AER policy in WRDSB and I think it has a lot of merit. I do not like the concept of late marks. I am not punitive and to me, handing an assignment in late is representative of work habits and learning skills rather than the student’s actual ability.

What I’m concerned about is the growing trend in some of my classes to hand assignments in at the very last minute (or not at all). The learning of the student is then out of his or her hands and put into mine. Some students aren’t owning their learning, it’s still just a means to an end and this concerns me. Even in the teenage years, I want students to be in charge of their own learning and to learn to be advocates for themselves.

It also makes the sociological aspect of my brain curious. Is this a growing trend in our society? Are we shirking responsibility? Are we spending too much time making life comfortable for our kids that we don’t force them to own learning and mistakes? Are we too afraid of failure? Is this the message we are sending to our students and children?


One thought on “A Societal Change?

  1. I have a grade 9 class at the moment that is a real headache. There are enough students in there who seem to have no idea what we’re here for that I fear for their future. I’ve had other teachers complaining about a level of student apathy that beggars belief. My 2 grade 9 classes last semester were delightful, so this isn’t an all or nothing situation, but it is concerning, and seems to be increasing.

    I suspect that two factors play into this. Firstly, the digital cocoon around the current crop of students is more complete and subservient to their whims than ever. Being the centre of the universe all the time makes any degree of humility or collaboration difficult. Secondly, our fixation on ‘engagement’ has effectively removed students from the equation when it comes to learning. Unless a teacher is doing a song and dance, students aren’t expected to learn, certainly not for its own sake.

    The best learning I’ve ever experienced had more to do with my need than any teacher trick, and I wasn’t sneaking looks at my smartphone while it happened.

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