There are a few things that I want for my classroom next year, but they seem to conflict with each other. I haven’t really figured out how to merge the two in such a way that satisfies each expectation individually. I hope by next school year I have it figured out a little bit more…but for now, here are my hopes for next year:
1. I want my grades to reflect ONLY what the students know. Whenever I see an 80% in my gradebook that should mean the student truly knows 80% of the material. It won’t indicate anything about his/her ability to turn in assignments on time (or at all). It won’t indicate how well a student can furiously copy down answers to last night’s homework before class. It will only describe what the student actually knows. Standards based grading anyone?
a. Fear #1: I will have a lot of students fail because they no longer have the cushion of “classwork” and “homework” to absorb the shock of poor test grades.
b. Fear #2: My administration will not back a system that has such a small amount of grades. I say “small” because under my school’s current policy we are required to enter a minimum of 2 new grades each week of the school year.
2. I want my students to learn responsibility. This means: I want them to be able to appreciate and follow deadlines. I want them to be able to advocate for themselves. I want them to see the value in homework and working hard (even if it isn’t going in the grade book).
a. Fear #1: Without an actual grade in the grade book my students won’t complete my assignments.
b. Fear #2: They won’t be able to learn lessons in responsibility without learning them the hard way.
3. I want to be ahead on all the “paperwork”. I want to have my syllabus done and copies made before the day-before school. I want to have at least a basic “plan” for my first semester.
So those are just a few things that I want for next year. We will see what happens over the summer. :)