Teachers rally for the “incomplete”

Posted on January 19, 2009 by


Tyler Knudson- J-lab 140 Online Editor

Dr. Daniel reads aloud The Power of “I,” her speech.
Dr. Daniel reads aloud The Power of “I,” her speech.

Having incomplete assignments is one of the main reasons students don’t pass their classes. This does not necessarily mean that the student is lazy, some students just have too much going on. Now, two teachers, Jenifer Daniel (science) and Lalo Rolon (math), are fighting for students with busy schedules.

Daniel and Rolon plan to give a speech entitled The Power of “I”, highlighting the usefulness of incomplete grades, during their teacher prep. workshops that will take place during their prep periods. They are two out of only a handful of teachers who don’t believe in the commonly accepted “no late-work” policy.
“Just because I decide to give a homework assignment doesn’t mean it’s a good night for students to do it,” Daniel said.
Daniel has always believed in being flexible with due dates because grades should reflect what students know, not what they didn’t have time to do. Now, she wants to see what her fellow colleagues think about this teaching method.

“The purpose of these prep workshops is for teachers to share ideas with one another, and this is my chance, with Mr. Rolon, to share this strategy and hear what other teachers think about it,” Daniel said.

Of course, for every argument, there is an opposing side as well. Some teachers believe that deadlines are a part of the challenges that students must learn to face after high school. Jeff Payne (math) is one such teacher.

“In your career, you will have deadlines you need to meet, so it doesn’t matter if you are capable of doing the work or not. The bottom line is that you have to meet that deadline, and if you fail to do so, then you’ll be out of a job,” Payne said.

Daniel, however, believes that the facts are the other way around. She thinks that her policy gives students the skills they need for life because it forces them to plan their time wisely and make their own schedule.

Along with the presentation Daniel and Rolon plan to give, Jeff Stutzman (English) also plans to give a speech called Rigor is not a 4-letter Word. Stutzman’s speech, given during the next prep workshop meeting, will encourage teachers to increase their expectations of students.





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