First of all, a confession. While I didn't have Instagram to publicize my decisions, many years ago I gave extra credit in a somewhat similar manner. Not precisely the same way, but I need to be honest in case any former students who received extra credit at the beginning of the year for bringing in a box of tissues read this post.
Now that we have the confession out of the way...
I would like to ask this teacher the following question:
"What is a grade supposed to represent?"
Hopefully her answer would be something to the effect of:
"A grade is meant to communicate learning."
If that was the answer, then the teacher would probably be able to consider the follow up question:
"Does the practice highlighted on your Instagram account lead to grades that represent learning?"
Let's all examine our grading practices and those in our school. Can we honestly say the grade represents learning?
Do our grades communicate mastery of standards or do they also communicate something else like:
-how much work was completed,
-how quickly work was completed,
-how neatly work was completed,
-how well the directions were followed, or
-whether or not the student used a pen or pencil.
We can't stand by and let practices like the one in this picture continue in our classrooms and schools. We need to - politely - help our colleagues recognize that grading practices like this undermine our ability to be viewed as reliable communicators of progress.
Take a moment and reflect on your or your school's grading practices? Is anything getting in the way of the grades representing learning?
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