A personality test for teachers: can you make the shift?

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to change your grading practices, here’s a short list of statements to help make it clear as to whether or not it will be worthwhile for you.

I love the current grading system-I never have to make any adjustments or any tweaks in terms of student points to make the grades “work out right”.

I don’t give any grades-students earn the grades, I just do the math and record the scores.

Student work habits and responsibility are often more important to me than whether or not they are skilled and talented in terms of content/concept knowledge.

It’s not that your student isn’t intelligent, it’s just that they won’t do work in my class.

At some point, it is mathematically impossible for students to pass my class because of their poor performance (low scores, missing work, some zeros) over the entire course.

Students are not prepared to do well in my class, because they don’t have the support at home or they have not been held to high enough standards in previous grades.

I constantly tell the kids how much zeros and late work will affect their overall average-and they still don’t get it.

I don’t baby the kids by helping them with the little things-they should know how a classroom operates by now.

I just follow the school policy as far as grading papers, taking off points if it’s late, and getting zeros when kids don’t do the work-it is not my fault that the numbers didn’t end up in your favor.

Since so many students have low grades in my class, I try to help them out by throwing in a few easy assignments or heavily weighted assignments to help fix their grades.

If the student misses or loses an assignment, that’s just too bad-they didn’t care enough for me to go through all that extra trouble and find a replacement assignment.

This student doesn’t deserve the chance to make up an assignment, because nobody else gets an extra chance.

If the student doesn’t follow directions, they will lose points -it teaches them to be careful on my assignments.

Kids need to know how to play the game-know how the numbers work so they can make a good grade in the class.

If students don’t respect me enough to do my assignments-then why should I bend over backwards for them?

I’ve spent a lot of time teaching this concept. If a student doesn’t know it by now then there’s nothing I can do.

I would never reconsider a grade or change my practices because this system has worked for decades.

If you agree with many of these statements, then you are not ready to make the shift. Changing grading practices to better reflect student learning in your class is not just changing the rules-it’s about changing the mindset (your mindset and theirs).


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