Before I became a teacher, I thought I would be very strict with my deadlines. It made sense. I felt it would help them learn to be responsible adults. After my first few weeks of teaching, the reality of what seventh and eighth graders deal with everyday adjusted my way of thinking.
Generally, I give work to be completed in class. Mr. O once pointed out that there is no place of business where they expect employees to finish their work outside of the workday. Why expect this out of our students? This philosophy stuck in my mind. I try to give my students homework to do within a class time. I’m not sure what happens at home.
Last year, when I read through my students’ journals I was surprised just how much middle school kids go through everyday. There is always a student struggling with parental issues, divorce, alcoholism, drugs, and even bullying, and that’s just what I know about (and report when necessary)
I let them hand in work late. I’m not sure what goes on at home. The kids don’t tell me everything. I dock off a few points when it’s late, but I’m just glad to have the work. I just want students to learn a bit of something in the midst of middle school and whatever is going on at home.