Friday, December 9, 2011

Progress Reports - This Blog is Homework

Progress reports will be coming out soon.  In fact, half of the reason for this blog entry is to bring this to your attention. 
With that said, it’d probably be a good idea to check if you’re missing any assignments.  So, go do that right now.  When you’re finished, come back and read this post.

The students here at Concord Junior High are great.  They’re respectful and hard working.  They’re intelligent – my class averages range from a low of 80% to 91%.   The students have developed a sense of empathy towards the plights of others.  I love it here.  All day running through my mind is, “I have the best job in the world.”
The problem is, sometimes teachers and kids don’t see eye-to-eye.  (I bet this happens with some of you out there as well…)  Case in point – the other day when we took the test there were some kids that were talking – good kids, mind you… I shushed the entire class and reminded them that it was, after all, a test and that the rule is if you talk you receive a zero.  A couple seconds later, I reminded the class again.  At the third reminder I went over and took ten points off their scores.  Honestly, I don’t think these kids were cheating.  Apparently, one kid needed a pencil and was asking the other – which sparked the conversation. 
At the end of the test, they asked if they could have their points back, and I declined.  It was tough; I’m not a stickler for the rules – but if you need a pencil ask me – not the person sitting close to you.  If I get sidetracked and start helping someone else, ask me again.  Your job during a test is to work on the test.  (At any rate, since then both of these students have done tons of extra credit – making up that 10 points and quite a bit more… also one loaned me his Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Cabin Fever… Greg Heffly’s a riot.)
I’m telling you this story because inevitably right before progress reports, a bunch of students will check their grades, notice a missing assignment, and claim that they turned it in – be it my class, Mr. Ogle’s, Mrs. Gowdy’s, etc…   They may have, but before anybody gets too upset, let me suggest a couple things that may have happened:
-It was turned in with no name – most common cause
-It was turned in incorrectly – wrong tray, wrong spot, etc…
-The wrong assignment was turned in
-It was thought to be turned in, but is actually still in your binder/locker/floor under your bed…
If it was an assignment from a long time ago, it may be gone.  If it is a more recent no-name, it may still be around.  Whatever the case, I suggest you look into it and quickly - grades are due Tues. morning.  More than that, though, I would ask you to look into it respectfully.  ALL of your teachers here want you to succeed.
Normally, you can get extra credit by looking at this blog.  Today, I assigned it as homework because I want you all to look at your grades.  The stakes are a little higher this year with the Student Accountability Plan, and you need to make sure you’re keeping up.  (Most of you are.  Kudos to you!)
To get credit for doing this homework assignment, discuss the following question with the adult that read this blog:
How are you keeping up with your school work?  Is there anything you’re struggling in?
Are you missing any assignments?  What are you going to do to make up the points you lost?
How do you feel about the Student Accountability Plan?
Was this a fair homework assignment?  (Adults this is directed more at you… I know everybody’s busy, but I wanted to try it out once to see how it goes.)
After you’ve discussed those questions, write the following phrase down on a scrap of paper: “I’m glad I don’t have any missing assignments.”  Have the adult you discussed this with sign the paper.  Adults, by signing the paper, you are signifying that you really did read the blog and discuss it with your child.

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