Saturday, December 1, 2007

Setting the Bar High

I find myself struggling with my students to reach the standards I set. I place the bar of my expectations fairly high. I expect my students to work hard, produce the best effort they can muster, and produce a product that they can hand in with pride and understanding of the concepts and standards required.

As a result a great majority of my students are failing- but not because I set the bar high. They are failing because they don't turn in the work they have been doing. Or they fail to complete the only assignment that I send home as homework and fail for that reason.

I have sent home notices to parents inviting my students who struggle to get assistance after school on missing and difficult assignments. I have allowed them to make up nearly every assignment. My students work collaboratively as often as possible. I allow class time for all work and guide them on each step. Yet they continue to drop the ball a little here and a little there. What shocks me is they still believe they should be passing class with good grades.

So here I am 3 weeks left in the semester and praying my students will wake up and pull this one out. What kills me is how close they are only 1 - 4 assignments away from passing.

So my solution: I am offering TONS of extra credit that reinforces what we are doing and mirrors the assignments they did not turn in. I'll let you know how it turns out...

Do I lower the bar? Or do I maintain my standards despite the high failure rate?