Before you read this, understand I LOVE my kids. I love this tiny little class of eager learners and cute faces.
I was somehow blessed with this perfect little class of 15 kids this year. I feel sure it was all my prayers over the summer to NOT repeat last year, but perhaps it was just the luck of the draw. But they are not perfect. Like all children, they don’t always put first things first or begin with the end in mind (to use our 7 Habits of Happy Kids language!) Sometimes they write down nonsense and try to pass it off as real work. Sometimes they do this so often their amazingly patient teacher loses her cool and treats them to a day of redoing work….
A couple of weeks ago I posted this picture on Instagram with the caption:
tattooedteacherblog Y’all. It’s not all unicorns and rainbows in the real teacher world! This is work we will be REDOING tomorrow. I’m. Over. It. What are some amazing secrets you have? I mean. They’re spelling their own name wrong. Boo. #teachercrisis
Over it? YES.
and I realized I was not alone because this post had more comments than about any post on my Instagram.
This whole pile was work from the previous week. I do not care one iota if it was the week of Halloween. I still had to work and I probably love candy more than a 7 year old! So the next morning I went in and made a little memo to give to the kids.
so they spent their seatwork time redoing any work that I attached to the memo. Some had every single item checked off to redo, some had just one.
So did it work? Glad you asked. “Maybe” is the best answer I can give. I laid it all on pretty thick that morning when I passed this out. I wasn’t all cheery and fun. I was quite serious and we did a lesson on what our “big rocks” in life are and how they will change as we get older. What I should put first in life was different when I was 7. We had a great discussion actually. Luckily, bing a Leader in Me school, the expectation of quality and leadership is there. I know there will always be kids who are affected by someone being disappointed in them. There will always be more apathetic kids who need to know that what they turn in does get checked and it is assigned for a reason. And then there are kids who once this little stack made it home seemed to care a lot more!
I wanted to share a few ideas you guys shared with me on managing this problem.
krystina_race: Mine have to redo lazy work during recess. I had to do it once, and never since. I don’t like taking that time away from them, but we had a serious talk about their role at school and how work and learning comes first, even though we often how fun while doing so
missali_321I was having that problem with my thirds! At the beginning of our new quarter this week I introduced a new grading policy, for each assignment they can earn 2 points: 1 for completion, 1 for correctness (or effort depending on the kiddo) that way they know to follow directions and hustle! I even had them sign a class work contract ?
livelovelisette Preach girl!! Same problems over here…I just keep reiterating…”Do it nice, or do it ✌!”
excellinginsecond I had the same issue! I started using the students’ work that was great as examples and making a big to-do about it. Their effort went through the roof!
fallingintofirst Whenever I want to pull my hair out over work I usually put the best 1-2 up with the doc camera and make a big deal about all the things I love that they did. (And repeat for a few days)I think the visual really helps for the ones that truly don’t get it when I say it in just words and it brings out their competitive spirit animals. ?
You can download the memo here in Powerpoint format. You will need to download the fonts I used for it to look right and not wonky. They are linked for your convenience! I hope you can use or, but even more I hope you never need to!