For many schools this time of year is when progress reports are due and parents are made aware of how their learner is doing in school. It is also a point in time when many students are aware of how many missing assignments show
up on their reports. How we as educators respond to these students will have a lasting impact in the academic and social growth of students.
What we as educators don’t want to do is jump straight to a deficit mindset and come up with a list of reasons why the students are not turning in assignments. Statements such as : laziness, isn’t engaged in class or they just aren’t ready for the contentin the class. These are detrimental and are the antithesis of the type of “Ideal Graduate” we all want to create. Students need feedback on their learning and their success skills to help them move forward.
Let’s shift the narrative from blame to reflection on our practice.
Here are a few reflection questions to begin to shift the thinking so we can increase opportunities and students turning in assignments and success on their learning outcomes.
- If students are struggling to turn in work, do I know the root causes of the gap?
- If students are struggling to turn in work, what strategies am I helping them develop?
- How do I determine what gets assigned an official grade and what does not?
- Do the assignments accurately reflect content knowledge and success skills (at the surface-deep-transfer levels) or is the assignment just compliance?
- At what depth do I understand outcomes I am expecting both content and success skills (a.k.a 21st century skills)? How am I conveying those expectations and creating clarity with my learners?
- How can I be more strategic about scaffolding the inquiry process to have students better meet the content knowledge and success skills in my project?
Create a culture of learning in your classroom by reflecting on what might be some root causes and know who your learners are in their life. Meeting their needs will help increase the learning outcomes as well as increase the student’s ability to turn in assignments on time!