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Apr 27

How do you find a balance between responsibility and failure?

I have been thinking/struggling/wondering about this dilemma lately.

Which is more important?

  • Helping students learn responsibility and how to meet deadlines or
  • Showing students that it is okay if your “learning timeline” is different from others

At my core, I believe the most important thing is for my students to learn – and to nurture in them a love of a learning. I want them to learn the standards I teach them, but I do not expect them to get it right away, and I encourage them to take risks without fear of failure. I want them to know that failure is okay. (As long as they learn from it and continue to make progress towards their goals.)

I also tend to be very open and understanding about deadlines – perhaps too much. I fear that I am not allowing them to be responsible by accepting work that is long overdue. And there are times that I cannot be inflexible with deadlines (like when submitting science fair paperwork). I think these instances surprise them.

I am trying to figure out a way to strike a balance. Also, I know it needs to be a stepped process because students at the beginning of the year need a lot more leeway than they would need at the end of the year with regards to deadlines. I don’t want to squelch understanding or the thirst for knowledge, but I am considering placing limits on “re-d0ing” assignments for students who do not attempt them in a timely manner the first time.

Is this fair? I feel so torn. What am I missing?

 

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