Thursday, October 18, 2012

Are Deadlines for Real?

deadlineRecently on Facebook, I got into a discussion with a friend whose daughter is trouble because of low grades. Unfortunately for the student, she was going to have her Iphone taken away. The mother’s concern is this,

“I think the part that bothers me the most is that she will come home and say, my grades not that low I just need to turn this or that in. Makes me so mad that teachers allow kids to turn in assignments whenever they get good and ready. Anything to make the school look good and pass those kids. They pretty much beg the kids to please do the work. Really???? When I was in school you did it and turned it in when it was due or it was too bad for you.”

I had to agree with her but my response was,

“I think that is why many kids don't take responsibility for their actions. They feel that they don't have to be accountable. Of course, there are many parents who raise Cain at the teachers who don't give the kids leeway on assignments and threaten to sue. Usually the squeaky wheel gets the grease so these parents usually get their way. Then teachers feel tired of beating their heads against the wall and instead of setting themselves up for a fight, they usually just let kids get their way.”

I also stated,

“Better that she learn a lesson at this age then when she has a job and gets fired. Real life is so different than school life and kids need to know that. A boss would not put up with missing deadlines the way teachers do.

I guess I saw both sides of the story from a parent’s point of view and a teacher’s point of view. But I have to say it is time for teachers to stand steadfast with their deadlines. It is time to make students accountable for the actions (or their lack of action). I don’t think we should buckle down to some of the parents who want their children to pass despite their lack of responsibility. Many parents just want their child to get good grades even though they don’t deserve it. Unfortunately these students are set up for failure when beginning a career. They don’t understand that on the job, deadlines are for real. A boss does not want to hear excuses but wants to see results. If we let students get away with failing to meet deadlines, we are doing a major disservice to them. They will eventually be unable to hold a job until they realize that deadlines are for real.

How would you have answered this parent? How do you handle deadlines in your class? Please share.

Image: 'Time'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24742305@N00/2331754875

3 comments:

Clix said...

In the "real world," though, in most cases you can turn stuff in late with a penalty. And in some cases, if you can prove extenuating circumstances, you might be able to get the penalty waived.

With that in mind, I do accept late work from students, but they only receive 80% of what they would have gotten, and they must review it with me after school.

Pat Hensley said...

@Clix You are right. Even payments can be made but there is usually a penalty. Unfortunately many students don't think there should be any penalty for late work. I even had one of my university students argue with me about a penalty for turning in his paper in late.

Clix said...

Sometimes I wonder, though, how much of that is actual belief and how much of it is testing boundaries. ;)