Monday, August 27, 2018
Homework. I know it’s a very divisive topic, so I’ll tread lightly. While I know that opinions are strong, I also know that thinking changes over time. Mine certainly has.
When I first started teaching, I assigned a lot of homework. I believed that it was critical to student success. It created students who worked hard and became independent learners. Homework was a way to build work ethic and extend the day’s lesson. As time progressed, I felt like a manager of a grade book as opposed to a facilitator of learning. I was focused on missing assignments and how to grade such assignments. Should I take off a letter grade? Five points per day? Did I communicate this information to parents? Should I even accept it since it’s “so late”?
Even though my thinking about homework and assignments in general have changed, I know that I was doing what I thought was best at the time. I truly believed that I was doing my best for kids. Then, one day, my thinking was challenged. And, I chose to be open to a new idea. I began reading a lot of research about the purpose of homework and its impact on learning. It also made me begin questioning my grading practices. It was powerful. And, it was just the beginning.
So, my thought for tonight, be open to challenging one of your beliefs about your practice. It could be the start of something great.