In a world being taken over by politics and opinions, I thought I might as well just throw my two cents in!
For or Against?
It crazy for me to sit here and deny that I have always felt one way or the other… because I have been on a teeter-totter! Well, I have finally made up my mind! I am going to be jumping for joy and so are the kids!
Why? So, today we took a bus ride through our school’s district, and I had a couple of revelations…
- Many of the students are on the bus for over an hour! I couldn’t sit that long! And I was ready for fresh air after an hour!
- Many of the students outlooks are survival. They are not worried about anything other than meeting their families needs and their needs.
There the home sat. A shed. One room. But in it, a loving family. A mom and her three kids. Having no wants. Making ends meet. Raising her family. AND THEN HOMEWORK COMES IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL! Added stress. Failing Grades. Yelling. Extra Responsibility. Not enough resources. Not enough time. ALL FOR WHAT?
We all have had the experience of having this child in our class, and what good does giving homework do for the children in this situation? For years, I have been on the responsibility train. I can not count how many times I sat with parents and stated, “The students should be responsible for their own work.” And while that is 100% true… it is only true for some.
I have found there to be two types of kids when it comes to responsibility…
There characteristics hold firm and true…
The Dependent Student
- These students…
- ask questions and want the answer given to them… like yesterday!
- hate having responsibilities.
- have parents who write the answers for them or tell them the answer to write.
- have priorities elsewhere.
- have parents from one extreme (overly involved) to the other extreme (school is a babysitter).
- whine about everything… especially homework.
Taking the dependent child to a whole other level… What happens to the dependent students who do not have parental guidance and support? They fail. Is that fair? Is that what I want them to leave my class thinking? Is that what I want them to think about school? No child should feel like a failure! Homework, that shows little to no effective rate, shouldn’t be the culprit of this mindset.
The Independent Student
- These students…
- have questions, but want to discover the answers on their own.
- love their agendas and being organized.
- don’t need parents to tell them that they need to get their homework finished.
- number 1 priority is school.
- have parents who are informed and only call when there is an issue.
- love doing schoolwork.
Who do we wish would make better grades, but which student makes the better grades? Of course.
Who do we wish would benefit from the homework given, but who benefits from the homework given? Of course.
Who do we wish would be more responsible, but who is the one that showcases responsibility? Of course.
If studies show that academic and interest differentiation gets positive results, shouldn’t we differentiate for homework too?
So, what now?
- Student Choice
- The way my classroom is setup allows for student choice much of the day. They choose how they want to learn the content.
- I plan on incorporating the choice of completing their “work” in class or at home.
- My independent students can complete the work at home (if they choose too), which will make them content. *check*
- My dependent students can complete it at school and not have homework, which will make them content. *check*
- Parent Opinion
- I will inform them on what their child has chosen and we, as a team, will discuss that decision and make changes if necessary.
In the end… this is no debate for me. I am an educator for the students I have, are, and will teach! I will do what is right for them!