Saturday, May 8, 2021

NYC Educator: Does It Pay to Do Nothing?

NYC Educator: Does It Pay to Do Nothing?
Does It Pay to Do Nothing?

I was in a meeting the other day in which we were discussing NX grades. That's what we have in lieu of failure these days. A lot of teachers are upset about this, for various reasons. 

I understand that it's better to err on the side of not hurting kids for things that aren't their fault, so I can't complain about it that much. I have one student, for example, who was excellent in my class. Once we went remote, he tuned out completely. Without human contact, forget it. In fact, the NX won't help him, but I'd be happy if it did. 

One teacher said the NX grades were advantageous to students who do nothing. When students hand in things late, we grade them. Maybe we take off something for lateness, but we look at them. In fact, they have an advantage over students who did work poorly and got bad grades. (I don't know about you, but I haven't got the time or inclination to look at work over and over until every students gets 100 on everything.)

So this teacher was arguing a kid would be smart to just do nothing all semester, wait until the end, and then do everything. I wasn't persuaded. For one thing, people who are inclined to do little or nothing are highly unlikely, at the last minute, to find the energy to do five months worth of homework in a day, a week, a month, or perhaps ever. Of course, there are exceptions. 

I myself once spent a year in a biology class, failed everything, learned nothing, but spent the last week with my nose in a red Barron's review book. Back then, if you passed the Regents exam, you passed the CONTINUE READING: NYC Educator: Does It Pay to Do Nothing?