I disagree with that approach, and I wanted to make it clear.
I am absolutely in agreement that every effort should be made to help the middle school student realize that if they make some effort at some point to meet a deadline, they will get some credit for that. However, dismissing the importance of meeting a deadline is not something that I support.
So, I wrote this:
Students were required to turn in their chorus shirt sizes and $20 for the shirt or a request for sponsorship. They had four days to meet the deadline to receive 100%. If they were unable to afford the shirt, they were told repeatedly that we can sponsor them, but they still had to turn in their shirt sizes like everyone else along with a note requesting sponsorship so that we could order them the proper sized shirt. Reminders were sent to parents and students via "Remind" and via my email list on which I have a majority of parents in my program. All were invited to participate in "remind" and the email list via the syllabus. Most signed up. Some do not, but I know that every effort was made on my part to help the child succeed by requesting parents to read and sign the syllabus. Students who are using the shirt of an older sibling were told they must still turn in a note telling us that information in order to get a 100. This was due by 9 AM Friday. Parents were here daily to collect $, shirt sizes and sponsorship notes starting Tuesday. We collected two more days passed the due date as well. Cash or money order were the acceptable forms of payment, and of course sponsorship notices were encouraged for those in need.
Every effort was made.
As teachers, most reasonable people would agree that it is important to teach the standards of responsibility and accountability. This is a standard that does not ebb and change with the educational fads of the moment, and is one that will serve children well for a lifetime. When they realize that NOT meeting a deadline is important, they are more likely to start meeting deadlines, and as a result, they are more likely to succeed in their endeavors. When one misses a deadline for a bill payment, one is held accountable. We are most often given a second chance with a penalty. And if we don't pay the bill, we ultimately lose access to the service.
I follow a similar philosophy with my students, and it is one of the most important reasons my program is as successful as it is.
My 333 students are always given a second and third chance about which I remind them often. It is also up to the parents to help them seek it. I am their teacher, but I am not their parent. My approach to quizzes is the same. When a child fails, I give them chances to raise their grades by coming to me for tutoring during homeroom time. No special transportation is required because the children are already here at that time. Most will seize the moment. However, some will not. It is the nature of human beings, but I always want to feel 100% that I've worked to reach them all, so that is what I do.
People change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.
This applies to children as well as adults.
Thank you for your support in helping our children succeed by meeting the unchanging standard of responsibility and accountability.
March 16, 2016- After posting this, I found a blog post that speaks well about this subject. Give it a read...especially if you are a teacher in Georgia! Click here!
My YouTube Channel with teaching tips and teaching examples for the middle school chorus teacher.