7/17/11 - I had an experience yesterday that brought two things to mind:
               1) “There’s no need to miss someone from your past- There’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future” – Unknown

               2) “He who trims himself to suit someone else will soon whittle himself away.” – Raymond Hull (adapted)
1/23/11 - I don't want to lose any of this thread so until I figure out a better way to enter new posts to this page, I will just update it (with the date of the update). Please add new comments to this thread and reference the topic or date you are commenting on.

This school year is going much better than last year. It's true, God will not put more on you than you can bear. I could not handle another year like last year. My intervention group is still challenging. They have came with very few comprehension skills, but they are making progress.

At the half way mark for the school year, I am reflecting on my teaching. I want to focus more on units and less on individual lessons driven by a pacing guide or textbook scope and sequence. 


2010 - A recent article in CTA magazine has me rethinking some of the things I do in class. Colleges are complaining about students expecting to be able to turn in late work, redo work, and retake tests and pretty much depending on it to pass their classes. This is a valid complaint. In reality, how many do-overs will the pre-med student get when he/she becomes a doctor? Not many (contrary to what you see on House, you can't endlessly cut, medicate, and scan. The patient will inevitably run out of time or money). When should a student begin to learn this reality and put in the work needed on the front end to pass the test?

Makeup work and retakes are things I have allowed in the past because my goal is not so much know it by a particular date, but rather be able to demonstrate knowledge at some point during the unit. Also, and this may be the primary reason, the resource teacher and parents demand it. Apparently, my actions have been contributing to a growing problem.

Thoughts for the future: I will probably still allow students to retake quizzes and make-up missing homework assignments, but there will be no retaking tests, turning in projects over 5 days late, or redoing essays.


  1. This is something I really struggle with! Really REALLY struggle with and I have written many blog posts about it. On the one hand I feel like I am crippling my students, but on the other hand, I realize they are growing, they kids, they're brains are not fully developed. But we are crippling them, seriously. Sometimes, in life there are no makeup tests/work.

    I love the illustration of medical schools. Do you know where you read that article? Maybe, I can use it to illustrate the point of turning in work on time--you know the medical reference of trying different meds over and over again until you get it right.

  2. Sorry it's taken so longer for me to reply to your questions/comments. The article I referenced was in the May 2010 issue of California Educator. The medical school student analogy is purely mine, and you are welcome to use it.