Setting my Standards

I admit, I have quite high standards; I fully believe that challenging students forces them to rise to the challenge and I am rarely disappointed. However, today I noticed that this isn’t always the case.

I’m not completely happy with all of my classes. I LOVE my physics courses, and my pre-calculus courses, but I am unhappy with my workplace class. I’m not unhappy because of the content, I actually find it quite interesting, but every year I am disappointed in the work ethic and products that come from the class.

This class is A LOT of hands on math, and admittedly doesn’t have the same high academic clientele I typically work with, but does this give them the right to ‘slack off’?

I am consistently presented with lackluster projects and rushed assignments, but I accept them because I accept that I won’t get anything else ‘from these kids’. This thought is alarming to me! Me, a math teacher by trade is accepting work that isn’t up to snuff just because I want to get something from a kid.

The ‘no kid can fail’ attitude doesn’t help. These students know they will get chance after chance to ‘just get by’, and unfortunately most are in the course just to get the graduation credit. 

I know that I’m doing these kids a disservice by not having the same standards as in my academic courses, but can I have the same expectations for students who have just skated by for 11 years of schooling? 


Note: Not ALL my students in Workplace fit this description, but it tends to be the class that has a higher percentage of these kids.


2 thoughts on “Setting my Standards

  1. Keep pushing Ellen. After finishing my degree in Electrical Engineering years ago is wasn’t until my last year that the light truly went on to see the full spectrum of math as a language. Like any language we need to learn not only the words, but the grammar as well and that there are many ways to say something. In the end they need those basic building blocks so that they can learn to solve problems a number of different ways. I appreciate your pushing my children over that couple of years even though at times it might have been painful but I know in the end they did appreciate your efforts.

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