If Its Not BLANK, Then They Won't Do It.

@MrBrettClark 5 Comments

"If it's not graded, then they (students) won't do it."

This is something that I heard somebody say the other day and it really just rubbed me the wrong way. It's this idea that we have to use grades as some sort of negotiating tool to force students to complete task in our classrooms. It's cousin to the idea that teachers won't go to PD if we don't pay them. 

I believe that when we say that we have to use things like grades, mandates, authority, or pay in order to get somebody to complete a job, assignment,  or task then we are admitting that what we are asking to be done isn't relevant, engaging, and probably not necessary. At the very least, we are saying that we don't want to take the time to explain why it needs to be done. 

Here is the reality, it's not if it's not graded then they won't do it. Its if it's not relevant, interesting, necessary, fun, their choice, for the greater good, helpful, _______, then they won't do it. Nor should they have to. Come on folks, we are better than this. We don't have to use grades as leverage to force "engagement". 

I left a blank for you. How would you fill in the blank? 

UPDATE: Bill Ferriter wrote a great post about this conversation. You can read it here.  

See original image here
Also - the conversation made me think of this gem from my friend Bill Ferriter

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