“I’ll Take the Zero”

illtakethezeroWhen I was in school there was the rare student who wasn’t frightened by the threat of a zero. It didn’t matter how hard a subject was, or how much homework was given, there was at least an effort given by most students to make sure they didn’t get that zero. Remember “the dog ate my homework”? That was an excuse meant to try and get more time to complete that homework and get at least some points for it. And parents supported teachers in their efforts to get students to take their work seriously.

But now, I’m not really sure what’s happening at home, but more and more students come to school with a different type of mentality, one that embraces only those things the student already feels comfortable with, and fights off anything else. That means if the student is good at English, he/she will do allĀ  the work for English and get good grades in the subject. But if it’s math, and the student despises math, and/or has decided it’s too hard, that same student will give up and stop even trying. Regardless of the threat of the zero.

Then there’s presenting. One of the biggest parts of the new curriculum for teachers is speaking and listening for content, for information, and for understanding. Which means having to speak in front of the class on occasion. But too many students these days have decided they don’t want any part of presenting in front of their peers, for whatever reason, so they pull out the phrase that has gotten all too familiar of late…

“I’ll take the zero.” Continue reading ““I’ll Take the Zero””