I have decided to change my late work policy, partially based on the comments I received when posting my previous article about my late work policy. I had mentioned that my stated policy is that all late work needed to be turned in within a week of the due date, but I do make exceptions.
One commenter mentioned that my policies should be uniform, consistently applied to all. While I don’t agree that being fair means being the same with everyone (we all have different needs, after all), I do think the policy should be written in a way showing consistency.
I will change my policy to: “Late work will only be accepted if discussed with me, and I agree that extra time is warranted. Some assignments may not be made up later, and some activities may be impossible to recreate.”
I think this will allow me to still accept late work, which I rarely deny, and will allow me to be clear that there are times when late work or make-up assignments just aren’t possible or appropriate.
In all honesty, I don’t really understand why late work isn’t accepted. Some students just need extra time. Maybe the inconvenience to the teacher is a reason, not one I think is justifiable, but one probably used. I’ve heard people say that accepting late work enables students to miss deadlines, and I would respectfully disagree. I’ve almost always allowed late work and have never been buried by it; the kids just respect the due dates I set. Besides, my job is to teach the skills and content of my discipline. Nowhere in the course or state standards have I found anything related to discipline or meeting deadlines.
I think my new policy will allow me the flexibility to continue as I have in the past and will, on paper and in practice, be much more consistent.