No Such Thing As Late Work?

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.


4 thoughts on “No Such Thing As Late Work?

  1. The Science Goddess

    I don’t sweat late work so much with formative information—kids can always “show what they know” when it comes time for summative assessments. Summative, however, must be completed one way or another…no matter how “late” it might be.

  2. Tammy Gillmore

    I just finished Penny Kittle’s Write Beside Them (awesome book! So many tips and tricks included.). She does allow late work…or “multiple drafts” as she calls it, and the student says when the paper is the “final” one. Some kids took advantage of it, but not a lot…but it was good for the ones who wanted to keep working on a project/paper.

    My policy has been 30 points off per day late…mainly for the procrastinators and for those who work best under deadlines.

    This something I need to ponder on more…

  3. Betty

    I once had a mom get so mad at me because I extended a deadline. She said that her daughter had worked hard to have the assignment ready on time, and it wasn’t fair to give other kids more time. I like the flexibility of your new plan. Being too structured just isn’t my style.

  4. Pingback: Excused vs. Unexcused « The Doc Is In

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