Friday, February 19, 2010

Who’s On Fourth?

Today is the last day of the fourth of six grading periods this year. I always refer to the last day of these grading periods as “Zero Day” because a zero is the grade I get to record on that last assignment of the period for so many. I don’t understand it. These kids see the home stretch of a grading period and just don’t do the last assignment. It’s like an “almost finishing is good enough” mentality. Who knew a generation raised on a diet of cheat codes for unlimited lives and everyone gets a trophy would develop such a habit?

Another aspect about this grading period is that it tells you whether a kid is a lock to pass the semester or not. They come into this one off a two-week holiday. It’s the start of the final push until their senior year. You would hope that would get a little bit extra out of these kids, yet nothing.

I guess that adds to my disappointment: my Romantic idea of motivated students. Even though year after year their actions (or lack of) confirm that “getting the job done” just isn’t their thing, I still foolishly hope. I’m like the guy who buys a lotto ticket every week because there’s always a chance. Thirty years later, he has nothing to show except he flushed away about fifteen grand.

And the number of zeros I enter in my gradebook will just grow from here until the end of the year. Just like the lotto.

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