More often today, I keep hearing stories of children being rewarded for things they either have not done or have not done correctly. While instilling confidence in children is important to personal and developmental growth, rewarding them for doing the wrong thing is doing more harm for them than good. That’s why I will never understand school systems who do not allow students to receive the appropriate grades for the amount of work they submit or do not submit at all.
Recently, one former teacher shared her story on Facebook of how she was actually terminated from her job for, as she claims, not giving students partial credit for work they did not submit.
Diane Tirado has been a teacher for 17 years in Port St. Lucie, FL. She recently was teaching 8th-grade social studies in a K-8 school. The school has a very strict policy on grading, as stated by Tirado:
NO ZERO’S – LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%.
Tirado, however, did not agree with this grading policy. She said she feels that it’s unfair and also a lie to give someone a 50% if they haven’t handed anything in. According to Tirado, she had assigned her class a project in social studies in which they were to create an “explorer’s notebook.” Tirado also gave her students two weeks to complete the assignment. And, still, there were some students in her class who did not complete the assignment. Therefore, she gave them what they deserved—0s.
Tirado said she received a termination letter from the school on September 14th, but, the letter did not state why she was terminated. Tirado said all the letter contained was that she was contracted as a teacher on a probation period, meaning she could be dismissed without proper cause.
She wrote a final “goodbye” letter to her kids on her whiteboard in class, stating why she believes she was “let go.”
Since being fired from the school, Tirado has been advocating for a policy change, stating that students should not “receive something for nothing.” Additionally, parents and other people all across social media have been backing up her cause, agreeing that the policy is not helping anyone—especially students.
In all honesty, I support this teacher and her stance 100%. I don’t believe that students should be given grades—or half-grades—for work they did not submit. In fact, doing this to kids sets them up for failure down the line, if they believe that they can be given these kinds of handouts and gifts in the real world. It’s setting them up for a rude awakening later on.
What do you think?