Kermit Says: Forget the Grade

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As a teacher, I face a lot of obstacles that get in the way of productive and positive classroom experiences, one of which is grades. I often have students asking for additional opportunities to improve their grades, not their skills. Or students who bypass marginal comments and flip to the back to see their grade. And in rare cases, students who try to negotiate their grade in an effort to change it. While I would never prevent a student from doing better in class, I’m concerned that, more often than not, a student’s focus and motivation to improve is misplaced.

When did the importance of grades outweigh the importance of learning and growing?

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Dear Kermit: Nervous in New Hampshire

Dear Kermit,

Midterm grades are coming out soon and, if I’m finally being honest with myself, I haven’t done well at all. In fact, that’s pretty much an understatement. This is my first semester at a very intense school, and the level of work and effort required of us has been really difficult, way harder than my previous school. The issue is my parents have no idea! I haven’t been completely truthful with them about my progress and experience in school, and when they find out…let’s just say it won’t be pretty. Help! What should I do?

Thanks,

Nervous in New Hampshire

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