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What do you do w/ a principal that fights you on wanting to give grades for class assignments? I teach K-8 and feel that by 5th grade students should receive grades for tests, projects, and attendance at concerts. The year has just begun but already my principal is upset w/ me sending out my class expectations in a memo to the teachers! To her music is a “specials” class and thus students shouldn’t be held to the same standards as regular classes. Does anyone else out there have this problem and, if so, how do you deal w/ this and, how do you handle an unsupportive admin?
That’s awful. My principal is fine with me calculating my own grades and then providing the homeroom teachers with them. To be honest, I’m not sure that the homeroom teachers need to know your expectations. If one of their kids is at fault breaking one of those rules, then they need to know about the rules. In my previous school I experienced such an administrator. The kids fed off that and treated my class as nothing more than free time “It’s just music.” That was one of the reasons I left.
Back to your principal – Do you have a Music Dept chairperson? If so, I’d contact the person and ask them to speak to your principal. One of their responsibilities, I think, is to support you and help the admins understand what you do. …. If you do not have a dept chairperson, I might make an appointment to speak with the principal and explain that if you were to hold kids to a lower standard than other grade-level classes, they will fall behind and will not consider Music class as a serious subject, which could in turn affect behaviors in your classes. (let that marinate a minute)
Of course, by 5th grade kids should be getting graded on their work!! I tell my kids in grade 3 and higher that they get a behavior grade (which may or may not get entered, depending on how many things are on my list) and a grade for their classwork. …. Oh, and participation.
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