A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

There are no words.

That late great author Douglas Adams once said, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

My colleagues in the special education department were supposed to get me all the IEPs for my students who have one last Friday. I just got another one today, and several were emailed, dated 11:59 pm, on Friday evening.

So, nearly half of the kids in my regular classes have IEPs that allow them to turn in work late.

All their work. All the time.

Some of these kids are seventeen and eighteen years old.

Discuss. I'll be back after I wash my mouth out with soap.

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At 8/31/11, 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All their work late, all the time? I hear that employers are much the same with workplace tasks and that's the attitude the IRS will be taking toward the 2011 tax returns. I love how the system prepares kids for the "real world!"

At 8/31/11, 7:34 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Sounds like a drafting problem. All my kids' IEPs (and like you, about half the kids in my regular classes) have time limits - one extra day, one block day, etc. I haven't seen any open-ended late work IEPs.

Last year I instituted a practice based on a tip I saw in the NEA magazine - I offer 2 bonus points (on a 10-point assignment) for turning it in early, i.e., any day before the day of the test. The day of the test is the absolute LAST day I will accept any work for that unit.

I realize you may not be able to set those deadlines, but if they're enticed by the bonus points, maybe that will at least encourage some of the kids to turn in their work early.

At 8/31/11, 7:57 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

I've got a kid whose IEP says she can't get anything lower than a B.

Pass the soap.

At 8/31/11, 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just this past year did the province of Ontario "reinstate" policies allowing teachers to penalize students for late work. That means that in the entire province of Ontario for nearly ten years every student was allowed to hand in all of their assignments late, all the time.
There are many educators that are still being pressured by their admin to honour this insane policy (I'm not one of them, I give our more "donughts" than Krispy Kreme, if you catch my drift).
I feel your pain. I suggest you pull a "used car salesman" and negotiate/set deadlines well ahead of when you actually want them. That way you have a better chance of actually getting the work in a reasonable time period. Oh, and don't forget, colleges don't like to see "incomplete" marks on report cards and transcripts. There are ways to light a fire under their asses, you just have to get creative about how you use psychological mannipu...er, I mean, classroom management.

A sympathetic ear in Ontario

At 9/2/11, 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So....how is it that my child with a speech delay can't get an IEP?

WTF (need soap here too)...An casual friend just called asking for help for her child with dyslexia. She recently moved to this country (legally, she is an American, but had been living overseas), and is unfamiliar with state laws. The teacher told her he had never taught a dyslexic child.

Did the parent sign off on these IEPs? I can't imagine signing one for my child that is so obviously harmful.

At 9/4/11, 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered if some of your special ed coworkers are on IEPs as well.

That's mean. I know my special ed coworkers work really hard and have WAY more paperwork than anyone ever should. But honestly, what are we teaching our children? If you can get a label (ADD, LD, PTSD, PPD etc...) you can do anything you want.

At 9/7/11, 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less work, maybe. Different work, that makes sense, some of the time. But LATE work? in what universe is that a sensible accomodation?

At 9/24/11, 3:22 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Parents did sign off on these. Anything to get the grades, regardless of the consequences. Never mind about preparing kids for LIFE.


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