James H B...
Tougher Grading Practices Raises Student Self – Esteem How do you feel when you’ve accomplished something? Better yet how do you feel when you’ve accomplished something and you’ve worked long and hard at it? Whether it’s losing weight, finishing college at 40 years old, quitting smoking. or solving a problem that you’ve encountered for the first time it feels great when you look back and can say it didn’t beat me, I got it done. The relief of knowing that the task is complete lifts a tremendous amount of emotional weight off your shoulders. It’s not just how you feel about getting the job done, and putting a check mark next to the task on the to – do list that makes you feel good, It’s how you feel about yourself and what it does to your own level of self esteem that really makes the difference. You begin to feel more confident in other areas of life and are not so resistant to try something new again for fear of failure. Kids are no different, once they experience success they are more open to trying new things and are not as resistant to instruction because in their mind they know that they have had past successes. Those past successes though have to be true successes, kids can’t be given a false sense of their abilities in grade one by being given good grades for their work because by the time they reach the second or third grade they will discover just how much they don’t know leading to low self esteem and ultimately fear of failure. The only way to avoid this potential problem from occurring is to consistently hold students accountable for their work, have high academic expectations, and to work students until you are convinced that they have mastered the material that was taught them. Once students are convinced that you will not accept shoddy work and they will have to do work over and over again until their grade is acceptable they will work to get the assignment right the first time. After the student puts the work in and achieves success, and really know the concept being taught he/she to will look back and say to him or herself that this assignment didn’t beat me. Giving poor grades doesn’t lower student self esteem. Low self esteem comes when the student doesn’t understand the concepts and is not given the opportunity to improve. Tougher grading practices hold students accountable for an acceptable grade, and provides additional instruction to ensure that the student has the opportunity to master the material. Students need opportunities to succeed but, they also need opportunities to fail. It is those failures that should be the red flag for the teacher as to what the student doesn’t know. Once those failures are overcome, a sense of success will encourage the student to be more diligent in his efforts and improve how he or she feels about themselves academically. Learn More