Angering the traditionalists

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It seems that I inadvertently upset a colleague. In fact, angered is a more appropriate word.

While the teacher was making students copy nightly homework into an agenda book (yawn), a frustrated student who also has me for a teacher, announced that “Mr. Barnes says homework has no value.” Uh-oh.

Now, just to be clear, I do tell students when they ask why I don’t assign homework that I don’t see the value in it and that they’d be better off reading for pleasure. I always add that other teachers do what they believe is best, and the students should honor that.

My colleague responded with a rather pointed e-mail, suggesting that my philosophy was hurting the entire building.

My initial reaction was to reply with a cyber dart of my own, but I refrained. After further consideration, I decided that the word is finally getting out. Before today, I thought my colleagues weren’t listening to my pleas for reason on homework and grades. This was the first signal that they are taking notice.

Hmm, I wonder what I can do next to anger the traditionalists.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
  1. Mark Barnes
  2. Michele Kerr

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