This week we talked in our staff groups about the no zero policy. I do not know what my opinion is on giving zeros, I do not want to reward students for not completing work, but at the same time I think giving a zero can be very devastating for a students grade and confidence. My staff group discussed how some students may take advantage of you in you just assign an incomplete to work that was not handed in. However, I think the whole purpose of assigning a grade is to assess where our students are at in their learning, if we just assign a zero then we are not properly assessing them. The following link is of Dr. Reeves discussing his opinion on giving zeros. He describes it as a toxic practice, and says that the appropriate punishment for a student not completing work is having them complete it.
I personally think when I begin teaching the only time I will assign a zero is if it is my last resort. If by the end of the semester I do not have any work, and I have been communicating with parents and administration and have been trying to help the student, but still have nothing then that would be the point when I would assign a zero.
We also had a presentation from Tim Caleval, he discussed the Ministry’s goals for education in the future. He discussed raising the graduation rate of students in Saskatchewan to 85%. One crucial way to achieve this is to raise the graduation rate of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students in our school. Incorporating First Nation content is provincially mandated in Saskatchewan, and has been something we have learned a great deal about. One thing I have learned is that it needs to be incorporated in a natural way. In my EMTH classes we have had presentations on incorporating First Nations games into the math class, one thing we discussed is using a game and then finding the math within it, rather then trying to stick a game into a topic. I think it is very important for all students to feel as if they belong, and that they feel safe, and in the past I do not think this occurred in all schools. However with what we have been taught throughout university, and all the resources we have been given that we are taking the steps to help students feel as i they belong, and thus help raise the graduation rates within Saskatchewan.