My son's teacher doesn't give back his work
By Kathy Glass, Consulting Educator
Our problem is that one of my son's teachers is terrible about posting his grades online. Actually, she is extremely slow at grading papers and projects at all. So, he can look at most of his grades online and know up to the day what his grade is and what he received on each item (test, homework, assignment, etc.). The problem is that without seeing his grades for her class, or receiving his graded work back from his teacher, he does not get a chance to make up any work that he has a lower grade on. My son strives for straight A's and he received his only B this whole year because he didn't have a chance to know his grade ahead of time and to re-do any work. This is extremely frustrating to both of us. What do you recommend?
I think you need to be flexible with your son adapting to this teacher's work style and realize that not all teachers approach grading or returning work in the same way or timeframe. Of course, there are certain expectations of all teachers such as meeting standards in each content area (e.g., math, science, etc.), but each teacher will have his or her own unique way of working in the classroom. You can compare this to teachers needing to differentiate their instruction to different types of kids. So here you have the role reversal of the kids adapting to different teacher styles.
In this particular situation, I think it would be appropriate for your son to
approach this teacher periodically and ask for an update on his grade average. As to whether he can "make up any work that he has a lower grade on," this will depend on the policy of the teacher. I am confident, though, that your son's teacher will be quite supportive to give him an update on his grades once it is requested.
Your son needs to adapt to this teacher's style. In life, there will be similar circumstances in which your son will have to adapt to others' styles, such as an employer, another teacher, a camp counselor, a group project leader. Being up front and honest can help him to meet the challenge directly of learning to work within someone else's rules and idiosyncrasies. View this as a learning opportunity for your son to approach the teacher in a non-threatening, honest way to get what he needs to be successful. Confronting others is a life skill that will only serve him well in the future.
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.