After being in the classroom, my assessment philosophy has altered a bit. When I was given the chance to do formative and summative assessment, I began to see the value in both. I have come to the understanding that students need many “check-in” points before their larger summative assessments; those assessments being the time when I will decide if they have met a particular outcome. However, I have become a large supporter of marked and unmarked smaller assessments. I constantly had students asking whether things were going to be graded or not. Due to our current system, marks are what drive students to achieve at higher levels. My cooperating teacher, for pre-internship, set her class up in a way that seven-five percent of their final mark was based on the small projects and papers they do throughout the semester. Even though many things are being marked, they are still given a chance to receive formative feedback and improve. I modelled this part of my philosophy when I took in my students short horror stories to give feedback on areas they might try to improve before finally handing it in. However, if the student struggles to meet the expectations of the assignment, it will not drop their grade too much. They will be given plenty more opportunities to master that outcome in other assignments throughout. This approach helps eliminate redoing assignments. However, if many students do not do well on a summative assessment, the course work grade leaves an open space for working at that outcome again and trying to help students master it. My hope is that I will be given a chance to set my grading scheme up like this. The final assessment will take all the outcomes they have mastered and tie it together in one. This final assignment may consist of an essay, journal entries, visual project, or test; it has to be something that will show students have learned and mastered the outcomes rather than the content. I would at some point in my time like to see a society where grades are no longer the focus, but that is not how things work in this place and time. Grades or no grades, I will stand by my practice of giving ample opportunities to students to master the outcomes that are mandated by the government, and watch carefully as they grow and progress till the end of our time together.
In terms of late assignment, I loved my cooperating teacher’s policy of ten percent per day, even on the weekends. Students were always given the option of emailing something in to her. I will give my students this same version of tough love. However, if they approach me before the due date, I would gladly give them an extension. They need to learn responsibility. So, I would leave it up to them to come to be to have a chat about their work.