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Make-Up Work Not Acceptable

Found In: make-up work, routines & procedures, tracking student work

Here’s my rule for make-up work: I don’t accept it. Make-up work actually punishes the teacher by having to grade and manage papers out of sequence. It also sends a message to the students who do their work on time that they are fools for worrying about deadlines, because you can always do make-up work. And to the student who is late, usually chronically, it says “take the time you need because I’ll accept the work when you’re ready.”

Teachers who deduct points for each day of late work also create more work for themselves. They have to calculate, compute, record, etc. how late. If a student can get the work in on Thursday, three days late, he/she can certainly get the work in on the due date.

I have students put their late, make-up work, in their portfolios. At each grading period (approximately every 5 weeks) I have all students analyze what they have accomplished since the beginning of the semester. At this time they can write to me about their make-up work, which is now in their portfolio. Allowing them to put their work in their portfolio and checking it off every five weeks, instead of every time they feel like turning something in, saves me a lot of time and management problems. It also makes the student responsible – as they should be – for keeping track of their own missed assignments.

In my experience, teachers too often enable students not to do well, not to do their best. We always make up the slack. I do make rare exceptions for those students who are always on time and have made arrangements with me in advance.


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