This week I’m happily celebrating the due date. I know I may not be popular with others, but I truly appreciate the due date. I don’t have to open the can of worms of late marks, zeroes and rubrics. Plain and simple, I see the due date as a life skill. Not a learning skill to tick off a box, not an estimated time of arrival, but meeting a firm due date is something students should learn to do.
i feel this way, because learning to meet deadlines to me shows responsibility. I refuse to think (or even do) teach only what a curriculum document tells me. I am part of the village raising this child. Part of what makes you a contributing member to my society is that you learn responsibility. Sometimes, this means sacrifice. Sometimes you need to accept things come up in life that you don’t plan. Sometimes you need to realize there are consequences for your actions.
Due dates are simple. They teach you to budget your time, to decide upon the importance of things, to prioritize. The make you realize others will depend on you, you will depends on others, and contribution to the whole marks the individual better. They allow you to feel success and feel good about your hard work but also realize that every action has a consequence. Isn’t it easy to teach some life skills with just a simple practice. A simple practice that won’t end the world, won’t belittle you, won’t destroy your self esteem. Baby steps.
My students may not realize this at all when I assign a due date. They just think, I have to finish. I think I’m teaching you some valuable lessons. And when I tell them, how do you like it when you order something from a store and they tell you it’s in, but it doesn’t arrive? How annoyed are you when your friend says they’ll pick you up and don’t show? Does it bother you when these things happen? I wonder if those people were learning life skills through simple practice? The work ethic you develop now most certainly will spill over into ALL aspects of your life. So, meeting a silly deadline, is it really that important? Yes, because it’s one among many practices that forms who you are and how you will perform in the future.
My senior English class got that earful on culminating activity presentation day, and five kids actually ‘heard’ what I said, and realized that living up to my expectations and their own potential was worth the effort that day. And I happily got to listen to few more kids speak about their passion. Celebrate away.