The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Friday, November 26, 2004

Another day, another after school class.

This year, I decided not to run revision classes after school for students approaching their trial examinations. I abandoned the idea after in previous years running after school classes for every component and tier of the exam, at every key benchmark grade. This meant, usually, running 18 classes per examination period.
I would rather staff didn't exhaust themselves working a yet longer day, with the preparation that involves, for few students and little reward.
My idea was that if all delivery of core material was through lessons, then students had to attend, had to pay attention, would focus more on learning in school, than gaining study brownie points in the brain-twilit hours after.

Simultaneously, management decided that students who didn't complete coursework (thus barring themselves from formal exam entry or the higher grades) shouldn't be given catch - up time or classes after school. Instead, students with less than impressive grades should be encouraged to rewrite coursework in specific after school classes. (delivered by ... guess who?) As there are fewer after school classes to deliver, staff would not be paid for delivering them.

The work students had done previously would be regraded and resubmitted, to gain a higher grade, and students would be invited to the sessions by virtue of already having been targeted as two or three marks below a C grade.

Hence, students one mark from a D, or an A could not attend.

It all seems dispiritingly random, but staff are our strongest resources, and we can't continue to squander either their time or goodwill.