“Vote with your feet. If you think behavior should be included in the grade, go to that side of the room. If you think behavior should not be included in the grade, go to this side of the room.”
Just like that, the room was divided and a heated debate ensued.
Half of the teachers think behavior such as effort, participation, and obeying class rules should be included in the grade. Others think a grade should be exclusively a communication of achievement.
Teachers argue that part of our job is to teach professional behavior; otherwise we need to consider why we even have school. Others argue that behavior should be taught and reported on, however, independently from the grade that reflects competencies attained. One of my colleagues turned to me and said, “If you are grading on effort and participation then you are grading on personality”. That hardly seems fair. I want to see the rubrics and standardization for effort and participation grades. However, they don’t exist. I am confident that no two teachers are grading effort and participation alike and that’s a problem. I agree that we need to set standards for how students act in class, however, I do not think we should grade on that. I think professional behavior is taught as a value. We don’t grade on honesty or kindness or respect so why on effort/participation or “professionalism”? I just don’t get it.