What If Students Did Not Have to Come To Class? October 20, 2017

What If Students Did Not Have to Come To Class?

The follow-up to that question is, would they? I was listening to Alice Keeler talk about grading on the #IMMOOC. She said that she does not believe in grades because student identifies as the grade (i.e. I’m a 70%). She said, what if we created lessons that kids want to engage – no grades, no musts, just good engaging lessons?  Yes, it will be harder; and no, it may not succeed right away, but what if it does? This could be an opportunity to model taking chances and dealing with mistakes. If we can be comfortable creating engaging lessons with the possibility of not succeeding, we are modeling what we want from our students.

So, I ask you the same question. Would they? What if we didn’t grade? Would the students show up? Comments, debate, questions?

Your professional organization needs your help!

In an effort to better serve our members, PSAHPERD is undergoing a major overhaul in the leadership, divisions, and committees. As part of that commitment, we need your opinions on how we can serve you better. PSAHPERD has hired Katapult to help us with this process. Whether you are a member of not, we would appreciate if you would take this survey to help us get a better insight on serving professionals better.



  1. ELEMENTARY: please complete your inventories by the time we go home for Christmas Break. This will make budgeting easier. Budgets will go through me this year. I look forward to working with you on this initiative.
  2. ALL please return to the Schoology Course from Oct 6 and complete the evaluation. Also, I need everyone who has updated their Schoology profiles to take the “quiz” as a record that we did it
  3. HIGH SCHOOL: We have been offered a third classroom. Please let me know in this sheet approximately how often, if at all, you may need a classroom for your PE class.
  4. MIDDLE: Can someone summarize your breakout discussion from October 6 and get it to me.

One of my Favorites recently: Seth Godin!

Seth does a great job talking about marketing. Why should this matter to us? We must always market what we do, what the kids do, and how it is making a change in the world. You could listen to this one if you are driving, there are no visual aides.


8 thoughts on “What If Students Did Not Have to Come To Class? October 20, 2017

  1. I honestly think it depends on the class and the kid if they will come. My movement class…YES! They chose the class and for the most part have voiced that they really enjoy it and love starting their day with me. As for the required fitness/wellness 2 class I think it depends if it’s a physically or health driven student since it was not a choice.
    I’m thoroughly enjoying the electives this year…they are allowing us to focus on topics in which a specific group of students are intrigued about. Onward and upward from here 🙂


  2. In regards to elementary Physical Education class, I would welcome the opportunity to refrain from giving grades. (actually in our case colors!) In my opinion, students should be exposed to a wide variety of activities during elementary school and understand that finding an activity or exercise they enjoy is most important. I do not feel that grading a student on whether or not he/she steps with the opposite foot when underhand tossing a ball in 1st grade is what elementary Physical Education is all about. Grading children on skills often shapes a students viewpoint on his/her ability. Grading on skills has forced me, as a teacher to focus more on teaching specific skills and has limited the variety of activities that I previously exposed the children to. In closing, I would support not grading in elementary PE!


  3. I agree with that Colleen. It develops a fixed mindset way too early in their school years. If we let them explore and enjoy the activities without the “pressure” to do it all perfectly, they will have more of a growth mindset and will want to be in our classes! If we design our classes correctly, most of our PE students will want to come to class so they can experience success and have fun learning new skills and moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do we as teachers like to be grader? I hate it. Grading and ranking people is just so people know where they are in the academic society. When we tell adults, how they are performing their jobs, we get offended. Why would this be any different for kids. Who cares if you are 1st in your class? Colleges and some parents. Grading is so far from reality. Two teachers, same class, two grading methods. One is easier and one is harder on grading. This sets up a bad recipe. In college, we were all told about which professor should we take, because they graded easier or didn’t do as many projects. Why has education come to this. Is grading a motivator in education. Yes to some and no to others. Some students could care less what grades they get and we need to find other motivators for them. Maybe removing the pressure of high stakes testing and allowing students to learn and grow at their own pace and at their own competency. Grades are bad UMMMMkayyy (south park reference).


  5. Thanks Todd for this thought-provoking blog instead of a PPT with a bunch of management “stuff”. Thanks Jamie, Colleen, Clip and Tim for your thoughts too! I used to enjoy grading because I had a rubric that I created to grade students on how they followed MY instructions on the things I thought were important. Ouch. That was painful to type and relive… Yes, I agree that focusing on specific items Colleen seems like it misses the point of 1st grade H/PE (stay active, learn about your body, movement, and maybe have some fun!). Yes Tim, WE HATE to be graded, also the motivation piece is so critical. I think grades motivate some kids because that is how they get our positive attention. If we gave A’s for the students who fail because they tried something different/new would encourage those same “pleasers” to do just that. Fail and learn. I wonder if we flipped Todd’s question to “Would teachers come to PD if it was not required….?” is another conversation for another day. I think that if we as educators operate under the assumption that our students/learners DO have the ability to pick our class(es)/school that this will help us to continue to innovate and create environments where people want to come and learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is interesting that you brought up flipping that question. I actually contemplate often not making department meetings mandatory, but instead go with the concept of, “come if you want help build this thing and be a part of the future.” I also try with every inservice to build an agenda that would be enagaging enough that our team would want to come if they did not have to. I’m sure it doesn’t work every time, but that is the mindset. I wish we could look at grading as a district and figure out a way to change course


  7. I have felt that grading is not worth the time, energy, or recognition that we give it. PE is always the problem when a grade is low because it holds a student back from academic achievements like a bumper sticker. A rubric created to show growth would be enough to assess if a student has met the requirements of the class. Then the world could go pass/fail and allow students to try, explore, and enjoy activity.


  8. If students didn’t have to come to class, I wouldn’t want to be a teacher. The thing about the JOB is the kids, at times I have lost that perspective. They help create an environment that I enjoy coming into. Like Tim said, adults typically tend to have more of a negative energy/attitude. Not trying to put words into your mouth…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s