December 13, 2011

Angering the traditionalists

It seems that I inadvertently upset a colleague. In fact, angered is a more appropriate word.

While the teacher was making students copy nightly homework into an agenda book (yawn), a frustrated student who also has me for a teacher, announced that "Mr. Barnes says homework has no value." Uh-oh.

Now, just to be clear, I do tell students when they ask why I don't assign homework that I don't see the value in it and that they'd be better off reading for pleasure. I always add that other teachers do what they believe is best, and the students should honor that.

My colleague responded with a rather pointed e-mail, suggesting that my philosophy was hurting the entire building.

My initial reaction was to reply with a cyber dart of my own, but I refrained. After further consideration, I decided that the word is finally getting out. Before today, I thought my colleagues weren't listening to my pleas for reason on homework and grades. This was the first signal that they are taking notice.

Hmm, I wonder what I can do next to anger the traditionalists.