At the beginning of the year, I gave my yearbook staff a very simple syllabus. It said something along the lines of:
50 points will be deducted from any any pages turned in late.
It’s quite a threat, and it worked…for a while. If I ever had any intentions of enforcing it, though, they’ve evaporated now that reality has presented itself. My kids are dropping the ball. They deserve those 50s, but I just can’t bring myself to give them out. Here’s why:
I need these kids next year. Yearbook’s an elective, and electives are supposed to be GPA-padding easy A’s. Shelling out even one 50 for an assignment doesn’t guarantee failure, but it does make getting an A impossible and the chances of me getting them back next year slim.
Yearbook only has 14 students. And four of them deserve that 50. When almost 30% of staff is hit with a failing grade, I can only see mutiny on the horizon. When we made our first deadline, I bought the gang some candy and sodas; we took a day to celebrate. When we missed our second by a few days, there was no celebration. Lesson learned, I thought. Our third deadline showed up two weeks ago, and I’m still short 8 pages. I feel like someone owes me candy (and 8 pages).
3. It’s Gotta Be My Fault
I’m not a long-term thinker. I can’t plan months in advance. I’ve gotta take some of the blame for these kids dropping the ball. They had no daily accountability. I saw them just sitting there a few times and said nothing. One kid simply didn’t know she was assigned to one spread. I could have easily solved that with a What Pages Are You Responsible For Quiz two months ago.
So I’m not sure what to do. I can dole out those 50’s–be the bad guy and suffer the consequences. I can play the sucker and keep letting dire mistakes slip by unpunished until the consequences become financial. Or I can search out a more reasonable middle ground. Any ideas?