If I have to pick out one singular aspect of lessons that is most likely to result in outright work refusal it would definitely be redrafting work.
In the eyes of my students redrafting work has to be the most pointless task ever invented. It is in their opinion simply a form of torture which teachers have invented in order to make them miserable.
I mean what is the point of redoing something that you have already done, tried your best doing and are quite satisfied with?
Of course I could just say, never mind then let’s leave it at that. However, both they and I know that that isn’t going to happen. I’m far too stubborn for that. My students are wonderful, intelligent and creative, and more than capable of improving their work.
However, that said – neither is there any point about going into a battle of work which can be avoided!
After all, we all need to know when to pick our battles.
So this is how I get round redrafting:
We go around the houses:
The word redrafting is banned. My students don’t ‘redraft’ work, or at least not knowingly.
We do challenges:
Instead, they complete four challenges – each of which asks them to look at a different element of their work.
We do envelopes:
Because things presented in envelopes look exciting.
We do handwritten:
Each challenge is handwritten from me to them. It’s my way of showing I care.
We do praise:
Each challenge congratulates them on a fantastic piece of work. I need them to understand that 1) They have done a great job with their work, 2) I know that they’ve done a great job, 3) Even when we’ve done a great job, we can still challenge ourselves a little bit more.
One day, in the not too distant future – they will be ready for me to say to them, ‘OK guys let’s redraft this.’
But first they need to understand that redrafting something doesn’t mean you got it wrong in the first place. And second they need to have the building blocks in place to understand what redrafting work really means.
Ok and I forgot, one tiny other element.
We do chocolate:
Once they’ve completed their challenges they will enjoy their chocolate whilst I thoroughly enjoy reading their excellent work!
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