Due Dates: A Thing of the Past


Lariah Bruce

   Ms. Hunter, a ninth grade English teacher at Hempfield, does not give penalties for late work. In her class, due dates are suggestions. Her lessons are self guided, and she provides videos for students rather than live in class lessons. 


   She has been teaching for fourteen years. She made the change when she noticed students were finding it difficult to work independently and turn assignments in on time. 


   “I saw their grades dropping not because they didn’t know the content but because they didn’t have the time management skills. A grade should be reflective of a student’s content knowledge, not their ability to turn assignments in on time.”


    Ms. Hunter has noticed that students are changing their habits with her system. They are learning from the natural consequences that come from procrastination. Students can take these lessons and apply them in the future. 


   “Students that put off their work at the end have a lot more to do and they don’t like that stress. Peers start to make their classmates accountable. Students start to request sitting away from the kid that doesn’t make the best use of class time.”


   Suggested due dates are different for each student. Ms. Hunter has more assignments to grade at the end of the unit, but she receives less requests for extensions. 


   Her way of teaching is an attempt to change the education system. She believes students deserve better than the way she was taught. 


  “Technology is changing at a rapid rate and so are the ways we learn. Our students are creative and bright, and we are teaching the same way we have taught for decades. I think our kids deserve something newer and more innovative. Giving them choice and flexibility is what they deserve.”