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Teachers and Late Work

Don’t tell me you don’t care.

Your students might tell you they don’t care. They might tell you they don’t care when they don’t pay attention in class—they might not even show up.

You can’t teach what they aren’t ready to learn–but that has nothing to do with how you show up.

What change are you looking to make?

When you show up and decline to accept late work, you tell us, “I don’t do work that matters.” When you show up and decline to accept late work, you tell us, “I don’t care.”

Care means you take responsibility for students’ prosperity within the system you work–the educational system.

A teacher who cares about others’ learning sees a failing grade as a failure to teach. A teacher who doesn’t care about others’ learning sees a failing grade as a failure to learn.

And when you show up and decline to accept late work, you tell students that you don’t care about their prosperity within your system. Instead, you act like you care while you’re looking to shame.

That’s no accident—educational institutions, past and present, continue to run atop shame. Look at how far we’ve come.

So I’ll ask again. What change are you looking to make?

Are you here seeking performative compliance to enforce obedience?

I hope not.

We need you to care about the change you seek to make. You may not have chosen your work; it may have chosen you. But we need you to think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it that way.

We need you to show up on purpose.

Each day, you wake up to a choice. A choice to commit to do work that matters. A choice to renew yourself and the world by choosing how you show up.

And we need you to choose to care.

Because the ones that care make all the difference.