Tomorrow is Monday morning; lesson one I teach my KS4 students – all of whom before 9.30 if I’m totally honest, would far rather be at home in bed than in my lesson. They will be grumpy, and anything and everything that is wrong with their world will be my fault. It’s ok – I won’t take it personally – as soon as the clock hits 9.30 they will become the lovely human beings I know them to be, and I will be forgiven for inflicting endless misery upon them.
I am however determined, as I am every Monday that lesson one will be a success, despite the fact that this Monday I (the evil teacher) will be inflicting the horror of all horror on them. We will be redrafting a piece of work.
Now I should add here that redrafting work, has – in the eyes of my students – 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 KS4 students are wonderful, intelligent and creative, and more than capable of improving their work. However, that said – nor am I going to embark on a battle of wills first thing on a Monday morning.
Instead I’m going to go round the houses, they aren’t going to ‘redraft’ work, or at least not knowingly. Instead, they are going to complete four challenges – each of which asks them to look at a different element of their work. Those challenges will be handwritten and presented in an envelope which 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 – a Cadbury’s chocolate éclair – once they’ve completed their challenges they will enjoy their éclair whilst I thoroughly enjoy reading their excellent work!
If you would like to try this with your students here are some printable and editable challenges for you to get started with. Just don’t mention the dreaded ‘redrafting’ word!