I was debating whether I wanted to post this, but then I saw a comment at Paragraph City:

Most of their schooling has presented them with faculty who want them so much to succeed that they take away the opportunity to fail, not realizing that this is the same as taking away the opportunity to succeed.

and I wondered if I’ve been guilty of that.

I have a student who just received the automatic F for not completing an Incomplete within a year. Which I feel a little bad about. Admittedly, she didn’t reply to my several emails saying “hey, we need to settle this”, and admittedly, my other incomplete from the same class did get the work in just in time, and admittedly, this particular student came in as a freshman from homeschooling and appears to have run into some obstacles in other classes as well.

But maybe I should have harshly enforced my original deadline of the end of summer instead of letting it drag on for a year, as it’s really hard to finish an incomplete on top of regular schoolwork. Maybe when 2 of my 26 students take incompletes, it means I worked them too hard, or set up a deadline structure that wasn’t sustainable. Maybe my high standards, clearly articulated, scared them into paralysis. Maybe I should stop allowing incompletes at all, and insist on receiving the work, even if it’s awful, or just give the zero for work that isn’t submitted by the time grades are due.