Late Work: Helper or Harmer?

Syringa Garcia

Recently at Skyline High School teachers changed the late work policy. Many teachers have agreed to only allow late work up until one week after an assignment is due. Other teachers have decided to change the policy so that work can only be turned in one day late, and so on. There are many pros and cons to having late work as an option. Overall, it’s pretty hard to tell if late work can help or hurt students’ grades. I wanted to list some main points that I have thought about in regards to late work.

Late work, in my opinion, can help students a lot. Sometimes there’s so much work that it’s really overwhelming. Even if it means losing some points, it can be mentally beneficial to be able to spread the work out between a couple of days and take a small load off. Everybody has their limits and a mental breakdown could happen on bad days due to having to turn in multiple  assignments for one day. School would be a lot less daunting if students can take their time and make it up late.

Other than mental benefits, there are other advantages to being able to turn in late work. Imagine those days when you’re late or tired and you just walk out the door without an everyday item. There are a lot of times when we’ll leave our home, forgetting to unplug something, or grab our house keys, wallets, or many other basic items. The same goes for homework. Some students will go home and do some work. Thinking they’re done for the day and stuff all the work back in their bag and relax. In reality, sometimes they’ll have missed an assignment or two because they completely forgot it was even assigned. Of course, usually, they’ll realize their mistake as soon as they wake up and feel terrible about it. Essentially, we all make these kinds of mistakes. It’s always nice to have a second chance when a simple human error is made.

However, there are also many cons to having the option of late work. Most high school students know the feeling of rushing to get all their previous assignments turned in a week before the end of trimester. As a student, I know very well that there are a significant amount of times when the late work policy is abused. Students will wait until the very last minute because there isn’t a ‘real’ due date to give them motivation and there will also be no consequences of waiting until the very end either. Students also forget about the teachers in this situation. If every student in the school turned in every assignment from the trimester within a week of all grades having to be submitted then that would be hundreds of assignments that each teacher would have to grade within a week. Imagine the stress and late nights they go through for their students’ last minute work.

That’s the obvious reason for late work being a bad thing, but there are others too. My sister, an ISU student and former Skyline student, pointed out something I found very interesting. She mentioned that in college there are no late assignments. Students have to turn in their assignments on time or they don’t get a grade. This doesn’t apply to all high schoolers, but a vast majority of them are planning to go to college. Allowing late work does not prepare them for the way things will be in the future. Employers would also probably have a problem with their employees not doing their jobs fast enough or turning assignments in on time.

In the end though, it’s the teacher’s decision on whether to accept late work and just how late they’ll accept it. Everybody has their different opinions on what will be more beneficial to students in the end. It can only be hoped that they consider all sides of the situation when making up their late work policies.