Not everyone gets their chance at extra credit

Art by Mike Foley

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Report card season, the infamous time of year to hand in all of your late work and gain as many extra credit points as possible. That’s if you’re one of the lucky few to have a teacher who will allow it.

The thing is, not all students are offered equal opportunities to gain a quick and final boost to their grade. So the question is, should all students be offered extra credit? Or should it just not exist at all?

Today’s world is all about equal opportunities, especially within the education system. Students are hounded throughout most of their high school career about the importance of good grades and taking charge of their education.

For some, a simple three points to your final grade is worth almost nothing, but to others, that three points can be the light at the end of the tunnel. 

The education system does not follow a single rubric to dictate and influence its educators’ decisions in the classroom, this being the case, students can find a wide variety of teaching and workload styles. 

Many teachers out there keep their workload as minimal as possible, not because they are bad at their job, but because that’s simply how their classroom operates. Students can come across these kind of classes often throughout their high school career. The types of classes where there is no more than a few small value homeworks, a few quizzes and midterm.

With so few grades, each assignment is worth much more when compared to a classroom with a more extensive workload. Having said, a missed homework or one bad quiz can tank a students grade. 

Part of being human is making mistakes, especially in high school. So where is the equality in having some students get an opportunity to clean up their own mess and others have no choice but to wait and try harder next time.  

 Of course there is a valid point of teachers not giving extra credit because it is the student’s job to complete their work within their given due date, but again, students make mistakes all of the time. Teachers tend to know that as well. 

There is a huge importance in realizing that life doesn’t always offer you a second chance, and teachers do a great job at expressing that. 

 Those who do not offer extra credit have very good and valid reasons. Such as teaching the lesson of learning from your own mistakes. It’s a great thing that they express things like this because it is a great real world realization to better prepare us for the world beyond school. However, extra credit shouldn’t be based on luck of the draw with teachers. 

It is important to learn from the mistakes made almost every day, part of being a responsible student is taking responsibility for our actions. 

The thing about extra credit is that it makes more of an impact than just a few bonus points. Going after those handful of points boosts a students initiative. Teachers want their students to succeed, and helping them along the way can make a big difference.

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