Maybe I’m Crazy – But I Don’t Think So.

Yesterday, I put the finishing touches on the syllabus I’m handing out the first day of class. I’m teaching Senior Portfolio Design. In one part of the document, I had to write down the grading criteria. A student’s total grade will be divided among class projects, final portfolio, presentation style, and class participation. And although other instructors in the past have given a portion of the grade based on attendance, I decided I couldn’t do that. I think that’s crazy.

I don’t think you should be rewarded just for showing up.

If you sign up for this class, I expect you to show up. It’s the only way to participate in class. It’s the only way to do the in-class projects. It’s the only way we can work on your portfolio and make it better. You get credit for all of these points. But not for just showing up.

Imagine this conversation with my boss a year from now “I would like a raise. I know I didn’t make any contributions this year. I didn’t do anything extra. But I did show up every day. I think I should be rewarded.”

She’d kick me out of her office.

What about this conversation “It’s not my fault my project stinks, you never provided any feedback. How was I to know that everything was wrong – you’re the expert not me. And yes, it’s true, by not coming to work, I didn’t give you the opportunity to look at my projects – but nowhere in the job requirements did it list coming to work everyday as a requirement.”


I shouldn’t have to tell you to that coming to work (or class) is important. You can’t succeed if you don’t show up. Showing up is the minimum. But it’s also the foundation of everything.

The last time I checked I couldn’t read minds from great distances. So I have no idea what you’re thinking unless you tell me. Hey, I can’t even read your body language if I can’t see you.

I admit I maybe a little bit crazy about this – but I don’t think so.


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