For Teachers: do you think that if a student participates in class and gets good grades but is rude, should his participation grade be lowered?i believe that if a student participates and gets good...

For Teachers: do you think that if a student participates in class and gets good grades but is rude, should his participation grade be lowered?

i believe that if a student participates and gets good grades but is rude his grade should NOT be lowered

Expert Answers
msgale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have warned my own students that while behavior isn't a part of their actual grade, per se, there are a lot of things that are at my discretion.  For instance, in my district, it is at my discretion whether or not I round a student's grade up or down.  If a student has an overall average for the quarter of 69.6%, the computer reads it as a "D", and that is their grade.  If a student has gone out of their way to improve their grade, made significant contribution to the class or the school, has explored extra credit opportunities, has helped me in some great way, or I have a particularly good rapport with, I will most certainly say that a 69.6% is a numeric 70% and put in the "C".

I do have several students who interrupt class on a daily basis with their poor behavior, are rude to their classmates and to me, and generally take no part in class except what is absolutely mandatory.  For those students, I simply don't round up.  They know this policy, and I must say it has improved class behavior quite a bit.  Having that little .5% where they know it is my personal discretion is like a boss with a promotion to hand out - and I have two equally qualified applicants, but one is well-liked and easy to get along with and the other constantly takes issue with the way things are done.

Since I try to be as fair with the policy as possible, it has worked very well to curb attitude issues even more than disciplinary referrals and suspensions.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, lowering a grade for discipline issues is a way of not confronting a problem, and from what I've seen, it doesn't work.

I tend to attack attitudes at the door, literally, if necessary.

In this case, "rude" is just another way of saying "disrespectful."  I'm also a proponent of reality therapy, and making a student aware of the natural consequences of disrespect, in life.  S/he isn't simply disrespecting me and others, but himself, the institution of free education, his parents, everyone else who is working for his success, etc, etc.

Needless to say, no, I've never lowered a grade for an attitude.  I've never had to.  If a good student has a bad attitude, it is pretty easy to get to the root of the problem and help the kid change his behavior.  But more often than not, in my experience, the kids with bad attitudes end up with low grades anyway, because the attitude trickles into everything.

Now, if an entire class is displaying disrespect (most often happens for me in honors classes, where the sense of intelligence and entitlement = talking whenever they want), I find ways of making classwork impossible to complete if they want to sit around and talk.  It makes for a lot of work on my part, and often really creative lessons, but usually nips class behavior in the bud.

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A class grade should really reflect only what the student has learned in the class. Unfortunately some of the skills that are essential in life, like manners and the ability to participate in a respectful conversation, are not taught at home, and need to be taught, or at least reinforced, in the classroom. Although I would not let rudeness impact a student's grade, I certainly would speak to him/her about learning to be more respectful. If my conversation with the student did not improve the situation I would involve the student's parents, and the principal as well, if need be. I feel that it's an important part of my job to be preparing students for life after high school, and letting a student go forward thinking it's OK to be rude would not be doing right by that student.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe rude behavior falls under disciplinary conduct, and I generally do not consider this part of the grading process. The grade the student earns on his scholastic assignments should not reflect a subjective view by the teacher considering other aspects of the student's personality. However, I have taken into consideration such behavior when a student's grade is on the cusp of two grades. For example, if a student's grade is just a fraction of a point below a higher grade, I often take into consideration the student's behavior or participation in class. In such a case as you mention, I would probably go with the accurate, lower grade for the "rude" student; a student who always gives 100% and behaves respectfully in class would probably get the higher grade.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I use a lot of Socratic Seminar discussions in my classes and part of the grade is not only what you contribute but how you contribute to the group's discussion. Students know up front how this whole process works and I absolutely would have it be a possibility that rudeness in his "professional" conversation with his peers in this format could effect the grade.  If was rude with me, or he misbehaved when I am leading the class, then I would say it should have no effect on the grade.  The intended victim of the rudeness is a factor.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We use a system of Key competencies and your idea would fall in to the Listen and Interact with Others/Participation realm. Students who are rude tend not to be good listners. I think it is important for the teacher to communicate any weakness to as student - tactfully but clearly. Establish what is 'rude' about the behavior, talk to the student about itand decide on a tactic to eradicate it. If incorporating it in to the grade is what is required to teach the student, then so be it, but do this with discussion and clear explanation of your intent.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Participation and conduct are two separate concerns. If the student knows the material, has mastered the skills, and applies the knowledge appropriately, the academic grade has to be solid. If you have a system that awards separate evaluations for academics and for behavior, the behavior assessment would certainly reflect the lack of appropriate conduct in class. If you have no separate way of giving an official evaluation for the rudeness, communication with the student and home about the attitude problems becomes your next step.

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The question specifically asks if the "participation grade" should be lowered, not the overall grade or final grade. I think that participation is up to the individual teacher; I recall that most classes in college had no participation grade at all. If there is a separated place for participation, the only thing that should qualify for grading is the actual participation: in this case, #2 is correct; rudeness is a discipline problem and should be dealt with outside the classroom and outside the grading process.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my humanness, I want to lower a kid's grade for their poor behavior. However, state law generally protects students of all ages from this. Generally, student behavior results in poor or incomplete work anyways. Your belief would be supported by state laws and most district policies. But there is nothing wrong with encouraging a student to be kind. There is also nothing wrong with highlighting how being rude can result in poor service or success in the future.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What's the point of a participation grade?  I would think that it is a way of grading the ways in which the student affects the overall quality of the class.  A student that is rude to their peers when speaking is a student who is reducing the ability of the class to function well.  If you are rewarding students for participating because it in some way contributes to class, then you should penalize a student for detracting from class.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A teacher's job is to teach behavior as well as academics.  I don't think behavior should affect grades unless it explicitly says so.  For example, part of my grades in discussions include polite participation.  That's because being polite is part of being a good discussion member.

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't give a grade for participation. If a student is disruptive in class, you need to talk to his or her parents first and the principal or assistant principal next. Students don't have to like you to make good grades in your class.

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aaronmusguire | Student

I think so. My wife is a teacher and it frustrates me so bad to hear how she is responded to or treated at time. I totally agree that this should be part of their grade.


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chapterendnotes | Student

Absolutely. You are charged with the responsibility of enlightening each child's mind in that classroom. A rude person, be it adult or child, robs you and every other student of time that could be used to exchange an interesting idea. You also set the tone of acceptable behavior. Your inaction indicates approval. You must be clear on your behaviorial expectations.

natpitch1319 | Student

I believe that if a student is disruptive, class participation should be lowered.  The question is: Are they really paying attention?  In one of my classes, there is a student who recieves good grades, but talks the entire time, although there are many projects where you work with a partner.  I believe that the partner he has is completing all of the assignments.  So, yes I believe that the student should recieve a lower participation grade.

ksudha | Student
As Iam a teacher I have spent a lot of memorable times with my students. Being a teacher, we have to teach them not only books and lessons but we should teach them a morality as well. Students learn humanity,morality and other respectful habits first from their home and from school whereas in some matters the grade can be lowered but it is not good to all the times.
bhawanipur | Student

Its obvious that every family and even members of them has their own culture and adopt own attitude. Thus it is very difficult to deal will all. A student who is good at study but is rude can be dealt with by a teacher if he takes personal interest. But to do so he needs to go to the source of his attitude, how has he affected and why.

Now a days there are schools where students are graded for their behavior and if they get poor grading, their parents are called on and ttold about this and try to make an improvement.

amitsingh11582 | Student

According to my opinion the fact is this that though a student get good grade and good in his studies but we cant say as his education is proper. Study on only teaches us to gain good marks but behaviour also.

Though on the account of his marks/ grade we may not disqualify/ avoid him but we may push him on second or make other lower to him on the equal state. Not to demoralise him but to teach him that in the outer world if your behaviou will be unchanged some other on the basis on his good behaviour may steal the opportunity.

teacher83 | Student

If the behavior is interfering with participation, then of course the grade will reflect this. 

That being said, I do not take participation grades as they're very hard to judge.  Often times it does not reflect what a student may actually know versus who's comfortable sharing/participating in the classroom. 

salimj | Student

What you have suggested is right. Discipline and knowledge are different even though these are interconnected. If a students is good in studies and because of his/her rude behavior if he/she gets lower grade he will be all the more rude. Hence I will not give less grade for this aspect.