Since coming to the USA from England, I have had to adjust to many different attitudes, work practices and philosophies on teaching and the whole experience has certainly allowed me to grow professionally. As one would expect, some things are “better” here in the US, others not so good, but there is one thing that I have never really been able to grasp the wisdom of.

Many of my colleagues will set homework, but then will only do a cursory check for a few minutes at the beginning of class to see if the students have attempted it. The act of attempting to do the work is usually sufficient to gain a homework grade of some description. This seems like common practice in most classrooms across the country. I on the other hand, collect all the homework I set and then sit down and grade it critically – marking and scoring it for “correctness” NOT for effort. I have never understood the idea of getting kids to do work that is then not checked for accuracy. They could do all the homework in the world, continue to get it hopeless wrong, and what good would that do them?

Frankly grading literally thousands of problems each year is a monumental task that is not enjoyable in the slightest but I simply do not see any other way to monitor my students progress.

Nobody has ever convinced me of the merit of NOT checking homework for correctness.