Mrs. Tirado has a reputation for being the teacher that wants the best from her students. She works hard to teach them academics and expects them to put effort back into the class with their assignments and tests in order to grow up into bright individuals. This may sound like the perfect teacher and someone who truly cares about her students, but what went wrong?
Mrs. Tirado teaches at West Gate K-8 School in the area of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Last fall, she gave an assignment to her students that was a notebook project, and the due date was two weeks from the day it was assigned. When multiple students neglected to do their explorer notebooks and had nothing to turn in, she was forced to give them zeroes for the assignment due to their lack of work and effort put into the task.
But something in the handbook would lead to a bigger issue for Mrs. Tirado. The handbook has a policy that does not allow teachers to give students a grade of “zero,” with the lowest grade that a student is able to receive is a 50%. This means that even if the students do not turn in any work or make an effort to complete an assignment, they still get half of the credit
However, Mrs. Tirado stuck to her gut instincts and decided that students who placed no effort into the explorer notebook project did not deserve half of the credit. She thinks that these are unrealistic expectations that are setting kids up for failure in life. Giving people who put in no effort 50% means that they will believe that they can get through life without making any attempts to succeed, and that just isn’t realistic.
However, because of the no-zero policy, Mrs. Tirado’s position at the school was terminated. Her students were not aware that she was going to be fired and she was to leave immediately. But before she left, she decided she had one final message to leave behind.
When she was cleaning out her classroom and packing up stuff that belonged to her, she decided to write one last note to her students on their classroom whiteboard. She ended up taking a photo of her message and sent it through a phone application for the class.