The Shawano Middle School recently sent out its GREAT grades report to students. GREAT stands for grit, responsibility, engagement, attitude, and timeliness.
Students are scored on a 4-point scale based on how they complete their tasks. Students can be rated as consistently, often, sometimes, and rarely. As Shawano Middle School Tech Ed teacher Mike Homen explains, it allows students to be graded beyond traditional means.
“Most certainly on any project that you’ve worked on, you’re going to have a problem, so you’re going to work through that,” Homen explained. “Did you hit the road block and stop and give up, or did you persevere? Did you try to find a way around that? Talking about responsibility and engagement, and then you’re attitude is a big one. That can often times make or break a person. Everybody is going to see good things and bad things, but it’s how you are as you flow through those.”
All of the criteria Homen refers to go into how the students are graded in the GREAT system. Homen says he often times reminds students that they will be in the work force in seven short years, and as students, it’s a great time now to start practicing these life skills, which is what the GREAT grades encourage.
Home, further explains, “You’re going to be at a job, you need to be on time, you need to have a good attitude, you need to be engaged in your work, you certainly need to be responsible at your job, and you need grit because you never know what’s going to happen when you go to work for that day.”
Another reason Homen believes in this system is because these skills can be applied to any job out there, which is something that applies to every student.
“I’m trying to get kids ready for the workforce when they go into it, whether it be bagging groceries down at Charlie’s County Market, or whether it be working on a vehicle somewhere,” said Homen. “It doesn’t matter. Everybody is going to work and everybody should be working, so how are you going to react once you get there.”
In total over 300 students earned all marks of “Consistently” or “Often” and 22 students earned marks of all “Consistently,” which is the highest mark they can receive.