But that doesn't mean students finish everything when they "should."
If I didn't accept late work, I would rarely see the kind of "helping" some parents and tutors do.
If I didn't accept late work, I wouldn't get frantic emails at 10 PM on a Friday night about how I would ruin the student's weekend if I didn't let them turn in a few assignments late.
But if I didn't accept late work, I wouldn't give my students a chance to fail. Andrew and I make a big deal about school being the right place to get to practice failing - especially middle school. I want them to use up as many mistakes as possible with me so they don't have to face much more difficult consequences later.
Now, this takes a bit of a system to manage effectively.
Thankfully, having everything in Google Drive does make it a bit easier. Students create documents using Autocrat (running through a Google Form embedded on my website), but I own the documents and have them organised by assignment and by class. That means all I have to do is click on the folder in Google Drive to see which students have revised.
I also ask students to send me an email (I give them a template, even) letting me know when they've revised something. I am not only trying to teach them how to respectfully discuss grades, but also to be proactive instead of passive when they fall a little behind or have to go back to revise something they've messed up on. That helps tremendously. I also tend to give most of my feedback as comments, and I get a notification in my email every time someone responds to those comments. That reminds me to check the assignment for revisions too.
Some assignments are on Google Draw - I've found that it works much better than Docs for things like visual note-taking, research project notes, and anything that uses multiple images. Unfortunately, I can't push those out using Autocrat, so I had to create a different system. I make a template, have all my students make a copy, rename, and then share it back with me. I call out names as I get their documents so they know I received it and I can follow up with stragglers.
Then, I create a label in gmail. I have a main folder for each class, and the assignments in Google Draw each get a sub-folder titled by assignment. When I need to grade or check work, I just have to open that folder and work my way through it.
The system isn't perfect, but it works for me. And I've seen amazing growth, especially on the assignments where I can give immediate feedback, and they can immediately revise.
I know that accepting late work adds a lot to a teacher's already overloaded plate. But as teachers, our first mission is to teach our students. And by allowing them more time to complete assignments well, we give them more opportunities to learn and grow.
I don't buy the argument that it discourages responsibility and that if kids don't learn how to turn things in on time, they'll fail at Life and Career and Everything Else. Frankly, they have enough time to learn how to be stressed out by deadlines. I want to teach them project management on the front end, and then support them when they get it wrong.
Students don't need teachers to teach them that they didn't do a good enough job. They need teachers who will walk alongside them UNTIL they have learned what they need to learn.
Hopefully, part of that lesson is that there is no "good enough" most of the time. What really matters is effort, and creativity, and curiosity.
And you can't measure ANY of that by the date a student turns in an assignment.
*I do allow students to make up work from the past 7-8 weeks, but tend to cut it off before the end of the marking period, just for my sanity.