When I first began teaching at one of the first charter schools in the state, I was still a college student myself. I knew the formula for academic success. Show up, do the work. That's it! Students who can manage to come to class every time we meet AND do the work that I assign WHEN I assign it tend to do a lot better. Pretty simple rules for success. This was my comfort zone.
But in the comfort zone there is mediocrity, not excellence. And mediocrity is NOT my legacy.
I flipped my class for mastery and completely changed the rules for success. Showing up definitely helps, but it's neither required, nor is it a guarantee. Doing the work I assign also correlates positively with success, but again, it is neither a guarantee, nor a condition.
For my students now the rules are: Learn the content, show me that you've mastered the concepts and skills.
How do we learn the content? I have a list of options for you to try, or you can show me something else you found that works! How do you show mastery? Usually it's a quiz online or on paper, but I'm open to suggestions - oral quiz, performance assessment, project. Back up your CLAIM with EVIDENCE!
Once you DO something, we can evaluate, adjust, iterate, and improve. I don't really care WHERE you do it - in class, at home, at the lunch table with your friends - just understand that the purpose of the DOING is to accomplish the LEARNING. Completing assignments earns you NO points in my class - but learning the content and demonstrating mastery will lead you to success every time, whether you take baby steps or gigantic leaps to get there.