Friday, February 5, 2010

Another attempt...


WHO:    Every child that has ever whined that it isn’t his/her fault that there is a big red F on their paper, and even some of the kids that bring home papers without big red Fs because in some truly moronic schools teachers aren’t allowed to grade that way any more.

WHAT:    Somewhere along the line, schools have become very confusing places.  Like so many other things in modern culture, the pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other.  Believe me, if Sister Mary So and So smacked the crap out of my kid, the way she did me, I would be all over her, but come on now, not marking a paper in red because it will hurt the child’s self esteem and is frightening?

WHEN:    Somewhere between when I was a child, and a paper full of red ink meant that you were going to be sitting at the kitchen table, books, papers and all other school paraphernalia lined up like a fortress, so that your mom couldn’t actually see that your eyes had glazed over, and you were just sitting there wondering if Sister Mary So and So had hair, and now.

WHERE:    Virtually every school, with the exception of an enlightened few, that have gone back to the best of the basics and added the best of today.

WHY:     I remember my child playing in a sport.  Badly.  He wanted to quit.  I said ‘Excuse you?  Um, no, you started it, you’ll finish it.’  He did.  Begrudgingly.   We went to the award ceremony to cheer on those who actually had talent, aptitude, and, you know, interest.  To my child’s shock, and horror, he got the same little trophy as a friend of his that is a truly talented individual. 

It didn’t build my son up.  He isn’t stupid.  He knows that particular sport is not his area of expertise.  How insulting, to be given a trophy for something you do badly.  Not only does it make it appear that the adults in the world are liars, but it pulled the other kid down as well.  His trophy wasn’t worth much if someone with no aptitude for the sport got the same thing.   So, the message is – doesn’t matter if you are good at something or not.  School or sport, no child is left behind, what a motivator that is.  

Think about it.  You go to work tomorrow.  Your boss says, ‘I’ve got great news.  Ms. Johnson has put in 43 hours of overtime, each week, for the last two months, pulling together a project we’d given up for dead.  She pulled in resources we didn’t even know existed.  She singled handedly pulled our fat out of the fire, and furthermore, we have new business coming in the front door, due to her extraordinary efforts.  Ms. Johnson, as a token of our great appreciation, we have split your bonus up among everyone in the company.  Each of us will now have an extra $12.17 in our paycheck.  We are grateful. 

Unless Ms. Johnson has issues that go way beyond anything I can define here, next time there is a dying project, Ms. Johnson is going to be home watching TV and trying to decide if Nutella is really as good as the beauty on the Food Channel claims it is.

That is what we do to our kids.  All day.  Every day.  And we wonder why the gifted 3rd grader, turns into the obnoxious 7th grader, to the uninterested 9th grader to the kid that won’t even bother with his GED.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is so true!


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