I Just Don’t Get It Sometimes…

Sure, I don’t have kids so many people will probably discount my opinion on this topic, but really, I don’t think being a parent gives anyone more insight into the topic, and if anything I think it may cloud their perception of the topic.

Times have certainly changed since I was in school, and there is way too much sugar coating for kids nowadays for fear of “damaging them” even though the same things were done when I was in school, and it didn’t do any damage to me or anyone else I knew.

This blog is prompted by a Facebook status that was posted by one of my good friends, this was her status update:

This is what my daughter`s teacher wrote on her assignment “this shows a laziness and a lack of pride in your work”. Really? That`s appropriate to call a 9 yr old lazy? Am I missing something?

Now to me, I see nothing wrong with this, her daughter is in the fourth grade, and last time I checked a teacher’s job was to instruct, correct and teach children new things and to always try to get the kids to improve themselves and their work. Am I wrong about that?

Should a teacher not criticize a child’s work and allow them to continue bad habits or practices that are going to be unacceptable to the next teacher as well?

I seem to be in the minority since there were some interesting comments by other people as well who seemed to share the same outrage of the mom.

that is nuts!

I would go have a chat with that teacher. That’s not acceptable.

Hon let me at her/ him They need to be reminded that those that can – (do) tand hose that can’t – (Teach) Sorry but negative reinforcement never has the result that is trying to be achieved. a truley intelagent persons teachs by example.

That is crazy!!! I would set up a meeting the the teacher and the Principal together and discuss that. I can’t imagine! I would be SO pissed!!!

Really? You really feel this way? First off, I don’t see anything nuts about it, even without knowing the specifics of the assignment, the reason an assignment is turned in to a teacher is to have it graded, corrected and receive feedback on the assignment so the child can learn for future assignments and life.

Are those helicopters I hear?

Why is that not acceptable? Why would that make you pissed? Should the teacher continue to let the student hand in unsatisfactory work? Should the teacher not teach the child so they can learn? How else can you tell a student what they are doing is wrong and shows a lack of effort?

Are people really this sensitive that they can’t accept criticism of what they do? Are we so scared of hurting a child’s ego so much that simple criticism is no longer acceptable?

Also, while I agree about negative re-enforcement not being effective, I don’t consider this negative re-enforcement.  Don’t even get me started on the whole “those who can’t do, teach”  misnomer, whoever came up with that saying has never actually tried teaching and has no clue at exactly how hard teaching is, no matter what the subject. Personally I think the person that came up with it had some kind of serious personal issues, either self loathing or real feelings of insecurity, therefore they felt the need to lash out negatively against a teacher.

Back to my own experience, I know I got some notes like this when I was in the 4th grade, a few in the third grade too. I was in the Easton School System and had Mrs. Hooker as a 4th grade teacher, to say she was old school would be a complete understatement. She was harsh, but she was a great teacher. I am pretty sure she would have user a ruler to rap someone’s knuckles if she could have gotten away with it.

I’m not damaged because of that, plenty of other things may have damaged me, but having my teacher tell me that I wasn’t putting enough effort into an assignment and it showed in my resulting work isn’t a bad thing.

If a student is never told that, then how would they ever know that they were doing it? Where do we draw the line? How far are we going to go?

This goes way beyond just kids in school, that just happens to be the topic of this entry.

What about the constant use of hand sanitizer? Not letting kids get dirty? Not letting kids wait outside for the bus alone? Giving every kid a trophy? Not keeping score in games? Not publishing the Honor Roll in the town paper because it causes too much “stress” (Here and Here)?

At what point do you start to teach a kid that they did something wrong, someone else is better than you at something, or that you aren’t perfect?

At this rate is seems like we are going puts kids in hermetically sealed bubbles, get rid of grades completely, everyone gets into the college they want, and then eventually get the exact job they want at whatever they think they deserve for a salary while living with their parents rent free until they are in their 40’s.

C’mon people, let them fail at something, let them realize someone else is better than they are at something, let them make mistakes, let them solve some of their own problems by taking responsibility for their actions, let them get some real world experience now so they can grow and become an adult in the future, otherwise it is going to be one seriously harsh slap in the face when they actually get into the real world. (Feel free to correct me about this long run on sentence, you won’t hurt my feelings)

I’ve seen it with some kids in college, and even in the corporate world where someone wasn’t used to failing or being told that what they were doing and how they were doing it was wrong. Even funnier were responses I heard along the lines of “this is how I have always done it and it’s always been accepted before” as if it mattered in the current situation.

/end rant

On the bright side, at least the mom who I disagree with doesn’t hold it against me since it is just my opinion, and it’s one of the great things about this country and most of this world, we can all have our own opinions.

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