April 2, 2011

"My students are out of control... They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners."

"They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying."

I dug up that longer version of what a teacher wrote on her Facebook page after reading about it in this story about another teacher who wrote, in Facebook, about her first graders as future criminals and said she felt like "a warden." Both teachers were suspended. Also:
And Chicago Public Schools officials are investigating a teacher who apparently posted a photo on her Facebook page of a student who wore Jolly Rancher candies in her hair. The 7-year-old girl's mother complained to school officials after she saw negative comments written about her daughter's picture on the page.
There's a big difference between writing in general about the discipline problems in your school and posting a photograph of an individual child. I don't think schools should cover up for their own discipline problems by attacking the livelihood of a teacher who dares to describe them in public.

84 comments:

Henry said...

Incompetence is totally acceptable. Just don't be loud about it.

sarge said...

sarge here now ifn this althouse chick is qouted in any official capacity or worser pictured in thar uw staff diretory who exactly gits fired
?

Quayle said...

If you know the house has termites, and you try to hide the fact and sell it anyway, you are liable for fraud.

If you know the families are turning out brats and the public education system is further failing, the expectation is you must hide the fact.

To speak the truth is to hurt someone's feelings - never mind that the termites have almost completed their destruction.

Pogo said...

Just ignore those coalmine canaries.

They keep dyin' on us.

AprilApple said...

The gimme generation has spawned children who will be 10X worse.

TWM said...

This is altogether much too common. I have a neighbor who taught second grade for 10 years and faced just these types of kids every day. She could do nothing with them and their parents were just as bad or worse.

She finally got her masters degree in information science and moved to a librarian position. Now she only has to see them occasionally.

BTW, she is not a member of the union being in a right to work state.

Sixty Grit said...

Jolly Ranchers? Really? Couldn't buy beads with food stamps?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I don't think schools should cover up for their own discipline problems by attacking the livelihood of a teacher who dares to describe them in public.

Finally you're getting somewhere but still assigning more blame to the schools than the parents.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Public education should be guaranteed but we should have no problem with making it contingent upon behavior. After a certain number of violations of well-articulated rules, schools should have the right to tell the parent to find their own way to educate the brat and make them economically self-sufficient.

MisterBuddwing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E.M. Davis said...

Can we clone Joe Brown?

Pogo said...

Forget it, Teach, it's Chicagotown.

MisterBuddwing said...

Google is a wonderful thing. It really is. I was able to find something I vaguely remembered from about 30 years ago. It was a story about a Brown University professor who was determined to "tell it like it is" and got shellacked for it:

http://tinyurl.com/3z5duz5

Given how higher education was supposedly in severe decline three decades ago, I'm surprised it hasn't completely fallen off the face of the earth by now.

WV: thedip

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Teaching kids that there can be irrevocable consequences for their actions is a better way to raise law-abiding citizens who would then contribute to an informed republic, and not one that is constantly bickering and going to war with itself over ridiculous little power struggles.

William said...

If her charges are white, she will get away with it. She'll probably even be celebrated in certain quarters. If her students are minorities, her career is over.

Lincolntf said...

Bah! Jolly Ranchers? That's the sweet life. When I was a kid we woulda killed for Jolly Ranchers in our hair!
Of course, back then our head-snacks were the traditional ones, hardtack for boys and sheep's fat for girls. And we liked it!

Pogo said...

The only punishments meted out in modern education are to those who complain that the students have no punishments.

My daughter 'taught' in daycare for about 10 months last year. The rules were, effectively, that there was no discipline for bad behavior at all.

No matter what they did: bite, hit, etc., you could not hit, spank, restrain, threaten, scream at, or even remove them. Not even time out. Just talk.

So she was bit, punched, and cursed by 4 year olds. I pity the public school teachers. I'll bet the unions never dreamed that the 'working environment' they complain about most isn't because of the management.

They can try striking against Mom (and Dad, if there is one, doubtful as it seems).

PARENTS UNFAIR
TO LABOR

Ann Althouse said...

I looked up the picture of the candy-in-hair child. I pictured unwrapped candy stuck in the hair, but these were individually wrapped candies dangling at the ends of braids -- just a cute thing for a little girl to do. It was colorful and fun. Mean to laugh at her.

Ann Althouse said...

"My daughter 'taught' in daycare for about 10 months last year. The rules were, effectively, that there was no discipline for bad behavior at all."

Sounds like the official policy of the Wisconsin Capitol Police for the protests.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

As you might think someone as constitutionally frugal (if selectively so) as Pogo might know, there is no federal "right" to daycare, probably not even in a state as progressive as MN. So once again, we've got unscrupulous owners of daycare companies deciding that no customer is too obnoxious to deny service to -- just let the employee take it.

Sounds possibly like a fair labor issue to me but not to budding young Birchers, I suppose.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

just a cute thing for a little girl to do. It was colorful and fun. Mean to laugh at her.

Did she intend to mock the girl, or did she just think it was cute and try to share it with her friends, I wonder (which still might have been a poor judgment call).

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Sounds like the official policy of the Wisconsin Capitol Police for the protests.

Using the wrong tape, congregating in the "wrong" areas, and singing songs would definitely be a sign that our youngsters are possessed by demonic forces, and on the road to hell. Acting out physically and verbally pale in significance to such horrifying atrocities as these.

rhhardin said...

Superior force always works with discipline problems.

I don't suppose that can happen with the left in charge.

Praise for the guilty and punishment for the innocent is the new way.

A new generation of dependents is the promise.

edutcher said...

Central Bucks shouldn't be that bad a district, so I'm a little surprised. Presumably, she's a union teacher, so that's also part of the problem.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

rhhardin brings up a compelling point about how "the left" has led us to praise the guilty and punish the innocent. Where is a superior force-wielding disciplinarian like Nixon when you need him? Obviously if he hadn't been such a leftist, he and the influential conservative movement that followed him and subsequent Republican politicians wouldn't have left us in this mess.

Conservatism just hasn't been influential enough on the culture, and that's just how it is, folks. If only they could have had moar power all this time...

garage mahal said...

Cut pay, benefits, and bargaining rights ofr these teachers. This will solve everything.

Oh, and tests. MORE TESTS.

MisterBuddwing said...

OK, Garage, you win. More pay, more benefits, more bargaining rights, and fewer tests. (Shouldn't actual education figure into this?)

WV: noati

Ex-Dissident said...

I am not sure that I would blame the teacher sharing the jolly rancher hairdo much. Obviously the girl wanted the attention and her mother should have exercised better judgement in helping her get that attention.

Pogo said...

Well, garage, teacher pay and benefits have increased enormously since the 1960s, but the students are stupider and more undisciplined than ever.

Yet your answer is More of the same!

Rather unconvincing.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Are the students (and parents) threatening to cut teacher pay and benefits as a response? Then they'd be more like their true Tea Party brethren. Are they threatening "second amendment remedies"? How close have they come in their power displays to that?

The real problem: These kids and parents are a bunch of wussies compared to the right wing. We should only reward their lazy, rude, disengaged whining when they get their own FOX TV shows. Until then, screw 'em.

Edgehopper said...

But don't worry, I'm sure the kid thugs are good people who'll grow out of it--like Osman Daramy, the 11 year old who terrorized his school but couldn't be disciplined until he beat up a Muslim girl. Then the authorities were willing to slap him with a hate crime charge.

traditionalguy said...

Private schools can throw out unteachable rebels. Public schools have a bigger need for enrollment numbers to keep the money flowing from the State and Federal bureaucracies based upon enrollments. So welcome all unteachable rebels, please come and entertain us all. If serious students cannot learn in that atmosphere, SO WHAT; The money is flowing and the NEA has it's eyes on the prize.

Titus said...

Jolly Ranchers-that is hilarious.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Of course, this thread wouldn't have been complete without a reference to how the Muslims are a part of all this mess...

madAsHell said...

When I was a kid, it was great sport to put chewing gum in someone's hair!! No braiding required.

Freeman Hunt said...

There's a big difference between writing in general about the discipline problems in your school and posting a photograph of an individual child. I don't think schools should cover up for their own discipline problems by attacking the livelihood of a teacher who dares to describe them in public.

I agree. Making statements about the general disposition of one's students or relating incidents that are not individually identifiable should be allowed. Rather than complaining to officials, maybe the parents and kids reading those comments should take responsibility for the bad behavior. Or, if they disagree with the teacher's assessment, tell her why they think she's wrong.

Instead, it's time to tattle to the bureaucrats.

Reminds me of the Yale story.

Pogo said...

Every day brings a new advertisement for homeschooling, private schools, and vouchers.

P.S. Does the word "incorrigible" still exist?

TMink said...

How are parents who are irresponsible and unproductive supposed to be able to be competent parents who demand that their chidren be responsible and productive? They cannot.

And there is absolutely no incentive for things to change so long as their standard of living is subsidized. This is a product of the welfare state and our government subsidizing irresponsibility.

Trey

Pogo said...

Of course, there is no connection between rude, entitled, out-of-control students and the recent downtown Philly student flashmobs.

None at all.

Marilee said...

I understand these teachers frustration. And no amount of union bargaining can solve the problem of entitled kids. In the poor schools they feel entitled to constant care by the state. They don't need to work or even try because they have been taught from the cradle that they will be cared for their whole lives. The idea that they should prepare for a job or a productive future is foreign to them. On the other side of the equation are the entitled kids who, according to their parents, can do no wrong. It's not Johnny's fault that he's not doing well, it's the teachers, or the kid sitting next to him. So you have helicopter parents or absent parents. No amount of money can fix the swamp that is our current public education.

save_the_rustbelt said...

We are becoming a bunch of loud exhibitionists.

Any teacher this immature and unprofessional should be fired. They are ways to deal with this, including resigning as an act of integrity is need be.

I spend a great deal of time these days explaining to health care workers why putting comments and photos on Facebook is unprofessional always and illegal often. They just don't get it.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Out of control behavior happens throughout the country and especially in communities that don't have a lot of respect for education. But the good thing about Philadelphia and a lot of places on the East coast is that there's more respect for open communication with each other and we don't sugar coat everything with a need for a pretend, predictable and boring sense of "niceness" -- we don't respect that BS. We tolerate the fact that life has its ups and downs and allow for creativity and messiness and a need to let off steam and express ourselves. Perhaps that's the reason we can draw a line between true incivility and unacceptable behavior and just silliness and messing around. Midwesterners could use that kind of a sense of proportion and tolerance for life. It would help make them more credible when they bitch about things getting "out of hand". They confuse disorder for being treated badly.

Freeman Hunt said...

But the good thing about Philadelphia and a lot of places on the East coast is that there's more respect for open communication with each other and we don't sugar coat everything with a need for a pretend, predictable and boring sense of "niceness" -- we don't respect that BS.

This teacher in Philadelphia openly communicated her concerns sans sugar-coating and sans a "pretend, predictable, and boring sense of 'niceness'."

In response, people complained and she was suspended.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Don't a higher percentage of serial murderers come from the Midwest?

I always wonder if that gray cloud cover that they get for half the year is the reason they always sugar-coat their dealings with each other in superficial niceness.

If they showed how gloomy and dark the weather was really making them feel inside, they probably would all want to kill each other.

Hence, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Seven Machos, etc. Although oftentimes "Methadras" acts pretty unhinged also.

Other areas have their psychos but none are so circumspect and laborious in the lengths they go to hide their pathologies and couch them in friendly exteriors as those silly Midwesterners.

chuckR said...

Those who point to a need for more personal responsibility and accountability are right. A college friend of my wife was on a 25000 student district school board in the 80's. By the end of her term she was beyond cynical and disillusioned. In her own words what she learned was that 'You must never forget that the primary job of public school education is daycare'. Possibly more true today than a quarter century ago. So threaten to remove the daycare, put some teeth in the threat, and you can motivate the lazy parents to do some actual parenting. Whether they are wwell paid or not, union or not, until parents parent, teachers won't be effective.

EDH said...

I come back to a point I made some time ago:

This is all the result of students being denied their right to collectively bargain for their grades and learning conditions.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

This teacher in Philadelphia openly communicated her concerns sans sugar-coating and sans a "pretend, predictable, and boring sense of 'niceness'."

So, good for her, I say.

Someday the rest of y'all will ask yourselves why out of all the places in this continent or even in this world, the greatest empire of liberty that history has known began in this city.

Self-deception, even for the sake of a uselessly phony neighborliness, is its own form of tyranny.

A curious and knowledgeable species cannot be free if the cost requires spreading petty little lies in order to feel good about itself and to make others feel ingratiated.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Or, I guess it can spread those petty little lies. But it can't force itself to believe them.

Freeman Hunt said...

So, good for her, I say.

Same here.

But Philadelphians didn't and so do not seem to match your description.

Conserve Liberty said...

My future daughter-in-law just accepted a contract to teach Family and Consumer Science in an upper-middle-class suburban school district here. My son begins his Masters in Education next fall (to teach, presumably, History) and plans to earn a Ph.D. so he can become a Principal.

I talked them out of Law school.

I don't have the heart to do it again.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

But Philadelphians didn't and so do not seem to match your description.

But you misinterpret my description.

Just because whoever had the power to make that decision, made it, doesn't mean that the support the teacher gets from the broader community wouldn't have been more vocal than elsewhere. Every place has people in power who are removed from public sentiment.

In Philly we value being nice to each other, but it feels more genuine because we make it a point to value authenticity.

And when people complain about things they don't like, it gets just as ugly and gritty as that same authenticity requires.

People in power will do what people in power do. You guys say that the problems in education are systemic, ingrained and nation-wide. Therefore, local differences in culture, no matter how strong, can only have so much of an effect on these sorts of things.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

The length of the Feasterville teacher's commentary and her responses to the action alone bears out my assertion.

Anywhere else, no teacher would have thought this through enough to have lodged complaints as lengthy as this teacher did. The "psychological tyranny" they allow themselves to experience wouldn't have allowed for it.

She was just pushy and plucky enough to have put together a colorful airing of grievances, complete with creative little quips about certain imps being better suited to collecting trash.

A teacher anywhere else in the country would have said one little thing, gotten fired for it, and then decided to shut up and demonstrate that she "knew her place". She might have also hired an attorney, as this one did. But she wouldn't have pushed through a case against the ill health of our educational culture as relatable, casually funny and populist as this one. It's the Philly in her. ;-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I looked up the picture of the candy-in-hair child. I pictured unwrapped candy stuck in the hair, but these were individually wrapped candies dangling at the ends of braids -- just a cute thing for a little girl to do. It was colorful and fun. Mean to laugh at her

LOL.

Get real.

People are going to laugh at you when you do weird and ridiculous things like put food in your hair. Get used to it.... or don't to idiotic stuff that makes you a target of ridicule.

Can we laugh if she wears pork chops or hot dogs as fashion accessories?

Society is spinning out of control. Children have parents who refuse to discipline them and who will grow up to be useless drags on society.

I am looking forward to the Zombie Apocalypse because all of these clueless people will be the first to go.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

That's it, Bunny. Focus on the "control". lol. "Order". Maybe Darth Vader can be superintendent.

You need to be able to exercise a certain amount of authority to prevent outright unruliness, no doubt. But at least as important is the fact that education, (and with it, knowledge itself), just isn't respected in this country. Maybe we should stop assuming that everyone has the ability to go to college, for one. Nothing like a sense of scarcity to get us to impart value into something.

You could even say that the teacher was reprimanded for being unruly, disorderly. But that shouldn't matter if your over-riding concern is for quality education and a sufficient respect for it.

Order is a double-edged fascist sword. Organization is important, but you guys miss the point when you obsess about orderliness above all else.

Roux said...

They problem is that the kids know too much. They know the system and use it to get around doing anything they don't want to do. They know the grades don't really count and that they only have to pass the standardized tests at the end of the year to move on.

The worst part is that the parents defend their little darlings instead of disciplining them.

She probably shouldn't have posted it on Facebook but she's right.

John Cunningham said...

Looks as though the AFSCME and SEIU stalwarts of the 2020s are being well prepared, indeed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

That's it, Bunny. Focus on the "control". lol. "Order". Maybe Darth Vader can be superintendent.

That might not be a bad idea in some schools :-D

If the mother wants to dress her child with food in her hair that is her choice. Just don't whine about it when your kid gets laughed at or made fun of. Learn to cope with the fact that people will be 'mean'.

But at least as important is the fact that education, (and with it, knowledge itself), just isn't respected in this country.

Maybe the educational system would have some respect if they actually taught the children something. Instead they are babysitters and wardens for the majority of the students and those few students that WANT to learn or who are capable of learning are stuck in a morass of mediocre education and unruly students who make learning impossible. Most students who actually DO graduate from High School after 12 years of school are functionally liberate and unable to accomplish even the most basic tasks of living. Just try to hire some of these pathetic rejects. They have no abilities and think that they are entitled to a job with no responsibilities requried.

Maybe we should stop assuming that everyone has the ability to go to college, for one.

THIS, I agree with. What ever happened to vocational classes in school? We don't need more college prep classes for everyone. We need people with some job skills, who can read, write and do basic math. Not everyone is going to go to college. Not everyone should go to college.

chuckR said...

Can we laugh if she wears pork chops or hot dogs as fashion accessories?

Easy, there, DBQ. I was such a homely kid that if my parents hadn't put a pork chop on a string around my neck, the family dog wouldn't have played with me.

Lisa said...

Teachers are not allowed to use pictures of our students without consent. School districts generally send home a form asking for consent from parents for pictures taken during the year used on district sites (including district hosted teacher websites) but to put on facebook? That would be inviting a lawsuit without explicit consent.

traditionalguy said...

Being on the receiving end of a re-distribution of wealth is better than being a slave to stuffy teachers teaching stuff that computers have now made obsolete. And Facebook gives us all of the self esteem that we need.

David said...

Singling out a particular student is unacceptable, but the overall problem is tragically real. I have a friend who is an elementary school assistant principal here in small town S.C. Her job is basically flak catcher from students and parents. A very significant percentage of these very young kids are out of control. When the school tries to intervene, the parents often ignore the issues. Even worse, they raise a huge ruckus and challenge the discipline.

These kids won't learn, and they poison the atmosphere for the kids who do want to learn.

My friend says they have many excellent teachers and very few bad ones. The teacher quality is not the problem.

Anne Freedman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Public education should be guaranteed but we should have no problem with making it contingent upon behavior. After a certain number of violations of well-articulated rules, schools should have the right to tell the parent to find their own way to educate the brat and make them economically self-sufficient.

Haha, as if your side would really enforce that. You realize that 99% of Democrats are against what you just typed?

Ralph L said...

rhhardin said...
Superior force always works with discipline problems.
Forget the computers and AV equipment--A Dobermann in every classroom!

reader_iam said...

I think the Chicago teacher's action was way more of a silly display--and way, way, way more worthy of mocking--than the little girl's hair-do or hair accessories. I mean, big deal! When I think of some of the stuff kids have worn to school over the years, it's laughable that this even struck the teacher as all that outrageous or worthy of public mocking.

Then there's that little thing about picking on someone your own size... . It seems to me that teacher failed to learn that value in her own childhood days (or perhaps her own parents failed to teach or discipline her in that regard ; ) ).

Punching down is SO pathetic, SO weak, don't you think?

reader_iam said...

Now I do get the point Althouse is making about the other teacher, who apparently wasn't picking out individual students or posting their pictures. I also get this:

I don't think schools should cover up for their own discipline problems by attacking the livelihood of a teacher who dares to describe them in public.

Ironically, were it to turn out that, say, this teacher was having a greater number of problems due to her *own* deficiencies (and I'm not saying she was: who knows outside a small circle?), the school district couldn't necessarily comment on or explain that due to policies on personnel privacy. Which policies I'd guess that teacher wouldn't mind using to "cover up for [her] own discipline problems," hiding-behind being a relative thing after all.

reader_iam said...

Can we laugh if she wears pork chops or hot dogs as fashion accessories?

I totally cop to laughing my ass off at pictures in 1950s and 1960s yearbooks. I mean, BEEHIVES? Puh-lease.

John Waters was brilliant in lampooning such silly, mockworthy hair-dos in the original "Hairspray."

Of course, John Waters was doing fiction. He wasn't a teacher highlighting a specific student. And the students in question weren't, you know, in 2nd or 3rd grade.

Besides that... .

Fort said...

"Other areas have their psychos but none are so circumspect and laborious in the lengths they go to hide their pathologies and couch them in friendly exteriors as those silly Midwesterners."

No this is wrong.

“In all, I guess there were between 25 and 30 boys killed..."


"To the people of Pasadena, Texas, a modest industrial suburb of Houston, Dean Allen Corll was a clean-cut, quiet neighbor who kept pretty much to himself. He seemed to be a "nice, polite man who loved to be around kids," one acquaintance recalled."

The killer gave candy to kids all around town from his mom's candy store. He plotted for years which kids to rape and kill, smiling and being "nice" (by giving them candy).

http://monsters.milkboys.org/article/the-houston-horrors/

reader_iam said...

I think Facebook also would've come in handy in the '80s, especially in New Jersey and the Delaware Valley more generally. OHMIGOSH HAIR!!!!!!!

reader_iam said...

Back in the '60s, I remember that some of the comic books, I think including the Archie series, would include beauty tips and the like. One that really stands out in my memory is the one recommending using a just a dab of mayo on one's hear to make it shine.

Now, I grant you that might not stand out visually as much as jolly ranchers on the end of braids (or even beehives). Olfactorily, on the other hand... .

MamaM said...

A dobermann in every classroom might yield some surprise improvements. Our little neighbor learned respect from our chocolate lab. His bark and size were initially a cause of fear for her until she learned he would sit at her voiced command, provided she used a calm voice. The first time he sat for her, it was as if a light went on. She now makes him sit every time she sees him, and every time he does, something good happens.

Oligonicella said...

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene --

"Don't a higher percentage of serial murderers come from the Midwest?"

Are you talking number of killers per state? No.

How about number of killers per 100K population? Again, No.

"Another interesting pattern that emerges is the general lack of serial killers in the mid-to-northwest United States."

Michael K said...

The Pennsylvania teacher was teaching high school English. Years ago there was a movie about the exact same thing. Blackboard Jungle.

I couldn't find the Chicago photo of the kid with candy in her hair but Chicago public schools are heavily (85% ) minority as white parents do almost anything to get their kids in parochial schools. My nephew's step daughter is being bullied every day as she is one of a very few whites in her school. He is trying to get the money together for parochial school as the girl's father refuses to pay anything.

ken in sc said...

I'm a retired teacher. Teaching was my second career. I taught nine years. I retired because of this kind of stuff. I didn't have to retire, I did retire because it was just too much to put up with.

Republican said...

The teacher told the little girl she was taking a picture because the teacher's boyfriend would never believe the candy story unless he saw a pic.

The candy was cute. It's okay for a seven year old girl to have candy in her hair v. beads.

The parent got upset after seeing her daughter's pic posted on FB and reading the insulting remarks.

The adults are all jacked up. Only the little girl is normal.

Freeman Hunt said...

Okay, I take back what I wrote before.

Natalie Munroe is a high school English teacher. This is from her blog:

When I was in school, it was a treat when a teacher assigned a project that had choices. For instance, in one English class I had, we were given a 1-page list of options for how to demonstrate our knowledge of the information. We could write a paper, create a brochure, make a movie or skit, write a book or song, give a speech, make a poster, create a board game, draw a comic strip... you get the point.

As students, we were invigorated by the options and the products were usually great because we felt that relevancy as we worked and had that engagement with our product. (We also appreciated the choice.) Some people still went the "standard" route and wrote papers, of course, because that's how they best expressed themselves, but the option was refreshing.

In my first year of teaching, I had students create a newspaper (with several smaller writing samples dealing with multiple topics) instead of writing a formal essay on one over-arching topic. Some students really struggled with this task because it was outside-the-box for them. Some curricula allow for this type of assignment movement, while others do not, so as I started teaching other levels, the obvious opportunities to offer these other choices seemed to dry up.

As the years went on, though, and particularly after I'd taken a really interesting continuing education course on assessment types and strategies, I made an effort to try to vary assessment types to appeal to different styles of learners and to add that originality and creativity to assessments.

I've noticed, though, that in the past 2 years or so, students (for the most part) do NOT find these options refreshing; rather, they seem stressed out by them. Sure, there are still some students who love having a choice, who think that any option that allows them not to write a formal paper is awesome. (Just as some students in the Times article found the reality tv prompt, "a welcome respite.") But more and more, like the student in the article who wanted to cry, they see the other options as exhausting. Create a song? Create a board game? Too much work.

More and more, they OPT to write the paper. (And, trust me, it is NOT because paper writing is how they best expressed themselves...) The rest is just too tiring. ...

[They also HATE anything subjective (unless, of course, they earn an "A" on the task; then it's ok and nobody ever questions it as an unfair or mentions it as a potentially subjective assessment.) If it isn't multiple choice or matching (especially with a word bank), they want no parts of it. How are they supposed to study for it? How can I as teacher deem an answer right or wrong? How can I award partial credit? Why that amount and not more? It's not faaaaaaiiiiirrrrr! If it isn't black and white, it tends to infuriate them.]


I too would wonder, were I her student, how she went about assigning a grade to my high school English class board game.

Another teacher who would like to do all manner of things except teach the subject. She seems to practically disdain essays, and yet she's supposed to be teaching these students how to write them.

A high school English teacher has the particularly important job of teaching students how to express themselves through writing. It is a skill that, if learned, will serve them well for the rest of their lives. She's cheating her students out of that with this soft-headed, education department nonsense.

Carol_Herman said...

A friend, even older than me, used to say when she went to school (in the 1930's), there were dumb kids in class. But they still had to show they learned "stuff" grade by grade. Or they were left back. Or they left school. And, some kids left school for financial reasons; where they were able to earn money, sweeping floors. Re-stocking shelves. Or working on the farm.

Her point was that not everyone is suited for schooling. Some people have no talent for it at all. And, some people, with great talent, are bored out of their skulls, waiting for other students to "catch up."

You didn't need a piece of paper to get a job. Many jobs catered to those who couldn't read or write. And, many adults who couldn't read or write, would find ways to ask strangers something like ... "I forgot my glasses, can you tell me if we've reach "X" station, yet?" No one had to admit they couldn't hang a sentence together.

There's an old Jewish joke, about a man who came to America. And, applied at a local grocery store for a small job at the local synogog. To be a "shamis." Who took are of the building.

When it turned out he was illiterate, he was turned down. So, he went to a local grocer. And, he started out working for little. But in time, he became the owner of the store. To be followed by a whole slew of supermarkets.

Meanwhile, he went to the bank for a loan, and when the papers were presented to sign, he signed with an "X." The bank manager exclaimed: "My goodness, think of what you could have done if you could read and write!" To which this gent said, "Ah, yes. I could have been a 'shamis' at the shul."

PS: Nathan's, of Nathan's Frankfurter fame, couldn't read or write. He had a pushcart that sold hot dogs, when suddenly, where he stood, became the entry and exit for New York City's subway trains in Coney Island.

Maybe, reading and writing skills are highly overrated? Going through the hoops for credentials? Highly overrated, too.

Who was the last Supreme Court Justice who didn't go to law school?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Geez, Oligonicella. I guess you never bothered to read that part of the link you provided that has a big target over Ohio and surrounding areas with migration routes to the west and southwest and says:

Serial Killer Origins:

Midwest/Great Lakes -
General area of serial (sex) killer births and upbringing

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

You also missed the part with the target expanded to include ALL of Michigan, ALL of Illinois, ALL of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and PART of WI, MN, MO, AR, etc., to say "Area of highest frequency of serial killer births and upbringing prior to relocation".

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

...ALL of INDIANA, ALL of OHIO...

Carol_Herman said...

Michael K. The Blackboard Jungle, first a book in the early 1950's, was made into a hit movie with an actor named Ford. And, Sidney Poitier. The Black guy was working as a garage mechanic. When the teacher came into the shop. Because he was very impressed with Poitier's talent. The movie no longer holds up.

But,yes, New York City's schools were a jungle. Even back in the early 1950's. Most schools, back then, divided kids into academic and commericial curriculums. Very few kids made ARISTA. (Of Course, Richard Feynman made fun of those who got into ARISTA, and then held meetings to decide "whom else they'd let in.")

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe, reading and writing skills are highly overrated? Going through the hoops for credentials? Highly overrated, too.

To the first, no. The world is full of miscommunication due to poor writing skills and errors of fact due to poor reading comprehension. Can you get by without these skills? Perhaps, but not like you could in the old days. The economy is totally different now. Plus, your job isn't your identity. Cut out your ability to read, and you are extremely limited in your ability to take in information. Forget literature; if you can't read, you can't follow a recipe card or complete a hobby kit that requires instructions. Writing may not be important, in some cases, for someone who wants to drop out of school, but this teacher isn't teaching dropouts; she's teaching students who are there.

As for the second question, I wholeheartedly agree.

jamboree said...

I'd rather work at Jack's than be a teacher. They do get summers off and, despite rumors, are NOT underpaid. Still - none of it is worth it.

Nevertheless, I would argue it's always been this way. A deceased relative, who grew up a bright, poor boy, went to Columbia U at age 15 in 1930. At first he became an English teacher at a snooty boys' school because, in the bloom of his youth, he loved poetry.

He COULDN'T TAKE IT. He couldn't take the attitude, the snobbery, the absolute certainty that each one of these dumb, spoiled clucks would outearn him.

So he went back to school and became a big deal, bicoastal attorney.

I'm from CA. It was already this way when I was a kid in CA - hence my pity for teachers.

More and more kids adopt the attitude the "privileged" have always had as time goes on, that's all. I'm not sure if it's all that bad if they can back it up. It just shows they grew up with high expectations.

It does beg the question how a society can survive with no more lower class that bends over and takes it and no more religion to instruct us to do so. At this point the West is using immigrants, but that won't last. Is it just a game of eternal musical chairs? Who does the shitwork with the proper attitude of humility in Sweden? How about BEFORE immigrants became an issue there?

Methadras said...

So does this mean that the teachers want more money to put up with these idiot children?