Saturday, May 04, 2013

Still The Teacher's Fault

The girl was having a rough time.  She was not getting along well with the boy she was living with.  Her parents disowned her.  She got the flu.  She wrecked her car.  Her grandfather, who she was very close to, died.  And then her landlord told her she had to leave the apartment she had been calling home.  While searching for a new place to live she lost her text book.

Faced with all these problems, she could not deal with school and took several weeks off.  She missed two exams.  Her passing grade was now an F.

Her teacher will not be held accountable for this failing grade.  The  supervisor understands that classes are a mixed bag and there is no way to determine the type of students who end up in them. Sometimes classes end up with motivated, bright students and almost everyone passes and does well, kids with no external problems.   Other times, there might only be two or three passing.  The supervisor knows the teacher is doing a good job.  This supervisor, a real master teacher does not need to rely on statistics to know who is good and who is not good.  The supervisor would never send out a memo with a line like this in it:
If you have one of the lowest passing percentages at the end of the 3rd quarter of any Regents courses you taught, please stop by my office so that we can discuss what we can do to improve the performance of your students. Please come with specific ideas. Getting the failing students to Saturday tutoring is a priority.
What specific ideas could a teacher possibly have to solve this girl's problems?   If the solution is so easy, this supervisor should be able to supply it to the teacher.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that your sentence above, is missing a comma and should have read: "Her grandfather, who she was very close to, died." Just saying.