Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Young Have All The Answers

Joe reads and does math at barely a fourth grade level. Today, I looked at his program, particularly at the teachers he has this term. I noticed that the two teachers who did not pass him were senior teachers while the other teachers, the teeny bopper ones, all gave him passing grades.

Are the senior teachers too hard? Are kids being passed through because they are quiet and well behaved? Do the teeny boppers have standards too low? Is it really possible that a newbie, right out of college, knows how to work with an auditory learner in a class of 34 problem students? If the later is true, it is time for me and those of my generation to step down. If education is really being dumbed down so that a fourth grader has enough knowledge to graduate high school, education really needs reform because its not No Child Left Behind, its Every Child Left Behind.


Ricochet said...

I don't see that the teeny boppers here have better methods. They do have lower standards, and that is creating havoc trying to get the kids to work after they have had the easy ones.

What do you mean I have to come to come to school? Turn in work on time? What? I have to learn this stuff?

Oh, I didn't think you meant I actually had to DO all of that.

One actually told me this week: I have more potential than any of your other students.

This after he told me he wasn't going to do any of the things I had offered to raise his grade to passing. I told him it was a real shame for him that I grade work, not potential.

(we like each other and seem to understand that we are at an impasse that he will have to cross.)

Ricochet said...

Let us know when you get snow. DC and Virginia look awfully white!

Exo said...

Most likely untenured teeny boppers simply are affraid to fail too many students...

Pissedoffteacher said...

That, I know is true. My son's friend teaches in a small middle school in Brooklyn. He was told to find a way to pass them all. Since it was his first year, he found the way.

The Quarter Polish Cook said...

Being not too far removed from teeny bopper status (8 years teaching), I would say guilt plays a major role. Obviously, if a student failed or did poorly, it was because I didn't do enough. The kid didn't fail, I failed the kid. It was MY fault.

Thankfully, I got over that fairly quickly. I still bust my arse to help my students be successful, but I better understand that I can only do so much. Don't get me wrong, I still feel bad if a student fails or does poorly. However, I now expect the student (and parents) to share in the responsibility for success.

Now, if only I could others (media, government, administration, etc) to understand that.

Eeyore said...

This is my 4th year, and at my school the sheer amount of documentation is what scares most teachers from failing students. There are 11 steps to giving a child a failing grade. 11. I notify parents, talk to the child, let them know what will be necessary for them to pass.. if they do not do it.. I give them the grade they have earned.

I don't do the 11 steps, and I feel that if an administrator would like to pass a student because I have not completed the 11 steps, then they can feel free to manually change the grade. I will not.

Alot of teachers who are at the same stage in their career as I am, don't feel the same way. We are told to give grades for "exposure to the curriculum" which is code for coming to class while breathing, and all other kind of nonsense to pass students. There is a lot of intimidation.. but I know that I am fair and so every child, whether A or F, gets the grade they earned..

I think inflating grades demeans both the top and the bottom.. it removes the pride from the A.