Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oh.... dear.

Me: OK guys so Shakespeare was from England, and he spent most of his adult life in London. Where's London?

Random kids: "Canada?" "France" "Is it that place in Australia that they always show on TV with the weird white theater thingy with all the pointy parts?"

Me: Are you serious? Who's your social studies teacher?

Student B: It's in France I know it is. London is in France!

Student A: No it's not. It's in England.

B: Whatever same thing.

A: yeah, that they're both in Europe.

B: I thought you said London was in England. Now you're saying its in Europe.

Me: Stop! London is a city, on the island which is England, on the continent of Europe, on planet Earth, stuck in the milky way, in a universe that we cannot measure.

B: Wait. What's a continent?


Needless to say, when I came home from school, and poured myself a glass of wine, and sat down to watch tv only to hear the president say: We need to raise standards and raise graduation rates. I wanted to get him on the phone and give him a piece of my mind.....

Those 2 things are completely contradictory. 100%. If we raise standards then gradutation rates will drop. AND THEY SHOULD. Children are getting passed along and not learning ANYTHING.

Thats like..... Lets say that there was a new rule saying that in order to eat dinner tonight you had to run a 10 minute mile. Many, many people would be able to eat dinner. Now lets raise the standards a little. In order to eat dinner tomorrow, you have to run a 4 minute mile. How many people do you think will be eating dinner tomorrow?

If you cannot meet standards you will fail. If you cannot lift 10 lbs and someone tells you to pick up your car. You will fail. And thats ok. Only those really huge, ugly guys on TV are supposed to lift cars.

I feel like we are making a joke of the education system. A certain suburban school district near Rochester boasts a 100% graduation rate.....well, I taught there....and lets just say that all their sutdents are not rocket scientists. How is this possible? Why do we just let kids float along through life? What are we teaching them? That mediocre is ok? That things will always just be handed to them? That life is easy?

It just seems like such a disservice. To kids, to society, to our country. It makes me sad and angry at the same time.

I need more wine.


REENblack said...

I had to giggle at what the kids said...I haven't been on your blog enough lately to know what grade you're teaching (I'm hoping its elementary). :-)

As my kids are in first and fourth grades there is SO much I could say about this post. At the very least, I'm glad to hear that there is at least ONE teacher out there that wants more than the bare minimum for students. I have been lucky with *most* of my kids' teachers...but I can tell when they get ones that really don't care how successful the kids are. I really like your analogy about raising standards! Really makes sense and raises good points!

REENblack said...

lol Ok, I just read that you're teaching 9th graders. And they seriously need better geography lessons! That is funny, yet beyond sad! :-(