You Got An F. How's The Self-Esteem Today?

Mamacita says: You’re getting an F. How’s that self-esteem today?

“Why are you giving me an F,” you ask? I’m not. I just kept score. You earned the F yourself, fair and square. Teachers don’t give grades. Students earn grades. Students and parents who try to negotiate a grade are wasting the universe’s time; students get what they earn. In a perfect world, that is, for I know – sadly – that there will always be parents who bully and beg for a higher grade and get it, even though the student didn’t earn it and doesn’t deserve it. As long as we give in to these people, we’ll have incompetent people in the workforce.

No problemo. I’m sure nobody minds having their appendix removed by someone who cheated his/her way through med school, or maintained a C average.

Or I could put it this way: Hey, parents who go to school after every report card and bully/threaten/beg/whatever the teacher/principal to raise your child’s grade even though he/she didn’t earn it: So your kid might end up with a diploma? Well, isn’t that nice. And your friend’s kid – he got a diploma, too? All those hours in the principal’s office begging for just a few more points worked out for both of you, huh. And now your kid is going to be working with other people’s kids at his/her new job. How do you feel about that? Okay? Now think about your friend’s kid putting his hands on YOUR baby. How do you feel about that? After all, you KNOW the kid can’t really do it. You KNOW how the kid got his degree. Go ahead, give your baby into his arms. Step back and let the kid puncture your child’s beautiful skin with a needle. Let the kid cook food for your child to eat. Let the kid take your precious toddler by the hand and lead him away, out of your sight. You’re fine with that, right? You can trust him, right? What? I can’t hear you.

That’s just what I thought.

No unearned grades for anybody. Parents, back off. Let your kid get what he earns.

There’s a certain professional in my town I wouldn’t go to for love or money, because I know his attitude towards his own kids’ grades and I know how he treated his kids’ teachers and I know the truth about that year’s valedictorian. And there’s a shipload of adults for whom I have no respect, because I’ve seen them in action in the principal’s office, demanding unearned points and privileges for their kids. Sports ain’t that important, ladies and gents. And a school’s athletes ought to be good representatives of the school, not hoods or drones who can’t even pass study hall.

The firly brinkmire is a scary, scary thing.

Shades of the past. I’d almost forgotten that expression, even though people are still using it, on their own blogs, to this very day. It’s funny, isn’t it, how something can catch on. . . .

We are all “. . . steping firly in the brinkmire to be invalid in my county,” a student wrote several years ago. I’m still not sure what she was talking about, but it’s funny anyway. Funny, and not funny. Way too many of my students can’t even put together a complete sentence, or spell their own last names. I’ve had students who couldn’t write or read cursive. Why in the world were they given a high school diploma? Well, I guess I know why. Or, rather, how.

Oh, well, chill, will. Let’s all sit back and relax in the comforting knowledge that our nation will soon be in the hands of people who don’t know how to spell “you” and are masters of acronyms unless they are important.

To be perfectly honest, I know that most of the rising generation – just like most of all generations – are smart, hardworking, creative people who will add color and inventions and innovations and improvements and honesty and integrity and all things positive to the world. It’s just too bad that these kids don’t get their fair share of attention when they’re in school. Far too much attention is paid to the lowest common denominator when it ought to be doled out more fairly and the lion’s share given to the cream of the crop.

We need to pay more attention to nice, sensible people and less attention to fools. I’m speaking here of both students AND parents.

This post rambles and smacks too much of biased opinion. It’s nothing but a rant with no solutions. I’d give it a bad grade.

Maybe I should get back to my stack of quizzes. Or go to bed, because I’m nodding and my thoughts are scattered and my brain is getting numb.

Shoehorn! *

*Bonus points if you know the reference.


Comments

You Got An F. How's The Self-Esteem Today? — 14 Comments

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  3. A third grader in my class recently looked through his stack of graded papers to be taken home to his mom. Bless his heart, he’s a full year below grade level and extremely immature. He thumbs through his work and says brightly, “Is an F really GOOD?!”. The smile did not fade after my explanation of the grading scale.

    Now THAT’S high self-esteem.

  4. A third grader in my class recently looked through his stack of graded papers to be taken home to his mom. Bless his heart, he’s a full year below grade level and extremely immature. He thumbs through his work and says brightly, “Is an F really GOOD?!”. The smile did not fade after my explanation of the grading scale.

    Now THAT’S high self-esteem.

  5. I agree more than 99 per cent.

    But yes, rare exceptions. In first grade circa 1951, I was flunked for the then-usual essay (“My favorite toy,” or some such.) Because I used – properly – things like colons. To the teacher, I must have been helped.

    My mother hit the roof, and called on the teacher. She pointed out that the paper had been written IN CLASS, so who could have helped? Also that I had been reading two daily papers (Dad worked for one [got it free] and got the other for comparison) since late kindergarten, as well as several magazines – so I knew about punctuation. I was reading my sister’s Nancy Drew books (I do remember that, and being totally bored with Dick and Jane, but this incident is Mom’s recollection rather than my own), as well, more punctuation.

  6. I agree more than 99 per cent.

    But yes, rare exceptions. In first grade circa 1951, I was flunked for the then-usual essay (“My favorite toy,” or some such.) Because I used – properly – things like colons. To the teacher, I must have been helped.

    My mother hit the roof, and called on the teacher. She pointed out that the paper had been written IN CLASS, so who could have helped? Also that I had been reading two daily papers (Dad worked for one [got it free] and got the other for comparison) since late kindergarten, as well as several magazines – so I knew about punctuation. I was reading my sister’s Nancy Drew books (I do remember that, and being totally bored with Dick and Jane, but this incident is Mom’s recollection rather than my own), as well, more punctuation.

  7. Today, on the first day of school, our office was full of parents demanding that their little darlings be moved to a different class. You see, when they had the teacher in a previous year, they weren’t given the grades that the parents felt they deserved. The parents didn’t want to have to battle for marks again this year, so they thought a change of teachers might help. Thankfully, no one was moved and the students will have to face another year of having to earn the grades they receive.

  8. Today, on the first day of school, our office was full of parents demanding that their little darlings be moved to a different class. You see, when they had the teacher in a previous year, they weren’t given the grades that the parents felt they deserved. The parents didn’t want to have to battle for marks again this year, so they thought a change of teachers might help. Thankfully, no one was moved and the students will have to face another year of having to earn the grades they receive.

  9. We finally, FINALLY had someone in charge of my school who was willing to say “no” to this kind of behavior; someone who stood up for what was ethical and right. Guess what happened to her? Ummmm…I can’t say more, but I think that says enough.

  10. We finally, FINALLY had someone in charge of my school who was willing to say “no” to this kind of behavior; someone who stood up for what was ethical and right. Guess what happened to her? Ummmm…I can’t say more, but I think that says enough.

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