Kid vs teacher, whose side to take

<p>Marite, yes we (or our kids) have had teachers who picked the wrong profession. But in my experience there have been way more great teachers then bad ones and way more over-empowered kids who's parents refuse to back up the teacher. "Little Billy would never....."</p>

But in my experience there have been way more great teachers then bad ones and way more over-empowered kids who's parents refuse to back up the teacher. "Little Billy would never....."


<p>With due respect, how is this of any relevance to the story? Who is bashing all teachers? Not I. I have consistently sung the praise of those teachers who have provided an excellent education to my kids. So, let's keep to the stories in this thread, shall we? Thank you.</p>

I don't know your state's requirements, but you could find out by checking.


<p>I did check and I do know. That's what I was posting about, our state's requirements that I found out by checking.</p>

<p>I've also checked several other states.</p>

<p>Most states are very good about putting what they considered "highly qualified" on their department of ed's websites.</p>

<p>Sorry Marite, I'm fairly new to CC and obivously haven't figured out the rules of engagement. Seems to me this thread IS all about bashing teachers - not all teachers, just some. Just wanted to add my 2 cents.</p>

<p>skiersmom, no one's reputation or job prospects are being ruined over this letter. Armchair detectives have looked for a person by that name old enough to have been teaching in 1994, and come up blank.</p>

<p>Even if there were an individual by that name teaching, I have to believe also that anyone in a responsible enough position to be hiring teachers would be responsible enough to put a letter like that in context. And if not, there would be all kinds of legal remedies.</p>

<p>Back on the subject of continuing ed for teachers. Of course most states provide rewards for it and many teachers do it and do it for the right reasons. But I've also been in graduate education classes where on the first day of class, during the introductions, some of the teachers taking the class announced that they had no real interest in the material--the only reason they enrolled was that they wanted to take a sabbatical and needed to be in school a certain number of hours to qualify.</p>

<p>Teachers are like anyone else; their personalities and intrinsic motivation are going to vary. I wasn't talking about all teachers. My point was that in states that have a low bar for highly qualified and even then are forced to hire a large number of people who don't even meet that, there is very little the state can do for a person who lacks content knowledge and won't seek it.</p>

<p>No, Skiersmom, this thread is not All about bashing teachers. In any profession, there are duds, And those who are deserve bashing. Teachers are not exempted from this general rule. With 2 kids in public school, I can say that i've encountered one incompetent teacher. I complained, and that teacher was transferred. 1 teacher out of perhaps 20 is pretty good. As for me, thankfully I had only one classroom nazi to contend with.</p>

<p>1994 rofl.</p>

"^^ well, no. In this story, the kid laughs once, the teacher reacts badly once and then lets drop. End of story for both"</p>

<p>Sorry you missed the point. </p>

<p>"Why? because even the stupidiest, meanest teacher is smart enough not to write it down."</p>

<p>Because the stupidest, meanest teacher is not going to leave a written record OR haul a kid to the prinicpals office for giggling about a trip. </p>

<p>WHY? because they expose themselves as stupid, mean spirited teachers to another authority figure... cat's out of the bag then. </p>

<p>If I was a stupid mean teacher and you were my student, I could verbally abuse you, ridicule your work and make your life a living long as I didn't write it down or bring it to the attiention of my boss. When your parents came in at confrences to talk, I'd just deny things, as you were misunderstanding my efforts to help...</p>

<p>Writing down, bringing you to the principal makes my defense next to impossible..</p>

<p>Do you get it now?</p>

<p>That's a good point, Opie. I know there's been at least one high profile case where the teacher completely denied misconduct--till the student pulled out his tape recorder and played the tape for the principal. Unfortunately, the school's only real response was to enact harsh penalties for taping in the classroom, but at least the kid had the satisfaction of being vindicated.</p>

<p>Well, the teacher who tripped was not stupid. Nothing in the story suggest s/he was., merely annoyed and thus overreacting, but only temporarily. It can happen to anyone.</p>

<p>The teacher in the original story--provided it is true--was stupid to begin with. And mean. As to stupidest and meanest? Who knows.<br>
Googling the name of the alleged teacher brings up interesting comments about the likelihood of the letter being a fake based on its appearance. It is plausible. The "smart quotes" were available back in 1994; people report that many teachers wrote on non-letterhead paper, etc.. None of it proves that the letter is for real, but nothing so far proves that it is a hoax. Which may be why Snopes adjudged it "undetermined." And so do I.
As to content, posters are vying to cap one another with stories of teachers' stupidity and meanness. Not wanting to be accused of teacher-bashing, I have refrained from providing a link. But you can read for yourself.</p>

<p>To say that such and such a thing is not possible because people cannot possibly be that stupid/ignorant/evil/wicked/ or alternatively smart/kind/ etc... does not strike me as a convincing argument. Most people may not; but individuals may. So, in case I am misunderstood once again, my argument has to do with this particular teacher who may or may not exist, not all teachers. Do you get it now?</p>

<p>Someone with the mindset expressed in the letter may not have realised how "off" the authoritarian attitude would seem to others--would expect other adults to naturally take his side. People who are bad at something tend to be bad at assessing how bad they are at it. </p>

<p>I have a pretty open mind about the letter, could be real, could be fake. But I don't put much stock in the "who keeps a letter from 1994" argument. I think if a parent got this letter, it would be kept just because of what a great story it made.</p>

<p>"To say that such and such a thing is not possible because people cannot possibly be that stupid/ignorant/evil/wicked/ or alternatively smart/kind/ etc... does not strike me as a convincing argument."</p>

<p>My answer... Dick Cheney. ;)</p>

<p>I think tenure comes in here. If the teacher does not have tenure keeping a record of faux pas is productive. I kept such journals about middle school English teachers each kid had because one was incompetent and one was obsessive-compulsive and inappropriate. Neither had tenure. Principal was a math person and grateful for my detailed notes since I am English prof. No incidents involved my kids directly. Neither teacher got tenure. </p>

<p>When teachers do have tenure there is very little recourse in our school district. And teachers have been vindictive with grades. I agree with posters who said it was a life lesson; I agree with Marite, teacher was at fault, but unfortunately things aren't always fair.</p>

<p>My two greatest quarrels were with superintendent and principal. First involved eighth grade graduation during which local VFW chapter gives medal and blatantly discusses military careers. I don't think recruiting is appropriate for 13, 14 yr. olds. The second incident involved an assembly on the first anniversary of 9/11. The principal scheduled an assembly "proud to be an American" with T-shirts with pictures of the towers on back and "let's roll' on front, presumably encouraging uber-military solutions. Kids were required to put on T-shirts. Now, their uncle was in the Towers that day, and although, thank goodness, he did survive, the day was extremely and personally traumatic. So neither kid took 9/11 lightly; however, neither believes in knee-jerk military solutions or empty jingoism. Principal saw their refusal to put on T-shirts insubordination. He threatened to eject my kids (and handful who also didn't put on shirts) from assembly, but when they said, "Fine by us," he backed off. He told me I was the only parent to complain. Might be true. So I don't think our voices carry much weight.</p>

<p>I also encourage my college students to find my mistakes. If I were uncomfortable every time I made a mistake in the classroom I would have to have quit a long time ago. In fact, I say I will let the class go if anyone can find a word in the reading I can't define. The trick is, they have to know the meaning. It gets students to look up words. So far, no cancelled classes!</p>


<p>Aren't you making my point for me? I'm assuming that you do not care for the vice-president? In other words, arguing that he could not <em>possibly</em> be (choose your own epithets) is not a convincing argument just as saying that a teacher could not possibly be so stupid or mean as having done what we are discussing?</p>

<p>You see, Opie, I do believe people can be that stupid or mean. Last time I checked, teachers are people, too.</p>

<p>My most frustrating experience with a stubborn teacher was 8th grade. My English teacher would give us an assignment from our textbook that had 10 sentences, each with a number of grammar mistakes we had to correct. For the sake of argument, lets say each sentence had an average of 5 errors.</p>

<p>When it came time to grade, my teacher said that if you made any mistake on any 1 sentence, that whole sentence was wrong, and you lost 10 points for that sentence. Someone politely asked why we couldn't just count off for each individual MISTAKE, and have our summation be [correct answers/total problems X 100] like we'd done it every other year.</p>

<p>My teacher made the argument that her system was actually helping people in the instance where they might make 3 or 4 mistakes on the same line. I couldn't believe my ears, and I tried explaining that no, if someone missed 4 questions per line using the proposed system they'd get a 20, and if someone missed 1 question per line using her system, they'd get a 0. (Obviously its her class and she can use a counter intuitive system if she wants, but her argument that her system boosted our grades under certain circumstances was objectively false)</p>

<p>I dont know if she knew I was right and just wanted to save face, or was just that mathematically inept, but she threatened me with disciplinary action if I didn't shut up and quit questioning her calculations.</p>

<p>Most teachers are that mathematically inept. As a science teacher, trying to teach the correct use of significant figures to students, I found myself trying to explain to many teachers why an 89.5 should be rounded to 90; mostly, I failed to convince them, and students got Bs who should have gotten As. </p>

<p>For the benefit of parents who would like to try for themselves: if a teacher grades numerically using two digits (85 for example), then the average of all those grades should not appear to be more accurate than it is (when using significant figures, as should be done for any actual measurement). The average of 85, 85, and 86, for example, is 85, not 85.3333, no matter what the calculator says.</p>

<p>I found it even more frustrating when the grading system was even less precise, as in the case where a teacher would average a set of Bs and As and come up with a number like "87". It doesn't make sense!</p>

<p>dmd - I understand your example of 85, 85, and 86 averaging to 85, but can you please explain mathematically why 89.5 should round to 90 rather than 89, aside from giving the benefit of the doubt and choosing the higher number.</p>

<p>It is my understanding that rounding of "5" up or down is a convention and that there is not a mathematically correct way to do it.</p>

<p>Believe it or not, I am actually very interersted in this obscure issue, and I would welcome your explanation.</p>


<p>You still not getting it dearheart. A person can be alot of things good and bad.. a current example is Dick Cheney. </p>

<p>And I respect how mr. cheney is able to do everything he wants without regard because he knows he can do it unchecked.... and he also loves his daughter. So he is capable of many things...</p>

<p>My point about the bully, is they are only bullies where they feel they won't be challenged. So a teacher in a classroom could very easily bully students, but taking that situation up to the prinicpal changes the power levels and the student gains some ground.</p>


<li>I'm not your dearheart. Thank you.</li>
<li> Haven't we agreed that the teacher is stupid? Perhaps not the stupidest or meanest (no one has done an extensive survey, right?) but, if the letter is plausible, that teacher is stupid. And stupidity is seldom confined to a single arena.
The teacher was stupid enough to think that he could shift the discussion from ignorance to authority so he could punish the kid for defying his experiment in totalitarianism--brainwashing plus total compliance.</li>



<p>I think you meant to write, "most people are mathematically inept." When WashMom and I were sent to "genetic counseling" for an anomalous AFP test when she was pregnant with TallSon, I spent a half-hour trying to explain to the counselor why she wasn't making sense, statistically speaking. She still managed to frighten WashMom into an amniocentesis on the basis of a statistically meaningless test (mom was fine, baby was fine, he's now eating all my food and spending his summer going to movies and playing computer games). The bottom line was that SHE showed me all the mathematical proof that the test was statistically invalid, and then said, "just to be safe..." If it's not valid -- it's not valid. It's not "kind of valid" or "sort of valid" or "even though the test result was lower than we'd like, and we imagine that it's associated with Down's Syndrome, the statistical data shows that a baby is no more likely to have Down's with a low score than a higher score we still think you should take the demonstrably dangerous amnio test because -- I don't know -- because I don't understand math." Grrr.</p>

<p>Back to your regularly scheduled thread.</p>