Thursday, March 03, 2011

What's the matter with education?

So a student wasn't paying attention and the teacher picked up a desk, startling her. So what did she do? She ran to the loo and called 911, of course! She reported that her teacher was out of control, rampaging around the room throwing furniture around and cursing out students, and she was "scared". The cops arrived, found that the teacher was teaching to a quiet room with no rampaging maniac in sight, concluded there was no crime, and left.

Now, back when I was a kid, if I would not only have been eating dinner standing up that night because have been spending the next few days in my room -- *without* Nintendo, television, or any other entertainment. The teacher would have received an apology from me shortly thereafter, with my father pointedly hooking his thumb into his belt as his hand guided me by my neck to the proper spot to issue said apology. The school might or might not have suspended me. But that was before the days of touchy-feely "education", when it was expected that we would go into classrooms and behave like students, or else. Today? Not so much. The point of schools today, apparently is to make students feel "safe" so that we don't harm their "self esteem". And so a teacher who apparently is a fine teacher ends up suspended, and I'm sure the little actress who faked hysterics for 911 is smiling that she "got" the teacher who yelled at her.

-- Badtux the "Sometimes progress ain't" Penguin


  1. When did you become a crusty old republican?


  2. Jazz, I've always been conservative, in the old sense of the word meaning "someone who does not experiment with the lives of human beings based on a whim." I embrace change only after it's been thoroughly vetted and proven by experience on a smaller scale, and only when necessary. That is, for example, why my preference for expanding health care was to expand the only health care program that we know work, that we know produces better results than other countries obtain for the population that it covers -- i.e., Medicare. We have decades of evidence showing that it works. Any true conservative would thus say that Medicare For All is the only conservative solution.

    So I'm who I've always been. It's the Republicans who jumped the shark and became stark raving lunatics, wanting to "fix" shit that worked for fifty years because it didn't comply with their bizarre European ideology that they got from some some woman's bad fiction novel, and discarding perfectly good solutions because the solutions were "ideologically incorrect." The Democrats have become the conservative party, and the Republicans have become... well... the Republicans have become batshit lunatics. Or as you're fond of saying... WASF.

    -- Badtux the Conservative Penguin

  3. I meant to comment something like this on your earlier, longer and well-thought-out education post. But I have to agreer with you that a large part of why "our children isn't learning" (or whatever malapropism teh Shrub said, which I don't give enough of a shit about to Oogle) is because of the parents.

    My household was not like "Tiger Mom" where we were pressured to excel. But it was just taken for granted that all of us kids would do well in school, like it was taken for granted that we would breathe in oxygen from the atmosphere. My parents, for all their faults, asked us about how we were doing in school, kept track of our grades, made sure we completed homework and school projects, went to parent-teacher conferences, etc. It's just what people DID. I didn't see it as anything special, and my sisters and I all went on to get college degrees. Ho-hum.

    I'm amazed to find how little respect there is for education, even among many of those who purport to be middle class. Many parents are too involved in their own alcoholism/other self-centered trips or they just don't place a conscious value on education. So theyr let their kids slide. If they made what seems to me a normal effort to emphasize getting smarter, then kids wouldn't be such fuck-ups.

    And the self-esteem thing... My daughter, who's smart and went to expensive private schools in Miami, was talking to me recently, all depressed over trivial stuff. She said "I think my self-esteem is too low." I resisted the urge to yell "You're a privileged white person! If you want to raise your self-esteem, go out and help the homeless or do something real in the world so you can feel proud of yourself." I didn't say that, because the psych ward where I'm working gets a lot of those tender young flowers whose delicate egos are easily bruised and they want to kill themselves.

    Fack, I felt shitty a lot when I was in my teens and 20s. I thought that was part of life, and the thing to do was buckle down and plow on ahead. I'm sounding like my grandparents now, but we were tougher when I was a yoof. Kids today are nasty and/or pansies. When the shit does hit the fan, there's going to be a lot of kids killing themselves because their fragile little egos can't handle adversity. I hope to instill enough fighting spirit in my daughter that she gets hard under pressure and doesn't fracture.


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