Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dropping the F bomb

No, it's not what you think. I'm talking about trends in education, schools, society and parenting. There are studies, movements and high-ranking educators who insist on not flunking students in school. If you give them an 'F' they will think less of themselves. They deride the concept as creating a culture of failure. The system will hold the student down; it will make them feel inadequate. They suggest replacing the 'F' with an 'H'(for held). What's the difference? I know of one school district that does not want the teachers to use a red pen when marking papers. It is considered demeaning. Yep, it's all hogwash!

The greatest lessons ever learned are those where you fail. Who learned anything necessary if it was not a challenge? After the age of six no child should be in any sporting event that does not keep score. I understand learning the rules and letting them play but that is what practice is for. Sports is not a substitute for life but it does help you learn life lessons. Sooner or later if you get tired of losing you will strive to do better. You will improve yourself through your own work and perseverance. You may inspire others to improve themselves as well. That is how a team is built. Successful teams win. Successful teams build successful individuals.

The adage "it takes a village to raise a child" is a ridiculous notion and the cry of those who don't want to do the work and put in the time. A society is built on different groups fulfilling a variety of needs for the community as a whole. Farmers raise the food, teachers educate etc. They are not raising your child, the parent is. Those who lament a failing child as a product of society need to look in the mirror. A child learns from the parent. I'm not so blind as to not understand social pressures and life in decrepit urban areas. There are challenges in the real world no parent can handle by themselves. I believe those are the exceptions and not the rule.

Those who promote the standard of not 'hurting a child's feelings' are only promoting mediocrity at best. Life is about overcoming challenges. Your future employer won't care if he 'hurts your feelings' in a work environment. Children need to be prepared for life and sometimes life is hard. If your ideals are only about building 'self-esteem' you don't belong in the education business.

I realize not every child will go on to become a doctor, lawyer or other 'titled' position but to hold them to a lesser standard within their own abilities is doing them a great injustice. Hold young people accountable or they won't learn a damn thing.


  1. Amen, yea verily I say unto you, "Amen".

  2. I'm putting a copy of this in our faculty lounge - it's what we talk about a lot!

  3. Don't you technically rear children and not raise them?


  4. Mine have been known to have a swat to the rear time to time, is that what you mean? oops - that's not politically correct! Too darn bad!

  5. I completely agree! Frankly, we studious teenagers (rare, I know) get tired of being pushed to one side because teachers are so busy catering to the lower third of the class. Too often, teachers deliberately slow down the lesson in a vain effort to boost the grades of those who obviously have no inclination to save their grades on their own. I understand that students learn differently, but students who make no effort shouldn't dictate the speed of the class!
    -daughter of BabySis :D