A Note On Public School Teachers

Long-time readers know of my, how shall I put it, no-love-lost relationship with public school teachers. Yes. That’s a fair way to describe the romance. Of course, it is a difficult thing to critique people who do thankless jobs. However, because teachers are adults and I know what being an adult feels like, I won’t hesitate to critique them.

This morning I went to help the kindergartners read. They each have a reading folder which contains an appropriate skill-level book and a sheet of paper on which data is recorded, data like book title, date, skill level, and the like. To give feedback to the teacher or next volunteer, there are three boxes to choose from which describe the contest between student and book: Just Right, Too Easy, Too Hard.

(New readers: My daughter is in the class.)

Anyhow, the teacher is setting me up at my spot just outside the classroom and she actually told me, instructed me, to not mark any “Too Easy”. (Pause for effect.) How could she possibly know the future?

More than that, she emphasized heavily that everything should be positive feedback and that I wasn’t to use the word “no” or say “that’s not right”. More than that, she gave me the okay to give the student the difficult word rather than have them sound it out.

If my daughter was overly shy and unkempt and occasionally had bruises that she hurriedly covered up and could not ruh-ruh-ruh-ree-add, then maybe I could see the need to talk to me about the nature of teaching the skill of reading–maybe.

Oh and another thing. One little girl was pouting because her dad’s finger accidentally touched her cheek as he got her out of the car. After sending the little girl to the nurse to get some ice, the same teacher looked at me knowingly and said, “Sometimes all it takes is a hug and a little ice.” All it takes for what? What exactly is the predicted/anticipated/desired future for indulging that kind of behavior? If you’re less than fifty and have kids I blame you. It’s probably against some policy somewhere to tell a 5 year old human-in-training, “Stop crying. You’re not hurt. Move along” because either you or parents you knew complained that a teacher with your child’s best interest in mind was being a meany.

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3 comments

  1. stilllearning2b

    Public school teacher here (8th grade math). I have to teach grit and frustration management as much (or more) than I teach algebra. And in my room, “too easy” means that they’re ready for more. I strive (and I tell them this) to keep them in the zone where they’re slightly uncomfortable. Because that’s where growth occurs.

    The longest days of my life were subbing in kindergarten and 1st grade classes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44

    Excuse me? Her father’s finger accidentally touched her cheek? Are father’s not supposed to touch their daughters now? I know teachers are not supposed to touch their students in anyway. I was told not to hug my students, even though they were adults.
    Now if the guy backhanded her, then I would understand. Clearly you have an unbiased view of how badly our schools are teaching their students now: nothing negative can be even hinted at with regard to the student, for fear of hurting their feelings. We see the results of this pandering in college students now; they are offended by micro-agressions and need safe spaces etc.
    Teach your daughter well, bring her up to see the world as it really is, and don’t wrap her in cotton candy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dweezer19

    I hate to sound like a “fogey” here but I am really concerned about the generation coming up behind my kids. No discipline, no disappointment, no criticism, no expectation, no accountability. I was a fair and loving Mom but my sons were not mistreated. Who is going to prepare some of these overindulged, “have it all” children for the real hardships life will surely throw at them? I already see it in the young people who work beside me in their 20′ and I work with one young mother who won’t allow he husband to drop their four year old at childcare unless he vows to follow her “protocol” every step of the way, including how he says goodbye and the way they leave the house. It’s insane. She is setting him up for a lifetime of conflict with others who expect that every single eccentricity and expectation THEY have should come first. I have a good friend who teaches a head start program. She actually wants to teach them and is always being called to task for expecting the children to respect each other and her yet they want her to teach them basic ALGEBRA? Many of these children at four and five are learning i paired due to parents who used excessive drugs. She spends a lot of time teaching them what different animals are and that hand washing is essential.it’s all rhetoric. Things that look goos on paper and in “idea circles”. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

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