Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday morning: Back to School


Maybe Mrs. Who can explain this to me.

Why are some teachers SO bent on neatness that no credit is given to a child who has clearly learned from the project they've done?

Why are some subjects graded on the merit of artistic talent rather than on what the child learned from the exercise?

I spent the weekend giving moral support to a boy sweating over a mobile he had to create as part of a literature lesson. Read the book; make a mobile.
And it had to be neat.
He'd get points marked off for minor details.
Details like uneven balance and putting his name in the wrong place.
He was so concerned over whether there was enough color and uniformly cut pieces that not only did he not enjoy the story he read but also did not enjoy making a mobile.

If she wanted to suck all the fun out of the project, why not just assign a written book report like real teachers do? If she wanted to make the project fun by assigning a mobile, then dammit, let the thing be fun instead of nit-picking it to artistic death.

Focus on what was learned. That's still the point, isn't it?

I think if a teacher wants his/her students to focus on coloring inside the lines at the expense of learning the names and locations of the states they are coloring or simply enjoying a good book, then that teacher aught to be teaching art and not general knowledge.

I wish my kid would stop getting these kinds of teachers every year.

Happy Monday, everyone.
Have a nice week.


oddybobo said...

Have you said anything to the teacher? Because, well, I'm a wee bit outspoken, but I would. There is a reason there is an actual class called art class . . .

jaj said...

I hear you. I so hear you.

Thumper said...

Go stare death rays at the teacher. That worked when my son was in 6th grade. She wound up being a little bit afraid of me, though...

Richmond said...

Oh jeez- you should see the foam diorama of the Sears Tower on my dining room table right now... Just sayin'... *sigh*

Bou said...

We're living this life down here in Florida... for 3rd grade and 5th. I'm so frickin' done with the daggum art/reading projects.

I hate them.

Tink said...

I can give you one better. Scamp failed (yes, I said failed) art in 3rd grade. How in the world do you fail art in 3rd grade. I am so with you. Wish all my kids had a teacher like Mrs. Who.

Priscilla said...

My sons 5th grade teachers conference went like this.
Teacher: Your sons getting a 'C'.
Memom: Oh, I thought he was doing well. But if he's a 'C' student, then he's a 'C' student.
Teacher: I'd like you to look at his test scores.
Memom: Hmmm 97%, 98%, 100%. Well it looks like he's getting 'A's on his tests, how come he's getting a 'C'.
Teacher: Well he talks to much in class.
Memom: I see, but he's learning the material, maybe you bore him.
I didn't say the last part. I took him out of class and homeschooled after that.
And shouldn't he get an 'A' for socialization. Because clearly, he deserved it.

Mrs. Who said...

GAHHH! I can't draw a straight line, so I don't expect my students to, either! Oh, and the schools here in Florida are taking all the 'fun' out of elementary will be tested on elements of, theory, ELEMENTARY school. Damn NCLB.

Sometimes I do require 'neatness' as part of a grade for a project, but it's very minor. I don't expect young kids to be freakin' Michelangelo.

And thank y'all for your kind words. It's very frustrating being a teacher these days. All the testing regulations are not-so-slowly taking away the 'fun' ways for kids to learn. It's making automatons out of us all. :(