Wednesday, November 24, 2010


In the last General Music class there is a boy and a girl in the back that sit by each other (by complete random chance of my seating chart creation) who have an interesting relationship.  They have been accused of "totally liking" each other by their classmates and deny it vehemently.  At one point, I read some notes on the back of their quizzes that seemed to be declarations of love.  I mentioned them to the girl and she loudly yelled, "I don't like [boy A], I like [boy B]!" and then was embarrassed about the public announcement.  She explained to me in a convincing way why these love notes were written (she was explaining an acronym to the boy).  Today, we watched a movie and I noticed that their legs were as close as they could possibly be to each other without physically touching.  I thought that was humorous enough, but then they decided to hold hands!  These two kids are just adorable.  When I turned the lights on they ceased contact immediately.  They totally like each other.

I recently finished grading some quizzes that had been re-taken by students with IEP's under the supervision of a learning support teacher, who is an expert at following their plans' demands.  I love the work that these learning support teachers do, but some of it makes me ask, "Are the assistive requirements this student gets far too lenient, or is this learning support teacher otherwise an educational genius?"  One of these students received a perfect 0% on their initial quiz and a perfect 110% on their re-take.  Others were almost as drastic, while others still improved their scores by trifling degrees.  Educationally philosophical red flags pop up in my mind, but so do the pressures to pass students [almost] no matter what.


  1. Of course!

    When a student's quiz grade goes from 0% to 110% due to the aid of an adult, the red flag is, "is this student being fed the answers and not comprehending what I want them to comprehend in order to pass this class?" I don't want to sound like I'm accusing learning support teachers of helping students cheat, but it's true that the quiz-assisting requirements of IEP's go from, "quizzes must have 'chunked' sets of questions" to "quizzes must be read aloud to the student" to "quizzes for this student should have fewer questions" to "quizzes can be taken with notes available," and that the amalgamation of all of these things results in students [sometimes] manipulating their proctors into giving so many hints for a question that they can get it right without knowing what they're answering.

    If your question was more about semantics, I simply meant that my educational philosophy places student learning above students passing classes, and red flags pop up when I feel like the opposite order of priorities is being achieved instead.

  2. Isn't it a shame that as children we are so alright with being adorable and cute and denying love when it is there, but when we get old we become cruel and harsh and beat love off with a stick (so to speak?).

    Your educational philosophy should be spread more. It is much better for a student to learn and fail then learn nothing and pass.