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Old 31st May 2018, 12:56 PM   #1
Graham2001
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'Defeated' teacher's open letter to parents about disciplining their children

Quote:
An “exhausted” school teacher has penned an emotional open letter to parents about their “bizarrely lenient” approach to discipline – and how it is creating a generation of spoilt, self-entitled children.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/defeated-t...094256858.html


You only have to look at the rise of the phrase "I'm unable to adult today" to understand this person may have something, though my personal belief is that the generation described in the letter already exists.
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Old 31st May 2018, 02:11 PM   #2
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Ah, I can remember when it was my generation that was spoiled and entitled.
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Old 31st May 2018, 03:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Ah, I can remember when it was my generation that was spoiled and entitled.
You think it would have been worse when the violent crime rate was nearly double.
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Old 31st May 2018, 04:55 PM   #4
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So writing an emotional rant on Facebook blaming your management, the parents, and the students for your classroom management and personal feelings is not self-entitled or excuse making?

For context, she works in a competitive, private, historically segregationist school.

Quote:
In a 1989 Boston Globe report, the superintendent of Orangeburg's public schools, James Wilsford, credited Orangeburg Prep for stepping away from its segregrationist traditions, saying it was "a big move towards accommodating the modern world."[7] The Globe story stated that "[o]ne black student, the son of a physician, studied at Orangeburg Prep until his family moved back to Ohio recently."

By 2007, the Orangeburg public school system was 90 percent black, while Orangeburg Prep was still 95 percent white.

...

Admission to Orangeburg Preparatory Schools is competitive. OPS seeks students with good character, diverse interests, and a willingness to work in a challenging environment. A prospective student’s admission is based upon previous academic records, recommendations, an interview, and an entrance examination.
Heartbreaking.
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Old 31st May 2018, 05:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Ah, I can remember when it was my generation that was spoiled and entitled.
And mine, 50+ years ago.
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Old 31st May 2018, 05:25 PM   #6
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Sounds like imminent societal collapse. As was said by some other teacher a few thousand semesters ago:

“Plato complained
about the youth of the day, also. "What is happening to our young
people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They
ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions.
Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"
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Old 31st May 2018, 06:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sounds like imminent societal collapse. As was said by some other teacher a few thousand semesters ago:

“Plato complained
about the youth of the day, also. "What is happening to our young
people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They
ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions.
Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"
Here are more along the same lines, but whether they are actually real is debatable.
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Old 31st May 2018, 06:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Here are more along the same lines, but whether they are actually real is debatable.
If this was happening,what would it look like?
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Old 31st May 2018, 06:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sounds like imminent societal collapse. As was said by some other teacher a few thousand semesters ago:

“Plato complained
about the youth of the day, also. "What is happening to our young
people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They
ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions.
Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"
Beat me to it. It might not have been Socrates who said this, but I'm certain that sentiment was widespread among the ancient Greeks as it has been throughout human history.

One of my daughter's is a teacher. It's a tough job. But whining and feeling sorry for yourself does absolutely nothing.
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Old 31st May 2018, 06:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Here are more along the same lines, but whether they are actually real is debatable.
Given that Socrates himself was charged and convicted of "corrupting the youth", it does seem unlikely Plato was complaining about the youth.

Thanks for the link. I had read the Plato quote in several sources and assumed (stupidly) that it was accurate.
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Old 31st May 2018, 11:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Here are more along the same lines, but whether they are actually real is debatable.
But at least the Seneca quote is real, right? I can think of at least one corrupted youth in his time, viz. Emperor Nero. He must have had a really bad teacher.
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Old 1st June 2018, 07:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Ah, I can remember when it was my generation that was spoiled and entitled.
How many schools did you shoot up though?

I read the article and I agree with a lot of what she says about parenting today. Hard to prove anything without data though so that's as far as I care to go.
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Old 1st June 2018, 08:36 PM   #13
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Replace her critique of students with critique of teachers and see how quickly her new found clarity of the situation changes. First off, she's young. I doubt she has been teaching for very long, given her need for confirmation bias among other professionals in the current time. Having spent a few years teaching, she feels special to say that TODAY's youth and parents are so much different than the past time.

Let's lay out a different scenario. Teachers are soft today. They are unable to handle the demand and responsibility of their job, and think somehow adolescents have changed so much in current time that they have it that much harder than teachers of years past.

Hate to break it to them, but kids have always been ********. And parents have always looked to hand off blame of their behavior unto others. This isn't new. And although her experience with it might be, I say welcome to the profession.

As an additional thought, it seems to me like the people that condemn the parenting and behavior of the youth are quick to shine a light on their own indiscretions and behavior as a person growing up. 'Bullying is normal. I was bullied and blah blah blah.' Defense of bad behavior to view current upbringing as lacking and leading to moral decay/weakness while highlighting the regularity of it from their own youth. It annoys me.
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Old 1st June 2018, 11:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
Let's lay out a different scenario. Teachers are soft today. They are unable to handle the demand and responsibility of their job, and think somehow adolescents have changed so much in current time that they have it that much harder than teachers of years past.
Got any evidence for this scenario? Teachers are not "soft" today. It's the hardest job in the world. During my one semester of FT teaching I was working at a flat run every waking moment. I can't do that now because of caregiving responsibilities so I work around the edges as a sub, tutor and paraprofessional. The kids have gotten more difficult. Today's teachers do have it harder and if you asked a few old-timers I'm pretty sure most would agree with me.

I do question the Facebook posting. Another option would be to call each parent, for 5 minutes each, but that would take 12.5 hours assuming everything went perfectly. Add to that increased duties imposed by administration. It's no wonder so many burn out after the first couple of years.

Last edited by Minoosh; 1st June 2018 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 1st June 2018, 11:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Teachers are not "soft" today. It's the hardest job in the world.
Sure it is.
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Old 2nd June 2018, 12:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sure it is.
I sense sarcasm.

It may not be the hardest job, but it is extremely demanding and accountable. I worked in senior executive positions and coped. I couldn’t cope with a school teaching job (adult teaching jobs are likely easier).
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Old 2nd June 2018, 02:56 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sure it is.
Ever done it?
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Old 2nd June 2018, 03:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Ah, I can remember when it was my generation that was spoiled and entitled.
You lie - that was my generation!
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Old 2nd June 2018, 07:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Got any evidence for this scenario? Teachers are not "soft" today. It's the hardest job in the world. During my one semester of FT teaching I was working at a flat run every waking moment. I can't do that now because of caregiving responsibilities so I work around the edges as a sub, tutor and paraprofessional. The kids have gotten more difficult. Today's teachers do have it harder and if you asked a few old-timers I'm pretty sure most would agree with me.

I do question the Facebook posting. Another option would be to call each parent, for 5 minutes each, but that would take 12.5 hours assuming everything went perfectly. Add to that increased duties imposed by administration. It's no wonder so many burn out after the first couple of years.
So you have evidence for your statement as well? That is basically my point. And the specifics of her complaints about the difficulty is the larger issue I am calling into question in these scenarios. That kids are worse and parents are worse. Not that cell phone distractions are an issue. Not that she has added workload and administrative responsibilities. Not any of the myriad of issues involved in teaching that could be focused on.

Basically a finger wag at an entire generation of parents and children due to her few years of teaching what? 20-30 kids a year TOPS? And honestly, how many specific ones out of those years matched the behavior she complains about? 3-5 a year? Probably not a bad guesstimate. Great generalization for the 50+ million students in public school. She 'spoke with some teachers and researched', great the 3+ million teachers etc. It's just silly.
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Old 3rd June 2018, 06:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
So you have evidence for your statement as well? That is basically my point. And the specifics of her complaints about the difficulty is the larger issue I am calling into question in these scenarios. That kids are worse and parents are worse. Not that cell phone distractions are an issue. Not that she has added workload and administrative responsibilities. Not any of the myriad of issues involved in teaching that could be focused on.

Basically a finger wag at an entire generation of parents and children due to her few years of teaching what? 20-30 kids a year TOPS? And honestly, how many specific ones out of those years matched the behavior she complains about? 3-5 a year? Probably not a bad guesstimate. Great generalization for the 50+ million students in public school. She 'spoke with some teachers and researched', great the 3+ million teachers etc. It's just silly.
Not really.
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Old 5th June 2018, 05:15 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sure it is.
What's your personal experience of teaching, then?
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Old 5th June 2018, 06:15 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
What's your personal experience of teaching, then?
Are you seriously defending teaching being “the hardest job in the world”? Really? Nothing harder?

Sorry brain surgeons and astronauts! Sorry junior nhs doctors doing 100 hour weeks!

Sheesh, thought it was a sceptical forum.
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Old 5th June 2018, 07:02 AM   #23
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Nuclear reactor maintenence diver. Reactor tech on a nuclear submarine. Commander of a nuclear missile submarine. Military test pilot. Reaper drone operator. A lot of military jobs, actually.

Salvaging a 55,000 ton cargo ship off the Alaskan coast is probably a harder job than teaching elementary school for a year.

Doctors Without Borders. Police officer in a major metro. Homicide detective. CIA interrogator.

Porn star, probably.
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Old 5th June 2018, 07:03 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
What's your personal experience of teaching, then?
It can't be harder than being a devops computer technician.
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Old 5th June 2018, 07:05 AM   #25
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If kids being brats is a surprise to her, she's in the wrong field. IT people know users are idiots, medical people know patients are jerks, retail people know customers are terrible. To quote St Teresa of Avila: 'Suck it up, buttercup.'
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Old 5th June 2018, 11:16 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
What's your personal experience of teaching, then?
Ah. Ad hom today on the menu, is it?
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Old 5th June 2018, 01:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I sense sarcasm.

It may not be the hardest job, but it is extremely demanding and accountable. I worked in senior executive positions and coped. I couldn’t cope with a school teaching job (adult teaching jobs are likely easier).
I did it for five years in a third level private college, the students fell into three categories for me. The mature. I really liked those. They were trying to pick themselves up and better themselves. The genuinely bright. I liked those too. They couldn't help but shine. And the third group, Mom and Pop are making me do this but I don't care even vaguely. Those I had little respect for.

One of my tasks was to build an FM transmitter, a regular feature. Guess which segment of the class couldn't be bothered? The rest were out on the street trying to measure the range they could achieve, and returning to ask, can we do it again only better? The snowflakes were asking How can I get the grade without doing anything?
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Are you seriously defending teaching being “the hardest job in the world”? Really? Nothing harder?

Sorry brain surgeons and astronauts! Sorry junior nhs doctors doing 100 hour weeks!

Sheesh, thought it was a sceptical forum.
So you're fighting hyperbole with hyperbole? Teaching is not an easy job. It's certainly a lot harder that a lot of people seem to think.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:59 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Ah. Ad hom today on the menu, is it?
No at all. It's just that most people haven't got a *********** clue what teaching actually involves.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 5th June 2018 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:03 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
So you're fighting hyperbole with hyperbole?
There's really no better tool to fight hyperbole, than more hyperbole.

Quote:
Teaching is not an easy job. It's certainly a lot harder that a lot of people seem to think.
What's your personal experience of teaching, then?

Last edited by theprestige; 5th June 2018 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:04 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
No at all. It's just that most people haven't got a *********** clue what teaching actually involves.
What's your personal experience of other people and their clues, then?
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What's your personal experience of teaching, then?
My wife is a teacher. Kind of hard not to be aware of what the job involves and the effect it can have, although since she went part-time and switched from senior to primary she's not quite as stressed as she was before.
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:08 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What's your personal experience of other people and their clues, then?
Mostly the sort of crap people come out with on forums about how easy it must be only working 09:00-15:30 and getting three months "holiday" a year.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 5th June 2018 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:56 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
No at all. It's just that most people haven't got a *********** clue what teaching actually involves.
Yes, many people don't have a clue but many are quite clued in as well. However my point is that the criticism could very well be legitimate no matter what experience the critic may have regarding a particular job so, while understandable, dismissing criticism based only upon one's membership of that group does not actually address the criticism. Only when the criticism itself is addressed can one see whether or not the criticism is valid.

And, like it or not, some jobs such as police or other governmental positions require input from those who are not a member of that group. Some teaching positions could be categorized as one such job.
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Old 5th June 2018, 04:17 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
My wife is a teacher. Kind of hard not to be aware of what the job involves and the effect it can have, although since she went part-time and switched from senior to primary she's not quite as stressed as she was before.
No one in this thread said that it wasn’t a proper job. Or that it wasn’t a hard job. What was objectionable was the laughable claim that it was the hardest job in the world.
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Old 5th June 2018, 04:20 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
How many schools did you shoot up though?
I read the article and I agree with a lot of what she says about parenting today. Hard to prove anything without data though so that's as far as I care to go.
I agree also. Couple of good examples to support the claim. Letter grades not given out because the schools don't want the kids to feel like they failed. And kids who play soccer where the score isn't kept because the league didn't want the losing team to feel bad.

Then later in life when scores and performance count such as in work or applying for jobs and rejection occurs, you have generations of adults who as kids, were not taught to cope with life's realities. I can't imagine this is a good thing.
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Old 5th June 2018, 04:50 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
Basically a finger wag at an entire generation of parents and children due to her few years of teaching what? 20-30 kids a year TOPS?
What the hell makes you think a middle school teacher has 30 kids a year? More like 150. And they're all difficult, going through a rough patch in their own lives. I've heard middle schools called "hormone quarantine zones" or something like that, at a time when even the sweetest kids sometimes feel like it's their job to be difficult. You need black-belt people skills as you not only have to manage them, but also deal with parents and administrators. And as a new teacher you will probably be dealing with the most difficult students.

It's not the hardest job to qualify for, clearly. But in actual practice, day in and day out, managing all those personalities, coming up with lessons that now have to compete with the entire Internet in terms of student engagement, knowing that kids may be stealth-filming you? Any misstep, any time you start to lose your temper (or really lose it), any slightly cutting remark you make to a student - all could get you fired, or worse - lose the class - so you have to stay loose, very loose, while projecting that you're actually kind of uptight. You are on stage all the time. And the workload approaches infinity, I swear it does, at least for a new teacher. At least for a conscientious new teacher. And just in case you do get confident some reformer will come along and say everybody's doing it wrong. So yeah, in practice it's as hard as any other job I can think of. Unless you just don't give a fig.

I love it, I just can't do it full-time right now because that would really amount to probably 80 hours a week. Am I being efficient, working at a flat-out run every waking hour? Of course not. Does it help to second-guess yourself constantly? Nope. But every single day you will make mistakes. Every single day you will have moments when you're ready to give up all together. Every single day (or most), something will happen to make you like your job, because when it works with kids, it's amazing. But some will be psychopaths, some will be mentally ill, some will be abused children, some will be borderline (or actual) criminals, and you are directly responsible for the safety of all of them, all the time. You will be working with precarious group dynamics armed with little more than your wits.

I agree with you about the Facebook thing; I think that is bad form. She could have sent a letter home with the requirement that parents sign it. I understand the exasperation, but it was a mistake.

Last edited by Minoosh; 5th June 2018 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 5th June 2018, 05:29 PM   #38
Dread Pirate Roberts
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Somewhat off topic, but the thing I've seen here in Nevada is the increase in class size. Middle and high schools here can have a class size in the 40s. That's a difficult learning environment.
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Old 5th June 2018, 05:32 PM   #39
Minoosh
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Originally Posted by Joecool View Post
Couple of good examples to support the claim. Letter grades not given out because the schools don't want the kids to feel like they failed. And kids who play soccer where the score isn't kept because the league didn't want the losing team to feel bad.
Do you have citations? I've worked in at least 50 schools and have never run across either of these.

Also in the second case, you're saying it's a league decision?
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Old 6th June 2018, 02:15 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Yes, many people don't have a clue but many are quite clued in as well. However my point is that the criticism could very well be legitimate no matter what experience the critic may have regarding a particular job so, while understandable, dismissing criticism based only upon one's membership of that group does not actually address the criticism. Only when the criticism itself is addressed can one see whether or not the criticism is valid.

And, like it or not, some jobs such as police or other governmental positions require input from those who are not a member of that group. Some teaching positions could be categorized as one such job.
The "problem" with teaching, though, is a that there is widespread belief that people "know" about it, simply because they were once school pupils. Most members of the public don't second-guess - for example - the work of policing, because most of them have had little if any direction interaction with the police in their lives. In contrast, many see teaching through the prism of their own experience of being pupils, and think that all there is to teaching is what they saw in their own classrooms. They didn't see the additional hours of preparation, marking, grade projections, targets, budgets, or dealing with social workers, the police, or whatever for the more troublesome pupils. They didn't see the constant threat of discipline or sacking due to loss of temper or a malicious allegation, or the need to look over their shoulder even about perfectly legal out-of-school activities that the rest of the adult population - including parents - never have to worry about. Rdwight's suggestion that the teacher who wrote the letter must have, in a few years, taught, "20-30 kids a year TOPS," exemplifies the wholly skewed view of teaching many people have, whereas Minoosh's response to it claim pretty much nails the reality.
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