Friday, February 4, 2011

Paranoid: The Education Edition

I have this overwhelming need to defend myself in all circumstances.  It's an obsession.  (Add it to the list of things that I'm already obsessive about.  Oh, and I'm still dreaming about water leaking through my house.  Last night it was raining running down the walls.  I had to call my dad and beg him to help Favorite fix it.  Ugh.  I'm hoping I'll stop dreaming that stuff soon.  But it illustrates my point perfectly.)

Anyway.

Favorite is always telling me that there's no need to defend myself.  If I'm right, I'll be right whether someone says I'm wrong or not.

Which is true in THEORY...but isn't always the route I choose.  Instead, I choose to list reasons why I'm right and the other people in the situation are wrong.  I should probably note that I'm getting better about it.  I may obsess about it in my head, but I've managed in a couple of (really, really important) circumstances to keep my mouth shut and let people believe what they will believe.

But I'm unsuccessful on that front in most cases.

Like today.  Today a student kept telling me that he wished he had a different teacher for English because everyone passed that teacher's class the year before.  (He used a particular student as an example).  I wanted to scream for a couple of reasons:

1.  That teacher holds them to the same standard I do.

2.  The student he used as an example actually passed my class two years ago with a fairly high grade.  IN FACT, it was the highest grade he's earned in English to date.

3.  "I" do not fail my students.  The ones who fail generally do so because of the significant amount of zeroes they rack up in my class.  I don't accept late work; however, I believe this is a good way to teach responsibility to my students.  If they can't turn things in, I don't see that it's my responsibility to pass them.  Isn't that common sense?  Isn't it the student's job to develop responsibility for his/her own work?

4.  I am not unrealistic.  Many of my students really struggle with reading comprehension and writing skills; however, if they turn in all their work, make an effort and talk to me when they struggle, they will not fail.  At least, no student who has done these things in the past has failed--even when the comprehension level in question was at the 4th grade level.

Thank you for allowing me to defend myself.  Did I need to?  Probably not, but it burns my rear end that I'm working as hard as I possibly can to be good at what I do and one lazy, aggravated student will disregard all of my hard work because he doesn't want to work.

Oh, paranoia.  How you continue to follow me.

1 comment:

Big Al said...

Seriously, read "You don't have to be wrong for me to be right" I sent you the link. It's helped me a lot in the "need to show someone that they're wrong because I don't agree" department.