Saturday, April 09, 2005

Exceptional Children

I just posted this as a comment on First Year Teacher's blog, so I hope I'm not violating any type of blog etiquette.

This country is raising a generation of "exceptional individuals," in the sense that: Yes, rules are important for the group, but an exception should be made for me/my kid.

Parents and administrators are the enablers.

I long-term-subbed at a middle school a few years ago, and the plan was to take the 8th graders to the local amusement park on the last day of school. If you got in trouble during May, you didn't get to go.

One student messed up with three days to go, and I told her that, because of that policy, she couldn't go. I don't think she or her mom seriously believed that a substitute teacher would actually enforce the rules.

On the last day, when we were gathering the kids together, the principal came to me and asked me if I was serious about going all the way with this. When I told her I was, she asked me, "Are you going to tell Mom this?" (I said yes)

I was floored! I use this as an example of how principals are NOT supposed to act. Teachers make dozens of decisions every day, and the administration's job is to back up their teacher's decisions.

The kicker: The mom pulled up as the buses were pulling out, and I had to get off the bus to talk to the mom. When I explained what the deal was, the mom replied "That sounds fair. (My daughter) doesn't get to go." I later got a letter of apology from the student.


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