25 September 2007

I Don't Get It

There is a teacher at school who insists on describing kids by their grades. "Jane is a strong B student...Geraldo is a C student, but could do better."

I smile, nod, and say nothing. My internal monologue runs something like this, however: "WTF are you talking about?!"

I don't know what this means. Am I supposed to take this information to mean that students' performance in my class is predetermined? Do I automatically give up on the "F" kids? There's no explanation of how the grades were earned. Should I assume it reflects what they learned or just that they followed his rules? More importantly, isn't there better information to share about a student than a letter grade?


East Coast Teacher said...

There are heaps better information about students to share with colleagues other than their academic performance in another class.

Perhaps if your fellow teachers shared more of this information, you would be able to turn those Cs and Ds into Bs - and possibly As?

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Back in the day, lots of teachers talked like that.

How many kids were/are thoughtlessly labeled, and how many naive teachers listened/listen to the labeler and thereby dropped/drop their expectations of the labeled student?

There is a lot of the old bell curve attitude embodied in those kinds of statements.

When I hear that kind of talk nowadays (much rarer, thankfully), I just think, great Mr. Teacher, you just labeled yourself, too.

Jim Anderson said...

I'm with repairman. Throw it right back. "Mr. X is a C teacher, who tries to teach but has no management skills..."