07 May 2008
Lies, Damn Lies, and Posters
Can I just say right now how much I hate this poster?
This hangs in one of the classrooms of my morning school. It's at the very front of the room, so students have to look at it every period of every day. While the teacher does her thing, this is the message that's in front of them. It makes me feel unwell---I'm not sure what it does to kids.
This poster takes away hope and that's just wrong. It implies that there are no do-overs, second chances, or mulligans in life. That's such a lie. Whether it's retaking your driver's test, fussing with a new recipe to make things "just right," or building relationships with others, life is full of mistakes and opportunities to try, try again.
As I finish up my doctoral work, I know that I am hyper-aware of classroom factors which increase or decrease motivation. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the teacher put the poster up a few years ago and never gives it a second thought...but maybe she should. I wonder what would happen if her classroom reflected the value of learning over a lifetime as opposed to punishment for failure?