Saturday, November 04, 2006

Failing our kids


Our teachers:

  1. Are no longer able to give students a 0 mark in school for work not done, not handed in or poorly done.
  2. Are no longer able to fail our students – rather they must say that insufficient evidence has been provided to evaluate them.
  3. Can no longer hold students back a year in school when they have failed a majority of their subjects.
  4. Must give them every opportunity to demonstrate competency possible, even if that means providing a “make-up” test or a “credit-recovery” opportunity.

The real world:

  1. If you don’t do the work, you get fired.
  2. Failure is a reality and sometimes we need this to promote learning.
  3. You don’t move forward until you complete the task before you.

So – the question I ask is this – By not failing our children in school are we failing to prepare our kids for life?

Our children have become conditioned to accept mediocrity. They know that they won’t and can’t be failed in school. The end result – a society (and exponentially growing in number) of young people who think it is their right to not be failed. They think they should be given an endless supply of “second chances”. Is it any surprise that they are devastated the first time they are fired from a job, told there is no second chance or told they cannot move forward until they complete the task? It shouldn’t be.

We are all teachers in some capacity – but our school teachers we must be allowed to teach – and it starts with the difference between exceptional, mediocrity and failure. With failure comes learning.

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