Let me state this first. I don't hate teachers. In fact, I admire them. There is a reason I could never homeschool, because I couldn't deal with whiney, mouthy shits with their "I'm entitled to the moon" bullshit attitudes. (Yes, I love my children, but this generation thinks if they blink they should get whatever they desire. My fault, but mine are no different, trying to change this.) I couldn't deal with parents who sit there and bitch at me because little Johnny failed English in grade 9 because the education system pushed him through school due to the No Child Left Behind plan the government said was a such a great idea. They don't care that little Johnny is illiterate, they just don't want him to feel embarrassed because he's kept a grade behind while his friends move on ahead. He might be bullied. Really? Um, here's some real life logic for you, if little Johnny is illiterate and it's discovered when he's older, those are the ones you should be afraid of bullying him, not some kid in grade 3. From experience, Middle School is the melting pot of hate.
What also doesn't fly with me with this whole No Child Left Behind plan is that it doesn't help little Johnny or little Emily prepare for how the real world is going to treat them. The real world couldn't care less what excuse older Johnny or older Emily comes up with for showing up late to work if they show up at all. The real world couldn't care less if Johnny's teachers gave him all A's if it doesn't show in his practical work that he can do the job he wants. The real world couldn't care less if Emily forgot her media project for work on her table at home. The point is that it wasn't there for the investors meeting, now they lost their investors and need to start again. Emily lost millions for her company, they could toss her if they wish, for any reason they wish. Funny how the real world works, eh? We don't get to make excuses for poor decisions and still pass go. In the adult world we are expected, and rightly so, to be accountable for ALL of our actions, not just the ones we want to take credit for. Our schools are helping to raise whole generations of children. A wise teacher once told me, "We are not raising children, we are raising young adults." Children have none to little consequences and everyone holds their hands. Adults live in the world of sharks and they need to be self-sufficient and problem solvers in order to survive.
Now on to today. Last week the science teacher called about my son. I called her back today. He's at a 59% in Science going in to the exams. He missed a lab, and now he's not living up to his full potential. But these kids have to email their labs in and then bring in the hard copy the next day if they forgot it at home. So my kid emailed it but forgot the second part. This was in December. How does this help anyone now? It's January 15th. She's so concerened about his mark so she tells me a month after the lab is due and can no longer be handed in? That sounds more than a bit backwards to me. She went on to say how he needs to study hard for exams and there is free peer tutoring available until then, as he needs a good mark on the exam to pass. Exams are in two weeks. How does this help anyone now? I didn't question it, as this was not the first time this has happened. Not with this teacher, last year it was the electronics teacher. (My son refused to go back into electronics after that session strictly because of the teacher. Pretty sad he had to stop doing something he was interested in because of a teacher.) Seriously, does anyone else see what's wrong with this picture? I should be preventing something from happening, not trying to do damage control after the fact. It doesn't teach my son anything and all it does is waste 10 minutes of my time on the phone when I could be doing something else. Once she heard my answer to her, she became curt in her conversation with me.
My answer was this. "I'm not going to argue with my son, he knows how he learns" (In regards to her saying that if he does the science review and hands it in he'll get marks and he said no. In more words of course). "I don't know if you know, but he was bullied for a good four years. Finally, this year it's settled down and his marks have improved immensely. I talk about his potential, but I feel that his marks are showing he is finally trying. (He was practically failing every course the last four years.)So, if he fails from not doing his work, the onus is on him. I can only do so much. But I won't be sending him to Summer School and he'll be held back while his friends go on. C'est la vie." Then she tried to get me off the phone. Well, if you don't like the answer you might get, don't call me. I'm pretty old school. You don't do your shit, you end up behind. You fall behind far enough, there is not going to be anyone there to hold your hand and make it all better. You'll be making up the time again next year and graduate a year behind from your friends. I had to go through it, and there is nothing wrong with anyone going through it. The things in life are not there for you because you deserve it for just being you. They are there for you when you work for it. Without working for it, life is just a big department store and you are a permanent window shopper. I don't want my child to be a window shopper. He has more potential than that. Alas, I see I am the only one to teach my child this, as the school system believes the perfect system is us all sitting in a circle singing "kumbaya" until high school and reality smacks these kids in the face.