A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What else can I be? All apologies....

Sorry to check out on you there for a while, but what with the start of school and the Husbandly Unit suddenly going out of town at the drop of the old hat leaving moi to hold down the fort as barbarians (aka teenaged offspring) howl around the gates, I have been BUSY.

So here's what I have been up to:

I have enjoyed the much un-anticipated return of Psychokitty, the parent who once used her position as a district official to demand outrageous privileges for her children. I now have yet another of her kids, and said kid seems a perfectly decent sort if chronically underachieving. Yet Psychokitty has already met with the new, naive AP to demand that teachers email her every other day to confirm what she herself could read on the online grade book perfectly well.

So I am complying with this demand. This is actually not that onerous, if unnecessary, and so, okay, I send these missives off every few days. Fine. But woe betide the teacher who assumes that this information is already available to this person and they can assume that she knows how to operate a computerized grade book she was instrumental in installing throughout our district. Because her gambit is going to be that, even though this info is readily available to her of her own volition, any teacher who does not parrot back what the situation is with the student in question will doubtless be informed by the AP that, if hoops have not been jumped through, then grades will have to be adjusted from failing to passing when the grading period is over. Never mind that no other parent in the district receives such solicitous catering to.

Let's be clear-- I advocate open lines of communication from teacher to parent at every available opportunity. And if Psychokitty really cared about how much her child was learning, that would be one thing. But in truth, what she is after is finding the loophole so that her kid doesn't have to do the work and still get an A. Regardless of the fact that, if we just based her child's grades on quizzes and tests, she would still not be passing because... Wait for it... She hasn't done the work that helps one get that A through demonstrating understanding of the material being assessed. It's all a sad game for Psychokitty, and her kids are just pawns of her own emotional problems and negative attitude toward education.

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