Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Educational" Conversations

Student: Dr. E, am I passing your class?
Me (I'm the teacher): No, you are not
Student: How come?
Me: Out of ten assignments, you have three zeros, because you never finished the work.
Student: Yeah, but I passed everything else.
Me: Yes, you did, but with three zeros, you would have to make one hundred on the other seven to pass.
Student: Yeah, miss, but on the other seven, I had an average of 70, and that's passing.
Me: (Sigh) Who taught you math?

..........................................................................................................................................................................
Student's Parent: I just want to know why you told my boy he is goin to flunk English.
Me: Mrs. Smith, the highest grade Johnny has for any of the 5 six week periods so far is 50.
Parent: But that don't mean he is goin to fail *this* six weeks.
Me: That's true. Anything is possible. He might pass this six weeks (saying to myself, when pigs fly).
Parent: I jes don't thank you ought to discourage him like that.
Me: I didn't mean to discourage him. He asked me if he was passing, and I told him no.
Parent: You got no right to put him down like that. He has jus as much chance of passin as anybody else.
Me: But, Mrs. Smith, even if he passed for the last six weeks, he still couldn't pass for the year. He has 5 grades of 50 or lower.
Parent: How do you know?
Me: I have his report card records.
Parent: No, how do you know he is going to fail.
Me: Well, with 5 grades of 50, it is not possible to make a high enough grade in the sixth six weeks to pass for the year.
Parent: How do you know?
Me: (long explanation of how grades are averaged, what he would have to make to pass for the year, blah blah blah, which is all the parent heard)
Parent: But how do you know he can't pass?

This conversation was repeated with slight variations for over 15 minutes.
I finally took her to see the principal, to see if *he* could explain it, since obviously I couldn't.

I may not be a math whiz (understatement) but even I can conprehend that this kid's English class performance is better than the parent's math skills.

4 comments:

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Communication gap happening there!

Oh to be in such denial!

Diane

Jan said...

Sometimes I feel that some peoople have been swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool! ;)

Carol said...

It's so sad, isn't it? And with our current educational focus of all kids passing no matter what it takes, should we dumb the rest down so Mrs. Smith's son isn't left behind?

Is it really necessary for every child to pass and graduate? I sometimes wonder if it's not okay for some people to learn what they can and then go on to do very noble blue collar work?

Sometimes I do think against the grain, I know.

Jan said...

Carol, I agree totally. Not everyone is going to college--not everyone should. People have many different talents, and should be encouraged to develop their gifts--not be shamed for their weaknesses academically.