Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remind me again the role of teachers?

My son's high school English teacher returned the students' composition books today. They were turned in for homework grading last Friday before the recent 4-day fall break. My son didn't get his returned, and he asked about it. The teacher's response? I must have misplaced it. Just buy another one. FAIL!

My daughter's middle school math teacher gave the class a quiz last week. She realized after grading a few of them over the weekend that the graded students fared poorly. So she didn't bother to grade the remaining ones (including my daughter's). She returned the few graded quizzes today, and she told the students they had an opportunity for a "make up" grade by re-working the missed problems. A student asked how she was affected because she was one of the students who did not get a graded quiz returned. She was told those students had to rework all the quiz problems (which includes my daughter). FAIL!

Part of her math homework tonight was the following problem.
A kid is 4 feet tall. He has grown 1-1/8 inches in the past year, and he grew 3/4" in the year before. How tall was the kid one year ago?
Admittedly, working with fractions is often a challenge for students of all ages. As my daughter wrestled with how to solve the problem, I finally asked her to step back and think about it by the seat-of-her-pants. The kid is 4' tall today and only grew a bit over an inch since last year. So you should know the general range of the answer - just work out the fractional part.

She was concerned about working with TWO fractions - the 1-1/8" growth and the 3/4" growth. I smiled and asked her if she read the problem carefully - maybe she was reading too much into it. The problem asked how old the kid was one year ago - not two. Her response? "That's what I thought, but my teacher said it didn't make any sense and I should subtract the other fraction too." FAIL!

Rather than focus on the idiocy of No Child Left Behind, perhaps we should invest in No Teacher Left Behind.



  1. Here's to your Williamson County Schools!

  2. Yeah! You probably moved to Williamson County for the great schools.