- CRITTER TALK
One thing I have never done, however, is embarrass a student by sharing their lack of achievement with other members of their class much less with others outside the classroom. First of all, it is illegal and a violation of the students right to privacy. Their progress, or lack thereof, is between the student, myself, and need to know administrators at the university where I was teaching at the time.
Where K -12 students are concerned I believe the parents are thrown into that mix. That is why I was a bit surprised when I read a news story out of Delco, Idaho about Summers Larsen, a fourth grade teacher who allowed classmates to use markers to mark up the faces of 6 of their members who didn’t meet their reading goals.
According to the Associated Press story Ms Larsen let the class choose their incentives to reach their goals and they chose punishment with the alternatives being either to stay in during recess or having their faces marked up. Three chose to stay in during recess while the other six chose the face marking. Here again it brings up the question, should this teacher have been allowed to isolate, or make stand out, the students who did not achieve their reading goal. This is part of their academic progress which falls under their right to privacy.
I am not one of those who believe in entitlement for young people who are not meeting their obligations in school. If they are not doing satisfactory work, fail them, but do not hold them out for embarrassment and ridicule to other students. The markers used on these students did not wash off easily and in some cases would not wash off before the next day of school. The “marked” students had to ride their school bus home marked up and were ridiculed by students not in the class or their grade. It goes well beyond any idea of motivating students to achieve. It fails to account for the fact that some students are slow learners and public embarrassment will only cause them to fall further behind. A major part of the learning process is a child gaining confidence in what they are doing which will stimulate enjoyment of learning.
Mad Mike’s doesn’t have an award for the worst person in America for today, but if we did I would surely nominate Ms Summers Larsen to receive it. Also, just to give her an idea of how these children might feel I would like to sentence her to having to sit through one of my graduate seminars for one day. If she fails to meet my expectations I get to mark her up with a permanent marker anywhere I choose and in anyway I choose and parade her around Delco, Idaho.Click here for reuse options!