Monday, October 24, 2005

Education can be desecprited many ways.

I'm listening to Vassar Clements and feeling a little down. This man could play any kind of music with his magic violin, or 'fiddle,' as the case may be. I'm listening to his fiddle right now, but a few minutes ago I was listening to his violin. He'll be missed, in the music world.

The following is a real essay. I have a witness.

(Update: I've removed the essay in its entirety, but I've left the parts that will make you cringe.)


Education can be desecprited many ways. . . . Some people think that when you finsh school, you're done. Wrong. I've all was looked at it as something you can never get a way from. Like a stalker.

On the first day of school, since God knows when, there has all was been that teacher you had that tolled you, " when you think you have nothing eles to learn, you should just be died." Well when I first heard that, I was in 4th grade and it scared the crap out of me. I was so afriad that someday, I'd couldn't learn any more. Intell someone toll me you can never stop learning. . . .


What was I supposed to do with that? She's a nice young woman, and she really tries hard, and she honestly wants to learn. She truly wants to succeed in college. She sweated more over that essay than most of the other students did over theirs. That essay represents her best.

So, what's to be done with something like this? Her intentions are good. Her attitude is positive. Her philosophy is sound. Her grammar, spelling, and everything else just absolutely suck.

See, this is why I always give two grades for every piece of writing. One grade is for content. The other is for mechanics. Because, you see, her content, while painfully and horribly and crudely expressed, ain't bad, folks. And her mechanics, painful and horrible and crude as they are, express her philosphy in her own way, and sometimes the grammar, etc, make the content that much more poignant. This is not to say that a student at this level can be allowed to get away with it; I'm just saying that sometimes, the manner of expression can make the content mean even more than it says.

I had to give her a really REALLY low grade for mechanics, of course. But I gave her a slightly higher grade for her content.

This is what I deal with every day.

I used to dread having the remedial students mixed in with the other students, back in the middle school. I always got most of them, too. Inclusion isn't fair to either side.

Now, I have those students, many years older and with some living behind them, all together in each class, and I absolutely love dealing with them. I think the difference goes beyond their age. I think the difference is mainly that I am able to give them my full attention, and instead of asking a section of the class to slow down and wait while the others catch up, the whole class is learning together without any delays or embarassing 'catch-ups.' That opinion won't be popular with some teachers and parents, but in my experience, it's true. I do not like inclusion.

So, I hope you can all tell that I adore my job now. Just to walk into the building makes me happy. My students make me happy. I love to watch them work hard, and I love it even more when I can see them succeed.

We don't call it "remedial" at this level, though. It's just a 'prep' class, to get them ready for the next level. And shouldn't all classes be like that?

My students used to associate 'school' with 'trauma.' I hope I can help them with that one, too.

I think I learn more, every day, than they do. Whoever woulda thunk it, that remedial prep classes would follow me all the way to here?

Like a stalker.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:28 PM | |


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