Thursday, July 10, 2008

This makes me sad.

Some of you know that Rob is a high school English teacher in an inner city environment. He has such a tough job, even though I tease him about all of his days off. Last night he showed me an "essay" a summer school student wrote in class. The topic was something like, "Should bands/singers/musicians be able to say/sing whatever they want in their music?" This is what was on the paper:

"I think that the poepl sholud talke aboult want they no and to be good ate it and to be more than a role modlen to the little kide and to be real to the poepl."

This is an 11th grader. How do you grade a paper like that? Rob tries to be as encouraging as possible. He'll make a few minor spelling corrections and then compliment their effort or ideas. But he doesn't want to mark up the page and kill the kid's self esteem.

There's something about this situation that needs fixing. The educational system, I guess. The whole thing just makes me feel sad.

8 comments:

Mary said...

That is sad. I am really glad that there are people like Rob in those positions because I think he's doing the right thing - he's not crushing their efforts, but trying to encourage their thought processes even when the grammar and spelling isn't there.

Personally, I think it's the educational system AND the environment that many of these kids are growing up in. They have no parental encouragement or guidance at home. No one to make them accountable for their own education because many times the parents don't value the ideals of a good education themselves.

devon said...

that's amazing. i remember writing all these papers i thought were really good when i was in 11th grade, and they WERE good. however, my teacher marked them all up and killed my self esteem! lol. but it made me want to do even better the next time... poor kids. this reminds me of some judge show i was watching and the plaintiff was a woman who was a TEACHER and using words like "AX" for ask, and whatnot. made me want to puke. yay for you, i'm glad you're a teacher, but the word is ASK not AX you dumb bee-atch.

marzi said...

oh man. that is so sad. it's hard.....on one hand you have parents who are doing their kid's homework for them and on the other hand you have kids with no support system at all. neither is right and/or good. i don't envy rob's job at all.

daisy janie said...

Social promotion plays a hand, in addition to the education system. My husband teaches at Delaware Cty. Comm. College, and he will have these exact kids in his class in 2 years b/c they have no other alternative (if they want a college education). How does it progress THAT far? In his case, college is so falsely exalted and perceived to be the be-all-end-all - when really someone should have the guts to tell them that a vo-tech education or a trade school will get them very, very far in life!!

Melissa said...

In 5 years of teaching, I think Rob has only had 4 or 5 students go on to college. (Most don't even graduate high school.) I mentioned to him last night that there should be some sort of high school vo tech alternative for some of these kids. Rob is supposed to teach Julius Caesar! Instead, he tries to teach them out to fill out a job application. WAY more important for these kids.

Rob helped one of his night school students find a vocational school. Aside from the tuition, which financial aid helped with, he needed $450 upfront to buy tools! Don't they know how difficult that is? Last I heard he was still going, while working full time to help pay his family's bills.

Jenn said...

wow. simply amazing.

Jules said...

This just breaks my heart. It really does. :(

miss.supafly said...

Just had to comment and commend your hubby for doing what he can. Where exactly is this problem coming from? I mean, how has this student made it this far without being properly corrected and taught not to make these mistakes? Is it because he/she has been in an inner city school system, and are those school systems really that bad?

Such a shame...