Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ridiculous -- A Mockery and Annoyance of and with America's Inept Teachers

I may sound conceited, but I know a good paper when I have read one and I know a good paper when I have written one. I am currently angry with uneducated teachers, they not being my own, but Paul's. Now this might sound ridiculous that I care so much, but Paul's English teacher has made me very annoyed.

When Paul was here last weekend (or was it already two now?), he had a five page paper he needed to write, and since we were pressed for time to spend together, I helped him with it by helping him reword some things, find some resources, and by editing it for him. Sure, there were a few things I would have written differently, but I know enough about peer editing (reading and editing others' papers), that I know how to be honest and fair. I would have given his paper an A-, or perhaps a B+ if I wasn't feeling very nice;)

He waited a week and a half in anticipation for a grade sure to be better than his previous papers. However, we were both disappointed and dejected when he logged on to his class website, only to find he had gotten an 80%. A B-? Ridiculous! Now, I know I am not the most accomplished writer, and I also know that I am 18 and a freshman in college, but like I said previous, I know a good paper when I have read and written one, because my overall grade on my papers this semester has been 99%. This is not to sound as if I am above reproach and that, because I helped him, he was guaranteed an amazing paper. However, this was ridiculous. The paper was not a barely-above-C-level paper.

I would have perhaps been mollified had the teacher left a few good comments concerning weaknesses and strengths, and perhaps a few changes that he felt could have made. However, when this morning I finally was able to read the comments he typed into the margins of Paul's paper, I felt even more annoyed -- hence the post.

My favorite of his comments was, "We use the word 'people' today." Paul's sentence had been something to the effect of, "Since the beginning of the sporting world as man knows it, ....." (Is there anything wrong with that sentence? Is it too archaic for your post-modern, uneducated mind?) My second objection, overall, to this mediocre teacher is the fact that EVERY one of his comments after that said something to the effect of, "Good usage of...." Then at the bottom, "80/100", shortly after the, "STRONG Works Cited Page!" comment.

Let's be honest. This teacher is a perfect example of today's inept group of teachers. Anyone who knows how to read would have found Paul's paper at least relatively well-written, even if it was not an interesting subject. Which, by the way, it was not, which leads me to my next problem with this teacher.

For everyone who grew up with parents who sheltered you from inappropriate media, this teacher decided to get revenge on your family by making you pay back those years of being careful. So far, Paul has had to read books concerning the selfishness of men and the amazing "Generation Me" that concerns women on the rise (oh, feminism, how I abhor you!), a book about the sex and violence in an L.A. gang, and a book about the war crimes in Africa, and how a child learns to shoot up the town without regret -- all written from a triumphant standpoint, of course.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have been home schooled and private schooled for a good portion of my recent years that makes me so ridiculously upset with the public school world; perhaps it is the fact that, from my A+ view, I can see the biased glasses teachers don when they feel a student is not the best, and consequently never grade above a certain average. Whatever the answer, I despise the lack of propriety in the morality and intellectual ability of the public school system.

I walked to school this morning, the snow swirling around me, but I did not feel the cold. The passion and annoyance I felt for this topic was boiling in my veins. I apologize to you, dear teacher, for my having learned to read the works of Jane Austen and the King James Version of the Bible at the age of ten or less. However, on the contrary, I beg you to read the words and literature that have blessed, shaped, and molded the world since its very foundations, before you believe you are such an authoritative figure in the literature and writing world.


not2brightGRAM said...

Well-written diatribe! Welcome to the modern educational system.

And you wondered why I took you out of public school...

Jess(ica) said...

I have also ran across teachers who arbitrarily assign a grade to papers.

In one class, when I suspected this behavior, I tested it. I had received a "C" for a well-written paper (my first "C" on a paper ever). The next paper, I put forth little effort (since the grade was going to be randomly selected anyway, why try?) and on my less than worthy paper I received a "B+" - This random grade-giving was evident in many of my peers grades, too. After that, I stopped trying...

Sometimes, you just have to deal with super lame teachers. I agree that it is super frustrating, but unfortunately someone thought they were good enough to teach and assign grades... the students are the ones who pay for it because if teachers can't recognize a decent paper, they are probably not effective at teaching, either.

I feel your pain...