You know how you always want to run to the defense of your child, especially if it's against an adult? Well, my quandary right now is wondering if it's worth it to go head to head with a teacher or just let Hunter deal with some of the suck ass realities that come with life.

The other day Hunter brought home a paper with a 70% on it. I know my son and what he is capable of. 70% just doesn't cut it in my house. If he was struggling with the material, I might be a bit more lenient, but he's not. In fact, he knows the material quite well. Apparently, in this class, it doesn't matter.

Before I actually get into a lecture and consequences with my son over a grade on a paper, I carefully inspect it. That's because I remember bringing home an unacceptable C on a math paper as a kid and my dad about losing his mind on me. Then, after looking over my answers, he inspected the paper for eraser marks. The next day, my teacher got an earful. It seems she had let one of her students do the grading. My paper was actually 100%, but the student had graded incorrectly. As a kid that taught me that sometimes I really was right and an adult had the potential to be measurably wrong. As a mother, it reminds me to look at the details of things before allowing myself to get upset.

So, this 70% paper now has a 81% paper with it. I'm starting a collection. This is a social studies class. But somehow, handwriting trumps content knowledge.

After looking at these papers, I find that out of both papers Hunter has actually answered one question incorrectly. So, why the sucky grades? His handwriting. It's actually perfectly legible, if a little messy. And honestly, judging from the corrections the teacher made, hers isn't much better.

Hunter has this teacher only for social studies. He's in 5th grade and they switch rooms for just this one class. Hunter's regular teacher doesn't seem to put any focus on cursive. Did I mention this is a cursive issue? You know, the style that most schools aren't even teaching anymore?

The irony here is that after this year, Hunter has one more year in his current building. Then he goes across the parking lot where the entire school finishes their education uses New Tech, a almost completely paperless system.

If she doesn't like the way he writes something, she marks the entire answer wrong. He gets no credit for getting the actual answer right. And later, after everyone gets their papers, she hands out candy to the kids with good grades. Awesome. Now we're rewarding with food (a positive reinforcer that I am completely against) and we're going completely against the idea of "if you don't have enough for everyone, don't bring any".

Let's be clear here. I expect great effort from my son. But, my own handwriting looks like something that they offer a special class in on medical school. Any nurse knows what I mean. I have the handwriting of one of those doctors who seems to have a goal of never putting anything on paper a nurse could actually read.

Hunter's dad prints 100% of the time. He has beautiful tidy little letters. Hunter's own printing is very neat and easy to read. It's the damned cursive. Hunt er hates getting bad grades and it embarrasses him to watch others get candy. (He doesn't happen to like candy much. For him, it's the idea rather than the candy itself.) He knows the subject matter; he just doesn't write gracefully.

My choice now is to let it go and let Hunter learn there are just some assholes in the world or to address the issue with the teacher. I've considered writing her a letter congratulating her on meeting the goal of humiliating a kid. Because really, that's all she's doing.

It's 5th grade. It's not going to impact college applications or anything. But, it's wrong. Hunter has assumed from the beginning that this teacher didn't like him. He assumes now that her dislike of him is the basis for the whole cursive issue. Shit, maybe he's right.


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for reading! I'd love to hear from you. Please help me spread some positive energy by sharing some of your own :)