I think the schools and some of the parents I work with are going to drive me to drinking. Before work. Swear to God.
I’ve already detailed some of the problems with my college student’s trig class. It goes without saying that there’s more to that and I’m keeping my mouth shut unless and until I think it proper to say something. Like the fact that all homeworks and quizzes are done by computer, so that the student has to do a ton of work and the teacher doesn’t have to do any work, and the problems are so convoluted that the smallest error (in some cases as small as .000001) will cause a problem to be marked wrong. Why anyone would believe this would help a student is unclear. They must be completely retarded in the most literal sense of that word.
One of my students has an English teacher who is telling her that she cannot use verbs related to “be”–so “it,” “was,” “were,” “are,” etc.–more than once per essay. I told the student to print out a copy of “Politics and the English Language”–which we studied last week–and circle every use of “is” on the first page, then go to the teacher and ask her if all those “is”es makes the essay weak. (This is in my opinion the strongest essay ever written and I believe it to be nearly unanimous that it is the strongest essay of the 20th Century.) She’s decided instead to go to the principal of the school and duke it out there.
Another of my students can’t list 100 verbs in an hour in 5th Grade, and of the 89 he listed probably 79 are things a monkey can think to do, reflecting nothing more broad than an animal’s or brute’s existence. The parent wants straight As by the end of the year. Yeah, right. (And I’ve been over nouns, adjectives, and verbs with him at least three times to no avail.)
One of my math students’ teachers says that his biggest problem is bringing a pencil to class (I have my own personal belief that using pen forces students to slow down and get things right the first time, but we’ll leave that aside) when in fact he doesn’t generally recognize when to find a common denominator, and his mental math isn’t terribly strong.
One of my students’ parents claimed poverty and refused to join my class despite his having a very weak vocabulary, a difficult time comprehending what he is reading, and almost no ability whatsoever to write a paper–they are also upset that he has no work ethic. The student tells me his father is planning to get him an M3 for his 16th birthday–so clearly they are very poor. One wonders why he would have a weak work ethic when the parents will spend $58000+ on a car but not $480 on 12 weeks to learn how to select, organize, and use facts to write an essay.
And then there’s this one student–a college girl–who insists on having a bonfire to burn all papers with my glorious and brilliant handwriting on it. And all my other students want to go! I just don’t get it!!!!
Okay, okay, maybe that last one isn’t so bad–I do encourage my students to laugh at me–but you get the point. I also have no doubts that even if you do not see the same things in your kid’s education, they are happening, and that you need someone like me to straighten them out. So do us all a favor and get on the phone and call me. (310) 592-5681. You can even text me. If that’s easier. But I’d rather hear you speak.