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Thread: Teacher under fire for graduation speech for telling grads "they're not all special"

  1. #16
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Pfft, fuck that. Stupid children are so coddled today. No red pens for marking cuz it "hurts their feelings".. no playing tag because "it hurts their feelings".. everybody gets a trophy even if they don't do anything.

    This guy for president of everything.
    I have kids in school right now. Trust me, red pens are being used to mark off incorrect answers.

    Kids within each grade are separated into groups by capability. These kids know if they are in the "dumb" group or the "smart" group, or one of the in-between groups. Kids in the dumb group feel "less than special".

    Here, at the second grade level, kids get the SAT10 test, which assesses them on both language and math skills. And their parents and the kids know exactly where they stand relative to other kids.

    If you misbehave in class, you get your marker moved a level, and all the other kids know you messed up. If your marker gets to a certain level, parents are called into to meet with the principal. If you don't finish up your in-class work on time, you have to finish it instead of going to recess.

    I did just confirm with my daughter that kids are not supposed to play tag, but that they "do it anyway". Playgrounds are as tough as they have been in the past. My son's best friend broke his arm falling from the jungle gym. My daughter's classmate broke his permanent tooth off at the gum line during recess.

    Kids have soccer tryouts starting in the second grade. My daughter tried out, but didn't make the cut, for the upper level. Her current coach still yells at her, and other teammates when they do something boneheaded out on the field. And none of the parents storm up to him to tell him to lay off.

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    wait, why can't kids play tag??
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  3. #18
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I have kids in school right now. Trust me, red pens are being used to mark off incorrect answers.
    How nice for you. 3 of my friends have left the teaching profession because of stupid shit I mentioned, so the experience of your kids is not a universal constant.

    Kids within each grade are separated into groups by capability. These kids know if they are in the "dumb" group or the "smart" group, or one of the in-between groups. Kids in the dumb group feel "less than special".
    Yeah, we call those "special ed" kids.

    Here, at the second grade level, kids get the SAT10 test, which assesses them on both language and math skills. And their parents and the kids know exactly where they stand relative to other kids.
    See point 1.

    If you misbehave in class, you get your marker moved a level, and all the other kids know you messed up. If your marker gets to a certain level, parents are called into to meet with the principal. If you don't finish up your in-class work on time, you have to finish it instead of going to recess.
    Good. However, see point 1.

    I did just confirm with my daughter that kids are not supposed to play tag, but that they "do it anyway". Playgrounds are as tough as they have been in the past.
    That's kind of a contradiction, and last I checked kids who played tag at many schools who have banned it end up in detention.

    My son's best friend broke his arm falling from the jungle gym.
    That's not toughness, that's him being clumsy. Also, your school still has a jungle gym? That won't last long.

    My daughter's classmate broke his permanent tooth off at the gum line during recess.
    Yeah, see above lol

    Kids have soccer tryouts starting in the second grade. My daughter tried out, but didn't make the cut, for the upper level. Her current coach still yells at her, and other teammates when they do something boneheaded out on the field. And none of the parents storm up to him to tell him to lay off.
    Your experience is 1 in a billion. The rest of the time it's the other way around. Haven't you been reading the ridiculous articles in the parenting section?
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  4. #19
    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Parents, teachers, and coaches have been holding this generation of kids hands from birth to now!! You get a participation trophy for just showing up(where's the try hard so next time you will get one)? You can't say certain things to the children because they are sensitive and will pick up on your bad vibe!!

    This guy was right, and he delivered it at the best time..because when special little snowflake misses his/her first assignment in college and daddy can't bribe the professor or he can't whine to mommy so she can make it better.. they so won't understand what the hell is going on!!
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    He could have said it better. A lot of what he said is better directed toward the 'system' and the parents who send these messages to kids, not the kids themselves.

    Then again, most of the kids weren't listening anyway. Who gives a shit what some gas-bag says at their high school graduation? Those kids are either thinking about the party afterward or just counting the minutes till they leave and never set foot at their high school again.

    His speech could have been boiled down to a few basic points and skipped a lot the smarter-than-thou rhetoric. Who is he trying to impress, a bunch of high school kids?
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  6. #21
    A*O
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    My son has a drawer full of utterly meaningless "I Took Part", "I Tried Hard" and "I Helped In Class" badges, ribbons, even fancy personalised certificates. He was actually embarrassed by them which is why they are in a drawer, not on display on his own personal Wall Of Awesomeness unlike some of the entitled little princeling shits he went to school with. Yet somehow I cant quite bring myself to throw them away LOL
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I am glad he said it when he said it. If you read the whole thing he was really telling the kids to help others in their future and not be afraid to fail. They are afraid of failure and he says to embrace it.
    Monhandas, read the entire thing.
    The contempt you seem to have for teachers is amazing, considering your children are in school. I know several teachers-bright, could be raking it in in the corporate world. They can do anything they want,limitless. They love teaching. That is their calling.
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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I think my kids are great, they are super polite and don't irritate people (lol), but I don't treat them like they are special snowflakes. My older one is smart for being only 4, and I say that because she's been tested a few times in the past 2 years and right now she's at a 1st grade level with math/reading/language, she talks, thinks and acts much older so people do notice too, etc. Her pediatrician always talks about his interactions with her and how she is far advanced for her age. She talks about the big bang theory and evolution, lmao, but I don't think she's special (that sounds bad in a way). She's not a genius at all, just loves to learn and has an amazing memory for details. And I don't make a big deal about her being a little advanced nor do I tell/brag to others about her being like that. I mean they are special to me since they're my own flesh and blood, but I don't think they are better than other kids or unique. If they were some prodigies I would think they could be deemed "unique", but they are just regular kids.

    Do I think lots of younger kids seem spoiled and entitled, sure, but there will always be kids like that and doesn't it seem like every generation thinks that of younger generations? Even Aristotle made the same complaints about young people! I don't think times have changed so much, my children will be complaining in 30 years too.

  9. #24
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    How nice for you. 3 of my friends have left the teaching profession because of stupid shit I mentioned, so the experience of your kids is not a universal constant.
    Or maybe your friends left because they weren't special either. The assessment cuts both ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Yeah, we call those "special ed" kids.
    No, special ed kids have defined medical problem that profoundly limits their ability to learn at their age level. We do have a couple of those mainstreamed into our classes, though. What I was referring to, however, was the stratification of classes into kids who learn at grade level, above grade level, or need extra help to stay at grade level. Obviously, it's necessary so that kids can learn at their own speeds, but it also means that a lot of kids are aware at a very early age that they aren't special.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    That's not toughness, that's him being clumsy. Also, your school still has a jungle gym? That won't last long.
    They have two jungle gyms outdoors and a climbing wall that was built in the gymnasium. Maybe my son's friend is clumsy - he's definitely not the most graceful kid I've ever seen - but the point is that kids are still given plenty of opportunity to fall and fail and hurt themselves.

    Is my school district unique? It's higher performing than a lot of others, but I'm not sure it's unique. However, I'm not sure I've seen a lot of other people weigh in here with their personal experiences with the opposite end of the spectrum (cosseted and coddling).

    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    I am glad he said it when he said it. If you read the whole thing he was really telling the kids to help others in their future and not be afraid to fail. They are afraid of failure and he says to embrace it.
    Monhandas, read the entire thing.
    The contempt you seem to have for teachers is amazing, considering your children are in school. I know several teachers-bright, could be raking it in in the corporate world. They can do anything they want,limitless. They love teaching. That is their calling.
    I would not put up with the parents of today one minute.
    I admire them because I could never suffer through one day of what they actually enjoy. Bless teachers who are truthful.
    I read the entire thing. Twice. I don't have contempt for teachers, and I don't believe I said a single thing here that would indicate it. You may have, however, interpreted my line "those who can, do; those who can't, teach" as my belief about teachers. That's not the case. What I'm saying is that if you want to get up there and trade insults with people, you better be prepared to hear some right back. Teachers can be coddled, too. It can be very difficult to fire a bad teacher who is tenured and/or under a union contract. In the meantime, that kind of teacher goes on to undereducate hundreds of students before they are finally dismissed.

    And once again, this particular speaker's setup (you are not special) was way too long and too negative. He sounded like an asshole.

  10. #25
    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    I think my kids are great, they are super polite and don't irritate people (lol), but I don't treat them like they are special snowflakes. My older one is smart for being only 4, and I say that because she's been tested a few times in the past 2 years and right now she's at a 1st grade level with math/reading/language, she talks, thinks and acts much older so people do notice too, etc. Her pediatrician always talks about his interactions with her and how she is far advanced for her age. She talks about the big bang theory and evolution, lmao, but I don't think she's special (that sounds bad in a way). She's not a genius at all, just loves to learn and has an amazing memory for details. And I don't make a big deal about her being a little advanced nor do I tell/brag to others about her being like that. I mean they are special to me since they're my own flesh and blood, but I don't think they are better than other kids or unique. If they were some prodigies I would think they could be deemed "unique", but they are just regular kids.

    Do I think lots of younger kids seem spoiled and entitled, sure, but there will always be kids like that and doesn't it seem like every generation thinks that of younger generations? Even Aristotle made the same complaints about young people! I don't think times have changed so much, my children will be complaining in 30 years too.
    Dead Dwarf, I don't have kids, but I respectfully disagree. I just want to say how I see things. What David McCullough, Jr. said was spot on. I have friends and neighbors who treat their children like little snowflakes. Not so much my extended family, but I see it everywhere else I go. I had to google this bizarre phenomenon that kids can't play tag. There is no bullying in tag! The point is, school is so politically correct..."everyone" can be on a team. "No one" fails. It's ridiculous to teach your kids this! Yes, of course you encourage your children to follow their strengths or their dreams. But, you don't tell them they are the most wonderful soccer player JUST BECAUSE they are on a soccer team. When I was at school, you had to MAKE the team. I could go on, but really, just read grimm's posts. We're all making this younger generation into a bunch of pussies. And it's not a generalization when this is standard operating procedure for most public schools, this is some kind of indoctrination to be weaklings and to make kids believe there are no consequences to their actions, whether it be failure or success. My only problem was that saying it at graduation is like shutting the barn door after the cow's already out. The damage is done, these kids will have to learn the hard way. The world is an ugly place and it's OK for kids to learn that early on. This particular generation (and a few before it) have been genuinely shocked that the things that made them so special in grade school, junior high and high school really amount to nothing and that is a really dangerous imo. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your kids, so in that sense it's not "all kids", but it is way too many kids being reared to think this way.

    /childrenareourfuturemanifesto (apologies)
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  11. #26
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    ^ I get what you and everyone else is saying and there's a lot of things (like all the reasons you listed) that I also think is ridiculous to teach children. My point is that in another 30 years there will be new complaints about what and how the younger generation is taught and raised. Every generation will think the younger generation is going down the shitter. It's been that way for thousands of years, it's not a new phenomenon. My children will be bitching about their children's and grandchildren's generation one day as well. People think we are raising kids now to be pussies, well those kids will probably feel like their own kids' generation is being taught to be even bigger pussies.

    Off topic, but it reminds me of how many people of every generation think their music was the best and the music after that was full of talentless hacks and pure shit. Even my grandma has complaints about younger generations and feels the same about their music.

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I do understand what you're saying, Dead Dwarf. But, I'm adding to it that it seems like this generation goes beyond the normal bellyaching of those "kids in my day" stories that old people tell. The way kids are raised is something really, really different than how I was raised, how my parents were raised, how my great grand parents were raised. Everyone complains about the generations that come behind them, but to me, in my lifetime, this is the most noticeable and tangible difference between how I grew up and how they grow up. I'm not just shaking a bony finger in the air saying, "All these yungins have iPhones! They don't know what it's like to suffer!" lol At some point in the 90s they took some good ideas to make everyone feel a part of their school community and now the schools run it like a fascist zone. I'm not blaming the kids, I'm blaming the teachers, administrators, etc., but the fact remains that these kids, if they aren't learning this stuff early on, are going to be useless when they face real life. (I'm not talking about your kids, but just kids in general).

    The music analogy is a good one. Except this time it's not a matter of taste, the music is just really intrinsically bad.

    In other words, I agree about what you said about every generation complaining about the next, only this time I feel the complaints are valid, not just a matter of narrow-minded nostalgia or taste.
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    A*O
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    This No Fail educational philosophy has produced a generation of kids (and now young adults) with absolutely no resilience or ability to cope in the big wide grown up world where being barely adequate doesn't mean awesomely speshul like they've been told by teachers and parents. I know teachers who think its a load of crap too but if they dare to even hint that child may be lazy or basically not very bright - they exist, it's not always dyslexia or ADD or the learning difficulty du jour - the parents arc up and demand sackings.
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    I think he came across as sounding a bit of a bitter twat to be honest. I don't like a lot of the wrapping kids in cotton wool and telling them they're all amazing either but this was a bit OTT.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/ed...pagewanted=all

    "Florida students bomb on new standardized tests that count spelling, grammar & content, so state lowers passing grade from 67% to 50%"

    Yeah. No coddling at all.
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