Monday, January 19, 2015

What the Teacher Says, and What She Really Means

Now that conservative Republicans control the majorities in both houses of Congress and the majority of state governments across the country, we need to get ready for some significant changes of direction in social and governmental philosophy. One of these is the desire of state and local-level conservatives to get rid of national education standards, the belief being that the topics and skills taught and degree of education required of children should be decided at the local level and not by - God forbid! - gummint bureaucrats in Washington.

Let's face it ... teaching is a difficult and often thankless job. Teachers are underpaid and overworked, often having to purchase supplies for their classrooms from their own pockets. School budgets are the first things cut during economic downturns. Class sizes are too large for effective instruction. Parents resent honest grades and evaluations of their children (who are all well-behaved geniuses, of course) while they expect teachers to function in loco parentis ... except when they don't want them to function that way. I often wonder why people want to go into teaching as a profession, but I'm glad they do, in spite of all the obstacles we put in the way of their work.

In honor of our underappreciated, underpaid, and overworked teachers, here's a handy guide for parents to help you understand what the teacher is actually telling you during those conferences you really don't want to attend ...

Your son has a remarkable ability to gather information from his classmates.
He cheats on tests.

Karen is an endless fund of energy and viability.
She's a hyperactive windmill who can't sit still for five minutes.

Fantastic imagination! Unmatched in his capacity for blending fact with fiction. 
He's definitely one of the most creative liars I have ever met. He has a brilliant future in politics.

Margie exhibits a casual, relaxed attitude to school, indicating that high expectations don't intimidate her.
She hasn't completed a single assignment all term.

Her athletic ability is marvelous. Superior hand-eye coordination.
She hit me with a rubber band from 15 feet away.

Nick thrives on interaction with his peers. 
Your son needs to stop socializing and start working.

Your daughter's greatest asset is her demonstrative public discussions. 
The classroom lawyer. Why is it that every time I explain an assignment she creates a class argument?

John enjoys the thrill of engaging challenges with his peers. 
He's a bully.

An adventurous nature lover who rarely misses opportunities to explore new territory. 
Your daughter was caught skipping school at the park.

Unlike some students who hide their emotion, Charles is very expressive and open. 
He must have written the Whiner's Guide.

I firmly believe that her intellectual and emotional progress would be enhanced through a year's repetition of her learning environment.
She is not ready for high school and must repeat the 8th grade.

Her exuberant verbosity is awesome!
She never shuts up.

Those of you who are teachers will appreciate this. It will soar grandly above the heads of many others.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

Educatorspeak has been around for a long time. Some think of it as a skill. It's an offshoot of politicalspeak. Call it putting socks on a rooster.

Linda Kay said...

We were with some folks last night among whom there were several teachers. Each of them had a funny story to share and seemed to be totally thrilled with the job they had to do with the kids. I was really impressed....but not for me!

Big Sky Heidi said...

Generally teachers are not the problem; it's the principals and ass principals! You read that right. That's what we called them.

Mike said...

I could never be a teacher.

Grand Crapaud said...

It's the mark of a person who is skilled with language to be able to gild the lily. I like Angel's term better, it's more pungent.