Monday, February 21, 2011


I went to a party this weekend for my husband's work. I did not know many people there, but pretty soon I fell into conversation with a group of other spouses. Many of them are currently teachers. The rest are parents.

A health teacher began speaking about football. He wants his players to take ideas from the field and apply them to real life. Then he switched to discussing grades. He told the group of us that he did not flunk students unless they were "a++holes." Hmmmmm.

Someone asked him why and he responded: "It is important that kids know how to get along. If they treat people decent, that will get them far in life." He added that he tells students of this rule and that they overall like him for it. A small debate sparked with him and one other person. Most people drifted away and I hung around, making mental notes.

I am sure you can imagine how the debate continued:

What do other teachers think of this? Are the students truly learning health? Does the grade reflect a knowledge of health, or the overall student? Do students still complete their homework? Do parents complain?

This health teacher factored in attitude (I think that is a nicer term) and nothing else, so he claims. This becomes murky water. Some teachers take points off for spelling, others do not. Some take points off for no-named paers, other do not. The list continues.

So I pose the question to you: what should teachers factor into a grade? Is this black and white, or lots of gray? Do tell. This is important!

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