It takes a village idiot to raise a child

Major overcrowding

school  [skool]

Noun:  An institution for educating children, or a large group of fish or sea mammals

Personally, I’m in favour of the fish.  Fish are quiet.  You don’t have to worry about hurting a fish’s feelings.  Fish don’t have parents that whine and complain about the treatment of their offspring.  (Not to imply that all fish are bastards, just that the parental units have bigger things to fry).  Oh, and you can eat a fish.

Most importantly, a fisherman can’t be suspended for fishing, (unless of course, he’s unlicensed and/or fishing for an endangered species or something).  Whereas, if you’re a teacher working for the Edmonton School Board, you can actually be suspended for teaching.

In a bitter twist of irony, a teacher at Ross Sheppard High School was suspended last week for trying to teach his students that their actions have consequences.

Unlike when my Aunt got the strap for writing with her left hand, (the consequence of a sore palm outweighing the consequence of being burned at the stake), Mr. Lynden Dorval had the gall to give a failing grade to students who did not complete assignments.

I’ll repeat, more slowly and using smaller words.  Students that did not do their work were given a zero.

A travesty, to be sure!

According to the school board, penalizing students for not completing their work is against policy.  If, after a teacher has repeatedly extended the original deadline, work is still not submitted, teachers are required to assign a code as mandated by the board.  You see, missed assignments are an indication of possible behavioural problems.  Zeros only serve to demoralize and dishearten.  A student’s self-esteem takes precedence over hard-work and commitment.  After all, a happy student is a successful student.  Not to mention that this practice also significantly increases the graduation rate. Politicians love that.

In other news, the labour pool is now empty;  the age of retirement has been upped to 95.

In defence of the policy, board superintendent Edgar Schmidt issued an open letter.  In conclusion, Mr. Schmidt states that “In order for students to be successful in school and in life, they need the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make a smooth transition into the world of work and post secondary education.”

Ummm, dude.  I’m in the “world of work”, and the following is an example of a conversation that will never take place:

Boss:  We have to submit financials by noon.  Have you finished the analysis?

Me:  No.

Boss:.  Well, just try really, really hard to get it done by then, okay?  Thanks.  (Skips back to her office).

Me (to colleague):  Ugh, she’s so self-righteous!  Doesn’t she know I have things to do?  Oh my God, have you seen Becky’s Facebook status?  She seriously needs help.

Three hours later.

Boss:  Howdy pardner!  I just wanted to let you know that it’s 2:30. Everything alright?  Are you having any luck with the analysis?

Me:  No, I just got back from lunch.

Boss:  Okay, well you just bring it on over when you’re finished.  (Skips away again).

Me (to colleague):  Geez, it’s like a damn sweat shop around here.

End of the day.

Boss:  Hey there!  Is there anything I can help you with to get the analysis done before you go?

Me:  Actually, I don’t really feel like working any more.  I think I’ll skip it this month.  Thanks for asking though.

Boss:  Okay, well I’ll explain it to head office.  I’m sure they’ll say it’s fine.  As long as you know I’ll have to mark it as NC on your review.  No need to worry though dear.  The other work you’ve done shows how valuable you are as an employee, and as a human being.  Don’t forget to give yourself a hug.  Because YOU deserve it.  


If anyone is aware of an employer who takes this kind of approach, please let me know.  Clearly I’m in the wrong industry/universe.

I do have question for you, Superintendent Schmidt.  Will you be personally hiring all of the students who haven’t completed their assignments but still managed to graduate thanks to your bullshit policy?  Because I can tell you, I already work with people like that.  They’re out here in the real world in abundance.  Stupid and lazy is reaching epidemic proportions and you’re not helping.

Oh, and Mr. Schmidt.  You missed the Oxford comma.  Tsk tsk.

Mmmm, sushi


16 responses to “It takes a village idiot to raise a child

  • mild acne

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  • Ned's Blog

    People learn two ways, at any age: reward and consequence. Period. When I was in school, consequence was Mr. Ramsdale and his paddle, which was drilled with holes to reduce wind resistance. We would watch him do one-armed pull-ups on the monkey bars at lunch everyday; that man had forearms the size of French loafs. Our reward for good behavior — including doing our work — was avoiding the consequence of hearing the whoosh of the paddle before it met our backside. Today, the only consequence is a three-day suspension from school.

    And we wonder why our kids are becoming lazy and unaccountable for anything.

    • jenn

      There need to be more parents with paddles. I only wish I’d thought to drill holes in mine while the offspring was growing up. Physics – improving discipline everywhere.

      • Ned's Blog

        The hard part about being a parent who actually expects more from their kids is listening to how “no one else” gets in trouble for not doing their homework, or keeping their room tidy, etc. Then again, I’m sure my kids are tired of me pulling out the “worlds smallest violin,” too 😉

      • jenn

        I bought two just in case I need one while travelling.

  • supashmo

    I remember reading an article about how students in the college I attended were ticked off because they did none of the work, but thought they deserved a better grade because…they attended the class. The good news is the school replied, “Um…no.” But I bet they graduated from high schools like this one.

    • jenn

      If this policy had been in place when I was in high school, (just last year), I would have completed the first assignment to get the highest mark possible, then not done any more. Good on the college for saying no!

  • nukemm33

    My boss is just never around. Which is good, but that creates a distance between us which makes it easy for him to forget our value and find us expendable.

  • idiotprufs

    Didn’t you see “Finding Nemo” fish are emotional creatures to the point of being annoyingly weepy.

  • lorajbanks

    I don’t even know what to say, mostly because you said it so well, but I wanted to comment so you know I don’t just “like” this, I LOVE it. Something really needs to change…it scares me!

    • jenn

      If it’s any consolation, I just read that a grade 3 teacher in Arizona created a “Catastrophe Award”, which is presented at the end of the year to the student who did the least amount of homework. Betcha that kid has her homework done from now on!

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