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:. 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.