Sunday, March 15, 2009

Idiot Principal

It's stories like this that convince me that lobotomies are required in order to become a principal:

I've just learned that the principal has faulted our Continental Math League for "widening the achievement gap."

It's been suggested that, instead of running a math club for gifted students, I instead run one for struggling students.


I like the following thought process, though:

Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I tend to think that it's the school's job, not mine, to educate struggling students.

5 comments:

PeggyU said...

Mheh. What I have seen in these math competitions is kids looking for more difficult and challenging work than they get in class. They enjoy the subject, which is why they will also do it extracurricularly.

A "struggling" student most likely doesn't like math and wouldn't sign up for a math competition in the first place. Forced participation would be cruel.

The principal's thinking is similar to that of academicians who bemoan the scarcity of women in science and engineering. At this point in time, the only thing holding women back from these pursuits is their own interest. Hopefully nobody will ever be compelled to join a math club or become an engineer simply to assuage misplaced societal ideas of fairness.

KauaiMark said...

Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I tend to think that it's the school's job, *and* mine, to educate *ALL* students AND challenge bright students beyond the "minimum requirements"

Anonymous said...

"Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I tend to think that it's the school's job, *and* mine, to educate *ALL* students AND challenge bright students beyond the 'minimum requirements.'"

It appears that Lefty (the poster) is a parent, not a teacher at the school. I'm basing this on other posts by Lefty.

If so, no it is not Lefty's job to teach all the students. If Lefty wishes to contribute after school (for free), more power to him/her. His/her time, his/her choice on how to use it.

It may be KauaiMark's job to educate all students, given that he *is* a teacher :-)

-Mark Roulo

Ellen K said...

It's one thing to have tutoring. Our school went through ridiculous efforts to have math and science labs open every day after school for the entire spring term to help kids who were struggling on TAKS exams. Out of three hundred kids whose parents were informed of this service and who were told it would benefit them to attend, less than fifty showed up. So these teacher were paid an stipend to provide services for students that never showed up. I just don't envision that a math "club" is going to appeal to a kid who considers math torture. As for the remarks made by KauaiMark, I would remind him that it is the school and teacher's job to teach, it is the student's job to learn. You can lead a kid to knowledge, but you can't make them think. I think Mark is living in a rosy, naive world that is very unlike the competitive world I teach in.

Anonymous said...

I can see attending to the lower level students while you're in class, but on your OWN time, you may work with whom you will. And suggesting that giving additional (outside of school) time to one group of students (my guess is the group is open to all who would like to participate) is detrimental to another group is absurd.