Carnival of Education

Over at What It’s Like on the Inside, the Science Goddess has put together a staff development theme for this week’s Carnival of Education.

Eduspherians sat in their table groups, dubious of the need for the day’s events. The Science Goddess could see that a few teachers had already snuck out their marking to do during the training.

“Now, now…none of that. Give today a chance! I promise that there will be no cutesy icebreaker games.”

There was an audible sigh in the room.

Teacher with a Bad Attitude questions the wisdom of giving awards to every student, including Satan Jr.

Basically, every single student gets a “certificate of achievement” at the end of the year, along with their report card. It’s printed in-house on that cheesy awards type paper you can buy at Staples.

For most students, there isn’t a problem, in that we can always find something meaningful in their year to celebrate. While we don’t have “honours” anymore, we do acknowledge students who do receive a grade of 80 in any of their courses. (Of course, an 80 in my math class is in a different universe than an 80 in, say, Foods, in which attending and breathing pretty well guarantees a pass.)

We also recognize effort in citizenship, peer support, and, sometimes, just for being a genuinely nice kid.

And teachers must come up with an award for the genuinely awful kids as well.

My daughter’s eighth-grade music teacher gave an award to every student. To the girl who’d disrupted the class and made her life a living hell, the teacher gave the “keeps me on my toes” award.

About Joanne


  1. BadaBing says:

    We are living in an era in which nothing is better than anything else. I remember the big stink over giving deaf children cochlea implants because it robbed them of the beauty of deafness. How dare anyone suggest that hearing was better than not hearing. Concomitant with that principle is the belief that nobody is better than anybody else. It’s called egalitarianism. Add a little 1970s self-esteem sentiment into the mix, and before you know it, everybody’s as good as everybody else, no matter what.