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June 4, 2012 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Traditionally, the Tuesday of the first full week of May is the National Teacher Day in the USA. Here's a message (SLYT) from your kids' teachers.
posted by chela (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
So now Pandora comes from a movie. Fake teachers, you are depressing me.
posted by michaelh at 7:01 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Uh...I think they're referring to the fact that the kid learned about Pandora from the movie. Not that they personally think Pandora is from the movie. Right? I mean, worst case it's open to interpretation, which seems a pretty flimsy basis for first-comment snarking.
posted by haricotvert at 7:06 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Avatar in 3D...Thank you for reminding me of that slop.

Sincerely,

Daughter of Teachers &
Recovering Teacher
posted by psylosyren at 7:08 PM on June 4, 2012


For teacher appreciation day some of my kids got together (without parent involvement) and made a book for me, and it said, "We love you, Mr. Huck500...thanks for teaching us..."

So yes, I get the humor, but no, my kids aren't stupid, and I don't like this.
posted by Huck500 at 7:10 PM on June 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


My mom is a teacher, has been for more than 30 years. I've seen her be about as stressed out as humanly possible about her job, but she has never once suggested that her students were stupid.

(Now, the parents...that's another matter entirely.)

I'd like to see a video from some real teachers. Some of the real-life crap they put up with makes for way better material.
posted by phunniemee at 7:17 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never had any "stupid" students. Stupid parents? Maaaaybe.

Those vacations to cheap hotels? Well...
posted by peeet at 7:18 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Uh...I think they're referring to the fact that the kid learned about Pandora from the movie. Not that they personally think Pandora is from the movie. Right? I mean, worst case it's open to interpretation, which seems a pretty flimsy basis for first-comment snarking.

Watched again and yes, they're saying the kid thought the country/planet in Avatar was a real place. So you're right in one way...but I would expect any decent teacher to immediately go to mythology when they encounter that word. Perhaps the backstory of this video is that the student was asked for explanation and cited Avatar.
posted by michaelh at 7:19 PM on June 4, 2012


Lunchablez [NSFW] Really?
posted by unliteral at 7:27 PM on June 4, 2012


What a relief to hear that we have such smart students here in the US! I mean, we're already at or near the bottom of industrialized nations in almost every measure of educational achievement ever devised. I'd hate to imagine where we'd rank if our kids were dumb!
posted by haricotvert at 7:29 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's pretty amazing the kinds of sugary crappity crap parents send their kids to school with (and then our son wants for his own lunch).
posted by KokuRyu at 7:36 PM on June 4, 2012


Yeah, and whenever I hear, "the kids aren't dumb, the parents are dumb," I think, "well, they were kids once, too."
posted by adamdschneider at 7:55 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess it's funny, but I really know very few teachers who think of their students as stupid. Now, administrators, school boards,politicians,taxpayers who won't raise their taxes a dime to pay for schools? That's another story.
posted by Isadorady at 8:12 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I get pissed off when students text under their desks and am annoyed that I have to monitor that (almost as annoyed as I was when I volunteered for a student dance twenty years ago at a ghetto school and found out I was supposed to break up dirty dancing couples - simulated sex, goddamnit - when a whole circle of students closed in on them to make it hard for us grownups to do our stupid job) but I have never blamed the parents personally in the way this video does. Yeah, I've blamed our culture, which does not encourage critical thinking or reading etc. etc. but the parents are doing what they can. I'm doing what I can. The students are doing what they think is right, but, then, it's one of the few things in this culture they don't have to pay for, so sometimes they don't take it too seriously. (Funny, that was the rationale for TM charging for mantras: in the West, we don't value things for which we do not have to pay.)

Public education: dying in Louisiana; up for grabs elsewhere. Help!
posted by kozad at 8:35 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]



What a relief to hear that we have such smart students here in the US! I mean, we're already at or near the bottom of industrialized nations in almost every measure of educational achievement ever devised. I'd hate to imagine where we'd rank if our kids were dumb!


Actually, up to and including 4th grade our kids rank really well. After that it drops off, but baby steps! Also, many of the countries at the top do not have the massive inequality issues that American society has.

I laughed at some parts, but as someone who is getting their master's in education right now I have to echo what other posters are saying. The kids are fine, some of the parents and the system is fucked.
posted by nestor_makhno at 8:36 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I really wish I was looking at $40,000 grand a year, but I live in Arizona so no.
posted by nestor_makhno at 8:38 PM on June 4, 2012


What a relief to hear that we have such smart students here in the US! I mean, we're already at or near the bottom of industrialized nations in almost every measure of educational achievement ever devised. I'd hate to imagine where we'd rank if our kids were dumb!

OK. To repeat: other countries have heartless tests to weed out those kids not meant for college. These kids are not in "the tests" on which we are compared to other countries.

Secondly, we used to have shop classes, auto repair classes, etc, which we have stupidly dropped in the hope that every child will go to college. Ummm...so where do we get our plumbers, electricians, machinists and auto repair gals and guys?

Yeah, our educational system is fucked up in more ways than is, say, the Post Office, but the private buccaneers are certainly not helping. Nor is this video.
posted by kozad at 8:48 PM on June 4, 2012


Yeah, our educational system is fucked up in more ways than is, say, the Post Office, but the private buccaneers are certainly not helping. Nor is this video.

Yeah, good thing it's, y'know, a joke. On a comedy show.
posted by Maaik at 8:52 PM on June 4, 2012


This has some resonance because most every national dialog about how we're educating the humans of the future grounds out on the educational system. Which makes sense, in a way, because schools are where people go to do that learning thing, right? But how much learning happens at home? How involved are you in your child's education? When was the last time you sat down with your small child and read a book together? Have you ever taken out a map and tried to talk about different countries? How long has it been since you taught your child a new skill? Have you ever posed a math problem to your child and given a reward for the right answer?

Yeah, the schools are bad. The schools are underfunded. Teachers don't get enough respect and they don't get enough pay. We expect that standardized tests will hold them accountable, and tests will weed out the bad teachers and that will leave only the good teachers and then everything will be better. Then we put 20 or 30 students in a classroom with one teacher, which, if my arithmetic is correct, means that the teacher has only 3 or 2 minutes an hour for each student. And we complain that the teacher hasn't done enough with that time. And our children come home and we spend hours in the same house with them every day but we plunk them down if front of the TV because we're too damn tired to spend any time with them.

Parents are better than teachers. Parents are the role models that children really follow. If you're not trying to educate your own child, you can't expect anyone else to.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:53 PM on June 4, 2012


This is kind of a weird thread. Everyone seems to be saying the kids aren't to blame. Am I the only one who thinks the video is all about blaming parents and almost not at all about blaming kids?
posted by haricotvert at 9:10 PM on June 4, 2012


Well, I laughed.
posted by robcorr at 10:27 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is kind of a weird thread. Everyone seems to be saying the kids aren't to blame. Am I the only one who thinks the video is all about blaming parents and almost not at all about blaming kids?

When you work with children on a daily basis, are responsible for their academic achievement and are a mandated reporter you tend to get protective. I wouldn't want someone in a classroom who isn't protective of their students.
posted by nestor_makhno at 12:09 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had mixed feelings about this as well, but I'm in a strange position today and am probably not a good metric.

I work worked for a non-profit agency that provided educational programming for at-risk kids. Most of them students whose behaviors made it impossible for a teacher to teach. We worked with the kids that bounced off the walls, the ones that provoked other kids until a fight happened, the loud kids, the mean kids, the kids whose only way to communicate was to scream, the boys who couldn't keep their pants above the knees, the girls who thought it was OK to pick on another girl until she was in tears. Yes, every friggin' one of them texted under their desk, many of them could care less about education, half of them had police records.

Yesterday I recommended to our Board that we close the program, the local districts that supported us are in financial difficulty and the commitment to fund seats in the program dropped from 72 students this school year, to 14 students next year. The program infrastructure couldn't be maintained at that small a level. The Board agreed, and yesterday I laid off 13 staff members, including myself.

One of these staff, Nate, has worked for us for 35 years, I worked with Nate for 27 of those years. Nate remembers the name of every single kid that has come through our program. He knows what has happened to most of them, he's taught three generations of some families in this community.

Nate says "good morning" to every kid, every day. He says "good bye" to them when they leave. Every Friday afternoon he has told every student "Have a good weekend, make good decisions." I don't think a week hasn't gone by in the last few years where some 35 or 40 year old adult hasn't walked into our building, walked up to Nate and said something along the lines of "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be alive."

Nate worked with the most difficult students and I never heard him raise his voice to a student, I never heard him make a disparaging comment about a young person.

There were some funny bits there, and, Yes, I know these weren't real teachers, but this rubbed me the wrong way.

I watched the last kid walk out of my schools doors on Friday afternoon, although the decision hadn't been made by the Board, I suspected that Friday was our last day. Ironically it was one of the most difficult students we've had in a while, he challenged every teacher and probably set the record for the time he spent in Nate's office or mine. As the staff watched the bus pull away, there wasn't a single comment about what a pain in the ass he was for the past year, and nobody blamed his parents. Someone just said "Perry will be back next year, right?", at the time I said "yep, he still needs us", today I call his parents and let them know we won't be there for him next year. I doubt i tell them what a pain in the ass he was, or what a shitty job they did raising him.
posted by HuronBob at 3:11 AM on June 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Mr. Conductor on children.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:32 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


And now after watching the video I have to ask if the people ripping this video realize it was a skit from Jimmy Kimmel? I mean it is supposed to be funny, not a serious commentary on the state of education. Lighten up people. And yes most children, like most adults, are fairly stupid.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:37 AM on June 5, 2012


Well, almost half of the kids in my classes are below average.
posted by TwoToneRow at 6:22 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, almost half of the kids in my classes are below average.

Not to derail too much, but I hate hate hate this stupid joke. I don't think people know what average means. It can have many meanings indeed, but when the uninitiated use that word, usually they mean "arithmetic mean"; just add up all the numbers and divide by how many there are. If you said "median" instead of "average", the joke might be funny.

Anyway, as a reference, I just looked at the 70 grades on my final exam for the spring semester. Only 23 scored below the mean. That gives 67% "above average". The average isn't always the "halfway point". If you want another obscene example, put Warren Buffett and 19 destitute North Korean prison camp workers in a room. What is the average net worth of a person in that room? 95% of the people in that room have a net worth below the average.

Maybe teachers (and parents!) need to do a better job helping students learn about averages. Carry on. sorry
posted by King Bee at 7:20 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"And yes most children, like most adults, are fairly stupid."

Well, bless your heart!
posted by HuronBob at 9:08 AM on June 5, 2012


Well, bless your heart!

I keed, I keed.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:56 AM on June 5, 2012


Sorry, King Bee -- my favorite jokes tend to be the stupid ones.

You're right that most people use 'average' when they mean 'arithmetic mean' sometimes, and to mean 'median' at other times. To me, though, that's what makes this tired old joke funny -- it's the flip side of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, where "all of the children are above average."

Saying that "almost half of the kids in my classes are below the median" wouldn't be funny though -- I think people would just wonder why the kids in my classes are buried in the middle of the highway. Most people would, anyway; or at least the average guy, probably.
posted by TwoToneRow at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I keed, I keed."

Sorry, looks like my "keed meter" needs recalibrating, it's been a rough week, it must have gotten a bit banged up.
posted by HuronBob at 2:00 PM on June 5, 2012


If I thought my students were irredemably stupid, that would be one thing. (and I don't think that at all)

Now, I've had plenty of students *behave* stupidly.

*That* I can get frustrated and upset about.
posted by scottu at 2:54 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you for the work you've done HuronBob.
posted by nestor_makhno at 3:40 PM on June 5, 2012


I have a better version of that joke. Apparently an MIT professor came into class one day and said: "Class average is a 78." Audible groans went up from the crowd. After a pause, the professor continued: "Unfortunately, nobody made class average."
posted by haricotvert at 5:08 PM on June 5, 2012


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