Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Take it out on the students
My son is finishing up a multi-subject portfolio for his sophomore US Lit honors class. Exemplars from each subject must be collected and put into a notebook. Students are required to list a specific CCSS standard and then explain how each piece of work relates to that standard. One that my son used was: "F-TF.1. Understand radian measure of an angle as the length of the arc on the unit circle subtended by the angle." He then had to explain how the work fit this standard. This project came, of course, after the teacher complained about how he was required to do this for all of his lessons. My son has to do this for all of the subjects in the portfolio, even those (like music) that don't have a specific standard defined. This is a teacher who doesn't hand back homework with any explanations. You have to make an appointment to meet with him after school to find out why he graded the way he did. And, if you somehow fail to get to this appointment, he will create a new grade of zero for you in his gradebook. This is a teacher who prides himself on grading 10 points lower than all other teachers. Got to toughen up those soft little honors kids. Also, this portfolio has to include your resume to be accepted into the junior class. You are interviewed and have to orally convince the teacher (or some volunteer parent) that you should be accepted. You also have to create a resume for an imaginary job sometime in your future, listing all of your degrees and experience. It has to include imaginary letters of recommendation. I told him that he is learning creative resume enhancing skills. Of course, he has a PhD from Harvard. It reminds me of how some teachers ask students what grade they would give to themselves. I told my son to always say 'A'.