|Let's look into this a bit further...|
Here, I will include the original list item, followed by the comment in italics, and then my response. Here goes...
1. Punish him for something that is completely beyond his control, like being late for school because of traffic or because his mother overslept.
Anonymous Commenter Says: the entire adult world is geared around being on time. I cant give excuses for being late at work, why should school be different? Surely an occassional instance of getting stuck in traffic is not going to scar a kid who shows up late, but isnt part of the point of school to prepare kids for the real world?My Response: I'm assuming most adults are not driven to work by their mothers. If an adult is late for work, he can take responsibility for it. He can take measures to make sure it does not happen again. Children don't have much of a choice as to when they arrive at school. Regularly punishing kids for parents being late must be confusing for a child.
2. Make a really big deal about how important it is for kids to get physical activity, and then force him to sit still for 95% of the school day. *extra credit for giving excessive homework, leading to more forced sitting: 1 point for each hour
physical activity is for before and after school and at recess and, hopefully, P.E. That should be enough. It is also important to learn how to sit the hell down so that you dont grow up to be a spaz who cant hold down a job.My Response: I don't know how much activity "should be enough" for every kid out there. I would imagine it's different for everyone. For your information: there are lots of jobs for which sitting the hell down is not ideal. Who is "preparing" the kids for those jobs?
3. Tell him how important it is to present original work, and then take away points on his math test when he gets the answers his own way.
isnt the point to teach the process?? A kid can stumble on some weird way of getting an "Answer" but if they dont know the process won't they will be lost in higher grades when they build on that process?? Your not going to find an Alternate Way of doing trigonometry!My Response: I have taken a lot of math classes in my life. I can tell you that almost any problem in high school trigonometry can be solved in many different ways. The process can look different for some kids, and it does not imply he has "stumbled on some weird way." His way is not wrong just because it's not the teacher's way. All of the greatest mathematicians in history were so brilliant because they figured out new ways to look at problems.
4. Brush off his complaints about being bullied, telling him he has to toughen up, and then punish him for retaliating against the bully.
Bullies are everywhere. You cant hide from them and if you dont learn how to deal, how will you handle an overbearing coworker or boss or random bully who is posting to your blog?My Response: I have not been bullied since I was in school. Period. I don't have to hide from bullies, but I would avoid one if he or she crossed my path. We don't learn anything by putting up with bullies, except that being bullied is a part of life. You apparently learned that lesson well. But it does not have to be. No one should have to put up with bullying. We can take care of ourselves by removing ourselves from these situations. In fact, kids in school are the only group of people who are encouraged to "learn how to deal" with bullies, rather than get the hell away from them.
5. Call something "an opportunity," and then make it mandatory. *extra credit if you recently made him learn the definition of the word opportunity: 5 points
Mandatory Opportunity is simply not an oxymoron. Its not.My Response: "Oxymoron" is not a word I used. I simply said the combination was confusing. Opportunity seems to me to imply "chance" or "possibility," neither of which has anything to do with "inevitability" as "mandatory" suggests. A better word would be "obligation."
6. Ask lots of questions to which you already know the answers.
its a pretty sad teacher who doesnt know more than the student-- sad student too for that matter. Unless you are talking metaphysics, someone in the room better know the friggin answer or tell me who the heck is learning anything in that room!My Response: When in the rest of your life do you have people asking questions to which they already know the answers? No one ever does this to me. Either let the kids in schools ask the questions, or let teachers and students discuss real problems that don't already have answers.
7. Tell him how important it is to develop healthy eating habits, then make him ignore his hunger for most of the day, only allowing him to eat at designated times, and then serve up some horrible food in the cafeteria. *extra credit for making a rule against bringing any food from home: 20 points
eating whenever you feel like it is not a healthy eating habit, disruptive, unfair to other students, and sort of gross. Gross school lunches are however a good point. Make sure your kid eats healthy for all other meals and pack him an apple or something.My Response: There is a lot of room between "eating at lunchtime for 20 minutes" and "eating whenever you feel like it." Even offering students a few chances to eat during the day would be an improvement. Although, as an adult, I do eat whenever I feel like it. What could be a healthier way to eat? Eat when you are hungry. Don't eat when you're not. Do you still eat by the clock? And your solution to the problem of the school lunches being gross is to "make sure your kid eats healthy for the other meals," really? That's assuming every kid has access to healthy food outside school, which is just not the case. How about we try to make better options available in schools?
8. Give him a long-term assignment with very specific requirements that take a whole page to explain, and write at the bottom "Have FUN with this!"
i dont understand this one even enough to make a comment. You dont give complicted assignments that require a lot of explanation? Why the heck not? Why shouldnt they have fun with a hard assignment?My Response: I never once had "fun" with a long school assignment. And I think it's insulting to include "having fun" as part of the assignment. If it were actually fun, the teacher wouldn't have to say that.
9. Tell him how important it is for him to get eight hours of sleep every night, and then make it impossible for him to do so. *extra credit for starting school super early: 1 point for every minute before 8 AM
what? how is the school forcing him/her to get less that 8 hours of sleep? Dont tell me a grade schooler has six hours of homework.My Response: Kids have other needs. As you pointed out above, a kid has to fit in getting his physical activity after school. And eating his healthy meals to balance out the gross one he had at school. And having fun with his long-term assignments. Never mind having any down time.
10. Talk about how one purpose of school is to teach critical thinking, but then absolutely don't pay any attention to his criticisms of anything about school.
"Critical" thinking is not the same meaning as being "critical" of your teachers. Different meaning of the word. I learned that in school.My Response: I am aware of the difference in usage. I feel that any student who thinks "critically" about school is going to come up with a lot of "criticism" of the policies and practices. I believe kids would have great ideas about how to fix all of these problems, if they weren't kept so busy answering questions people already know the answers to. We should ask the kids what to do about these confusing problems, and listen to what they have to say. They are the ones who have to live with the solutions.