Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Some Serious Thoughts About the State of Education

That our Nation's morals, values and character is on a downward spiral is evidenced so very clearly by the changes we see in students. I have noticed a trend in students today, and I thought that maybe I was just growing grumpier . . . maybe the change and perception was internal. But, I heard this change given a name, and it is SOOOOOOOOOO accurate. I feel vindicated in my observations, but it is a Pyrrhic victory--our culture is in grave peril from this trend.
For the last few years, we have all heard the term, "helicopter parents.'  They are the ones who hover around their child as they register for classes (to get the easiest teachers and the classes that will transfer to another school) and then as the grades come in--
they failed their children by not "hovering" when they were young and needed to be taught to work, study and practice honesty in all situations. These parents will argue about grades and try to tell you that their child will lose his financial aid if he doesn't get an A in your course. I saw that in action many years ago in another state--a fellow faculty member if you can believe that. I would go so far as to argue that these parents are less concerned with their children actually learning than with what they earn.  Maybe it is even a different definition of what it means to "earn" a grade. 
This post is really about a dangerous shift from "helicopter parents" to "snow plough parents." 
This term refers to parents who will "plough over" anyone by any means to make sure their child receives the A  he or she deserves. I have seen this more times than I can count.  I didn't realize that others were recognizing it as well. 
Several years ago, one student who did not attend class and failed to turn in assignments earned a failing grade. She was one of two in that class who did not pass the course.. To cover for her lack of effort, she lied to her parents and told them that the professor was "on academic probation for being such a bad teacher and he fails everyone!"  The parent protested to the Administration that this professor, being on academic probation had given her child an unfair grade. That professor, who kept meticulous records of attendance and grades, was able to produce the evidence for the student's failing the course. Do you think that any apologies were offered? None.  Blessedly, we have an administration that gives a fair hearing to everyone. The grade stood, the student went on to another college, and the Professor was heart broken.
The situations at the University of Missouri and Yale wherein imperious students are acting like spoiled 3 year-olds are not isolated. This behavior is the "new norm." They are learning this from their parents and their peers. A's are owed . . . .
I have taught for almost 25 years, and I see this terrible scenario gaining steam. It is as bad in the homeschool and Christian school environment  as in the secular. That fact is appalling. 
I grew up in the days when you got in trouble or had bad grades, your guilt was assumed! You would never dare to lie about a teacher. 
This is a testimony to our overall spiritual condition and the collapse of authority throughout our culture.
Lord, come quickly.

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