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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
...it's mocktacular!
The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem. Lets go… 
30th-Jul-2008 05:47 pm
The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem.

Lets go back 20 some-odd years to kindergarden. We were learning how to write our names. My name is spelled Jaime, as opposed to Jamie. Not only did the teacher tell my I was spelling my name wrong, she called my parents and threatened to fail me because I refused to spell my name Jamie. When my parents told her my name is in fact spelled Jaime, she refused to listen. She even took the time to yell at my parents and tell them they were wrong for teaching me to read and write before kindergarden(both activities that I loved to do when I was that young). The teacher then told the principal that my parents were undermining her teachings and filed a complaint with the superintendent of the district. This resulted in a meeting between the super, my parents, and the teacher. All was resolved when my parents showed my birth certificate that in fact had my name spelled Jaime.

It boggles my mind that the teacher had to go that far just to be told by her bosses' boss I had in fact been spelling my own name right. Then to tell my parents it was wrong to teach me basic reading and writing? I mean come on. Seriously.
Comments 
31st-Jul-2008 03:25 am (UTC)
*blink*

I used to have teachers that got mad at me for knowing things before they taught them. I never understood that. I always praise my students when they've worked ahead or know something else.

I told one student that I made a mistake and I would fix it before the next lesson. Another teacher overheard me and said, "You never let the students know you've made a mistake. It undermines your authority."

31st-Jul-2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Ugh, I hate that authority trip. I'm never prouder of my students than when they use their brains to prove me wrong.

But then, its not my fault - you can blame my teachers for introducing me to Friere.
31st-Jul-2008 03:32 am (UTC)
I had a college biology professor who was absolutely FURIOUS I had studied evolution prior to taking his class. I never understood it either... Shouldn't you want your kids to be as curious and thoughtful and intellectually adventures as possible? WHY ARE THE SMART KIDS ALWAYS PUNISHED FOR BEING SMART!?
31st-Jul-2008 04:28 am (UTC)
A COLLEGE PROF? Wow. His logic did not evolve the right way. (Sorry, bad joke.)
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31st-Jul-2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Really? It undermines your authority? I would think that, when your students already know you've made a mistake, admitting it raises your standing in their eyes more than refusing to see reality.
31st-Jul-2008 08:27 am (UTC)
I told one student that I made a mistake and I would fix it before the next lesson. Another teacher overheard me and said, "You never let the students know you've made a mistake. It undermines your authority."

How does your authority stem from never admitting a mistake?

I know my classes run smoothly despite my admitting errors when I make them.
31st-Jul-2008 11:47 am (UTC)
I'm with you (no surprise in this comm). My partner is still scornful of the grade-school teacher who made a factual mistake, and refused to admit this even after proven wrong. (The teacher claimed that all crystals have six sides, and my partner brought a crystal with a different number of sides in to school to show him.) This was around 1970. It also precipitated his parents pulling him out of that school and school system. I suppose if that teacher defined his "authority" as not being argued with, rather than as being listened to or respected, removing the bright, questioning kids, or even the ordinary-intelligence kids who happened to have observed a fact that he didn't know, might work. That's not teaching. My partner got the useful meta-lesson that if the school did something stupid, his family would back him up, but the kids who stayed in that school didn't.
31st-Jul-2008 11:47 am (UTC)
A lot of governments seem to work under that idea too, unfortunately.
31st-Jul-2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
That reminds me of my first grade teacher who once wrote "woorkbook" on the board, and when I pointed it out, tried to play it off as seeing if we were paying attention.
31st-Jul-2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
Seriously? I had one teacher in grade six who deliberately wrote something on the board that had contradicted what he had taught us the day before. When no one spoke up, he informed us that he had done it deliberately because he wanted us to tell him if we thought he'd made a mistake, and that every so often he would deliberately make a mistake to see if we were paying attention.

All the other teachers I've had blame him for giving me the idea to question and/or correct my teachers. :-)
31st-Jul-2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
my grade 1 teacher argued with me that bee's dont sting they bite. she actualy called my parents and argued with them that i should appologise for being right. yeah that didnt happen.
31st-Jul-2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Another teacher overheard me and said, "You never let the students know you've made a mistake. It undermines your authority."

I see she took lessons from the pope.
1st-Aug-2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
What if they're being really snotty about it? Because I was guilty of that when I was a little bratling. >_>

I couldn't help it! My sixth-grade science teacher was SUCH a douche, and he clearly had such a low opinion of our intelligence (when really, there were a lot of bright, science-loving kids in the class.) We were doing a unit on really basic biology, learning about cells and such, and I was really excited because my dad is a microbiologist and so I knew I'd do well.

The teacher drew a diagram of an animal cell on the board and started going on really condescendingly about how he didn't approve of having to teach this stuff to kids our age, because we were too young to understand it and he didn't expect us to get it, so we should just sit down and not say anything while he went through it.

I raised my hand and pointed out that he'd forgotten the ribosomes. He was not happy.

As far as I recall, he was fired shortly thereafter for having a complete screaming meltdown and giving an entire class detention because some girl had done her homework in the wrong color pen.
2nd-Aug-2008 01:33 am (UTC)
My 2nd grade teacher yelled at me because I was showing my friends how I could write their names in cursive/script. He made me throw the paper out and said I wasn't supposed to do that until next year.

At least he retired that year.
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