Testing the Teacher

family, Life as it is

At some point, we have probably all wondered it.  How much is the teacher really reading of each essay that every student turns in? Does the teacher really read every word, or does the teacher just focus on a few sections of the essay?

Apparently my son tried to find an answer to this mystery. This is his one-page essay I found:

Romeo and Juliet

Juliet probably felt angry at her parents since she still loves and respects them, but she’s trying to be with Romeo, not Paris. Blah. Other things, various words. Capulets and the Montegues, drinks potion, marry Paris.

She also probably resents the Nurse for thinking she should marry Paris. On another note, vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei. That has no relevance, and the nurse thinks the plan will fail.

Paris is in an awkward position, since Juliet is already married. On a complete random streak – I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouche, scaramouche will you do the fandango. Juliet doesn’t want to mary Paris. (Shakespeare 404)

Juliet trusts Friar Lawrence enough to take his potion, and when you’re down and looking for some cheering up, then just head right on up to the candy mountain cave. Charlie was robbed of his kidneys and Juliet drank the potion.

His score on this essay? 100

What, exactly is a parent to do here? Hacking the teacher probably isn’t the right thing to do, but then again, he did get an A. What would you do?


4 Responses

  1. Scott says:

    Reminds me of one teacher I had in high school. The teacher would start every day walking up and down the rows and checking to see if everyone did their homework. And we soon discovered that she did not look as closely to the homework as she appeared to be looking. One day as she was checking the homework as usual, my friend in the next row asked if he could see my paper to see how I did a problem. She had already checked mine, and hadn't gotten to his row yet. When she did get to his row, instead of looking at his paper, she thought mine was his, and proceeded to check in, and then continued on, not noticing it was in my handwriting and had my name written at the top. For the rest of the year we passed the homework from row to row as she was checking people's homework (this time with no name on it). She would check the same homework paper 3 or 4 times for 3 or 4 different students and she never caught on. 🙂

    I'll let you draw your own conclusions. 🙂

  2. He gets an A for being randomly amusing – but I suspect that wasn’t why the teacher gave him an A.

    I think it depends on what you want from education. D’you want your son to get As regardless of what he does, or to get As because he’s really learned something?

    If I had children – and I don’t – and I saw this I would want to see the teacher about it. I don’t want my children getting A grades for writing things that don’t deserve it. I speak from experience in another regard: I taught at university for three years. A great many first years assumed they would get As, no matter what they wrote. They were so used to the simplicity of A levels they weren’t ready for the expectations of university education. One reason to approach the teacher is that if your son continues to get As, there will come a point when somebody pulls him up (as I did with a student who got a failing grade for her essay and had to deal with the shock of not being the best suddenly) it will be an even bigger shock. Does that make sense?

    • crossmage says:

      I hear what you are saying. I was more aggravated at the teacher for this paper than i was at my son. It was what to do with him that was the problem.

      Since this happened we have spoken at length about it and about what it takes to learn and to think and not just perform for a grade. (Although sometimes if performing is what is necessary, I'd like to see more of whatever kind of performing is necessary.)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to visit – your comments here and on twitter have been very encouraging to me. Thank you.

  3. […] My error in this was simple. My son told me that this was his decision and that he had some ideas. Like a concerned parent that has learned some wisdom, I did try to stay out of it so that it could be his own vision and humor and video to present to the class. In addition, I also demonstrated some additional learning from other mistakes by watching to make sure he was making some forward progress. That is, I noted his study on the French Revolution and even saw that he had gotten DVD’s of documentaries on the subject, after all, I had seen what happened in his test of whether teachers really read the essays turned in for a grade. […]

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