..and it’s not doing them any favours.
In my mind, the main reason why I feel education of children is far better in France (and possibly other parts of Europe but i haven’t surveyed or quizzed anyone) is that teachers here live in fear of failing children and their parents.
Yes you heard me.
Teachers in Canada live in fear of being unable to giving failing marks to children even though they 100% deserve it.
This means that if your child is a lazy bum, he or she will pass on to the next grade and become the next teacher’s headache.
As a child you can basically do no homework, or do it half-assed, hand in nothing as an assignment, leave the class and not listen to the teacher… and still pass onto the next grade having retained nothing in your skull.
Oh and the kicker is that these kids don’t get in trouble if their parents don’t want them in trouble.
1. HELICOPTER PARENTS GIVE YOU TROUBLE INSTEAD
Unbelievable but true, this society of ours with helicopter parents are basically hamstringing their own children.
I really, REALLY hate helicopter parents.
I very much dislike (I’d even go as far as to say “loathe”) anyone who proudly says to me: I’m a helicopter parent!, and expects me to smile and nod.
I will go as far as to call them … okay maybe I won’t call them that on this blog.
Helicopter parents are the devil because they think that their precious snowflake is the only child you should be paying attention to in a class of 25 – 30 students (up to 200+ students in total for an average teacher) and get their nose all bent out of shape when you don’t coddle them.
If you want your child to always receive undivided, one-on-one attention, pay for a private tutor who will indulge you for an obscene amount of money.
Hell if you paid me lots of money, I’d even take that job to coddle your snowflake.
However, teachers are not paid like rockstars, so they don’t want to really go out of their way to coddle your snowflake, they have 30 other snowflakes and hovering parents to take care of.
How do you expect them to get anything taught or done if you don’t leave them alone to do their jobs?
You know what? What they’re doing isn’t even helping their kids.
Do you review your daughter’s homework every night?
Robinson and Harris’s data, published in The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education, show that this won’t help her score higher on standardized tests.
Similarly, students whose parents frequently meet with teachers and principals don’t seem to improve faster than academically comparable peers whose parents are less present at school.
Other essentially useless parenting interventions: observing a kid’s class; helping a teenager choose high-school courses; and, especially, disciplinary measures such as punishing kids for getting bad grades or instituting strict rules about when and how homework gets done.
2. PARENTS EXPECT YOU TO PARENT THEIR CHILDREN FOR THEM
I already wrote a long rant about this (do your damn job as a parent), but basically, parents ship their children off to school they pretty much wash their hands of any kind of parenting responsibility.
“My kid acted up in your class? No way he never does that at home.
It must be YOU.”
“So what do you want me to do? You should be the one taking care of the situation if she’s acting up.”
Look, teachers are not there to pick on your child.
Teachers are there to teach, and if a teacher is calling you saying that there’s a problem, there’s a problem and they are asking you, their parents to take care of the situation.
I repeat: It’s not the teacher, it is YOU.
Your child is YOUR responsibility, and teachers can only do so much.
If you want to ignore it, fine, but in the future, don’t come crying to anyone or get outraged when your kid can’t even properly read and write by the time they leave high school.
3. CHILDREN ARE NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING
“Oh but she’s just a kid. Leave her alone.”
I’m sorry.. but is she going to grow into an adult one day? (You hope!)
Well then, how is she supposed to learn how to act like one?
It has gotten to the point where children can pretty much do whatever they want, such as:
- Sneak out of the classroom on a “bathroom break” and never return
- Pretend they need to go somewhere / do something and never return
- Text on their phones and talk to their friends constantly
- Ignore you and act like monkeys, disrupting the flow in class
- Not hand in their homework or even bother to do anything
- ..or just scribble some bullsh*t in 5 seconds on a piece of paper and say: Here you go. I did the assignment.
….and you are still expected to pass them.
You are still expected to pass them as a teacher, or receive a big fat effin’ headache raining down on you from the principal, the school board, and their angry helicopter parents wondering WTF is going on.
(Oh and trust me, the parents KNOW what is going on because NO TEACHER fails a child or wants to give them a low grade without having tried to talk to the parents first to resolve the issue.)
A child needs to be held responsible for their actions, otherwise they grow up into those lazy, idiotic adults we see and have to work with on a daily basis.
Just showing up in class does not automatically qualify you for a passing grade, nor does doing an assignment in 5 seconds that should take a whole period count, but apparently in Canada it does.
(From what I’ve seen what children hand in as “essays”, and I’m fairly sure a newborn monkey with a typewriter would do better than some of them.)
4. SCHOOLS AND PRINCIPALS LET IT HAPPEN
There is no support for the teacher who wants to fairly grade a child.
Schools and principals are on the side of the parents because the parents are the ones who are the “clients”.
I have heard enough from teachers how the principals in the schools don’t support the teachers’ decisions to fail children or give them low marks because they give in to irate, foaming-at-the-mouth parents who come in demanding why their children only got a 50 in a subject.
Maybe it’s because your kid deserved that 50 because they didn’t do jack all year?
5. THIS SELF-ESTEEM THING IS GETTING OUT OF CONTROL
We’ve taken it too far where we don’t want to hurt their delicate self-esteem by failing them or telling them that they’re doing a bad job in class and are being lazy, to the point where we go to the other extreme and give them FALSE encouragement that they don’t deserve.
I’m rolling my eyes as I type this because reality is always that not everyone will get perfect marks.
How many people in our society become the top in their field? 1%?
Less than 1%?
It’s the same in classrooms, so why are we of the expectation that reality is not to be reflected in the classroom as well?
Just because they’re children?
They won’t be children forever, and wouldn’t you want your child to get a good dose of what reality is before they come smack up against it?
Guess what? Your child is average and so are you. (And so am I!)
6. THE TEACHER IS ALWAYS TO BLAME, IT SEEMS
In the end, the teacher is always to blame:
“Did you coach him one on one?”
“Did you accommodate her learning needs and give her your best attention possible?”
OF COURSE THEY DID.
NO ONE wants to teach a class full of children who don’t understand anything, it’s frustrating.
But what these idiot adults are expecting is this:
“Did you offer to give up your life, free time and sanity and dedicate it to re-teaching them how to do something that they didn’t bother paying attention in class in the first place?”
No. Why would they?
I wouldn’t, if I were a teacher.
If you legitimately don’t want to pay attention in class and aren’t legitimately struggling, then expect a passing grade or special help after school on my own free time after you haven’t been doing anything during actual class time, you can effin’ forget it.
Basically, no teacher wants to NOT give the child attention and help them succeed within reason (e.g. the hours of their job), otherwise they’d end up like me, someone who learned very early on that she was not fit to be a teacher because she has the patience of an goldfish!!!
(Everyone is very lucky I did not turn out to be a teacher, trust me. Also, teachers work on weekends and at nights marking papers and doing stuff for kids to prep for classes, so don’t think their work ends at 3:30 p.m. each day.)
Know what I say to all of this CRAP of shifting blame from the child and their parents onto the teacher?
Pay them more if you want them to also become nannies/babysitters and not just educators trying to teach kids who are supposed to want to learn.
So listen up, here’s the real truth, parents:
Teachers just get exhausted trying to teach and grade fairly, so they avoid conflict and hassles, and just pass your lazy children, who inevitably end up becoming parasites on society (not to mention your finances).
When a teacher says something, their word is not solid enough and they don’t get backed up by the principal.
So don’t think that just because you “won” an argument for your child against a teacher that you’re doing your child any good.
You may have won the battle but the war is far from over.
You’ve just hamstrung your child and taught her that with a little bitchin’ and moaning, she’ll get her way with everyone around her, just like she does with you.
See even though she hasn’t done anything all year and hasn’t retained anything of use in her skull to verify that she is indeed of the level of her peers, she has a right to receive a passing grade because of her precious self-esteem and confidence, right?
If not, you’ll just step in to fight her battles for her for the rest of her life….. won’t you?
Yes, this is what our school system has come down to.
We’re apparently the most educated country in the world but what I am seeing is a disturbing trend of raising generations of entitled, whiny idiots.
I’D RATHER HAVE MY KID FAIL THAN PASS ON FAKE MARKS
I’d rather have a really hard but fair teacher teaching my children that they can’t be morons in class and expect to coast through the rest of their school years.
I don’t want my kids to grow up with any expectation that they deserve a passing grade for having done jack squat.
I’d rather have a kid that is not smart who works and tries really hard to reach some sort of level even if it isn’t the highest one, than a “smart” kid who doesn’t do anything because he has parents to fight for him.
These kids deserve every failing mark and grade that they got, and it has nothing to do with the teacher especially if the rest of the class is NOT failing.
If my kid is an idiot, it is my fault and their fault.
Maybe the teacher can take SOME blame for not having good teaching methods, but ultimately this reflects reality.
Not every boss will be awesome and encouraging or even like you.
Not every co-worker will be easy to understand and to work with or like you.
..and NO job will let you throw yourself on the floor, kick, scream and whine to get what you want.
It’s called LIFE.
You know, living and working with other humans?
TRYING HARD MEANS NOTHING IF YOU DON’T GET THE JOB DONE
For me if I see my kid gets a failing mark, I’d acknowledge that I have failed partly as a parent for not having instilled the proper behaviours in them to work hard and succeed (or even to have caught this problem early on!!), but I am also not taking the entire blame for my child’s laziness because trying is not the same as getting the job done.
My kid would deserve every failing mark she got because she didn’t do anything all semester, and I’d tell her that rather than trying to soothe her delicate fragile ego and tell her that Mommy is going to get angry and “straighten out that teacher”.
I mean in reality, think about it do we get paid a lot of money for doing our best and trying REALLY hard at a job?
No, we get paid as a result of our work and how we execute or deliver value.
One of the best posts I’ve ever read on this is here: 6 harsh truths that will make you a better person.
He’s totally right, you know.
IN FRANCE, THEY TAKE PRIDE IN FAILING YOUR CHILD
As far as I know, this fear of failing a child does not happen in France, and I am sure happens in other countries (Germany, Norway, Sweden, etc).
In France, I am told it is kind of the other extreme which I find sort of funny in a sad way.
French teaching methods seem to center around humiliation as a method of motivation.
Teachers will for instance after an exam or a test, read out in order from highest to lowest, all the marks of each child.
They’ll even comment as they are reading out your marks to everyone in the class saying things like:
As usual, Celine is in top spot again with a mark of ____.
And finally in last place and of absolutely no surprise to anyone in this room, Pierre is at the bottom again with a mark of _____.
This is considered normal, but “harsh” and “brutal” to our sensibilities, no?
I’ve also read that some French parents who have children who receive TOO high marks in class will actually complain to the teacher and be suspicious that the teacher is taking it too easy on their child and not teaching them properly or grilling them enough.
I am also told that even when French teachers give out marks in class, if you reach 50% as a grade, it is considered a miracle and you’re a genius, because the French Bell Curve goes the other way, and someone who is average scores 20% – 30%.
There’s none of this bullsh*t about everyone getting 70% as an average in Canada.
(I grew up in the Canadian system, so I know firsthand how easy it is to get excellent marks because you’re being compared to kids who don’t even do anything.)
ANYONE CAN GET A COLLEGE DEGREE IN CANADA OR THE U.S. THESE DAYS
I am also told that in France, children are rigorously filtered out early as they go up in the grades, and they shift them into schools early on that deal with trades and other jobs that don’t require a lot of brain power because they basically categorize what you can and cannot achieve and don’t want to waste government time or money on those who can’t make it.
This sounds so awful and mean when you first hear it, but then you think: … but they actually have valid reasons for doing this.
#1: Not everyone can become what they dream of becoming.
This is reality and a fact of life. Some people will not be able to become doctors, and others will become plumbers or even factory workers.
There is nothing wrong with any of that in my opinion, because a job is a JOB. Just because you work in a factory it does not mean you’re an idiot.
The real idiot would be someone who hasn’t realized that they can’t become a lawyer because they don’t have the aptitude for it, and they try their whole lives to attain some sort of status job that will not make them happy.
Choose what you can be good at, like and be happy with as a job, is my motto.
#2: You as a citizen REALLY don’t want people who are idiots to be in charge of stuff that matters.
I’m going to be facetious here but you don’t want children to be able to reach the top and receive fake engineering degrees because of their hovering, squawking helicopter parents!
These fake engineers could literally be in charge of making sure thousands of lives are safe and able to cross that bridge safely without it collapsing.
What an awful thing it would be to falsely pass a child for a degree like engineering just to not hurt their self-esteem, and then to realize they were the ones responsible for a faulty bridge!
Would you want an engineer who passed just because they whined about their marks to design the bridge you use every day?
Would you want a doctor who didn’t really know her job very well to treat you for a serious ailment or operate on you?
No. No you don’t.
So why are we letting children think that it’s okay to skate by in any other profession as long as you bitch about it, and call in the their parents to fight on your behalf and threaten to sue teachers who are trying to do their damn job?
Don’t believe me?
It’s happening in the U.S. as well as I had suspected:
In a recent interview, former US Secretary of Education William Bennett said that his research shows that only 150 of the 3,500 US colleges are worth their price tags in terms of return on investment.
150 / 3500 = 4.28%
= Realistic number of U.S. colleges that should exist
= 95.71% or the majority of colleges have no real value on the market
Yeah. That’s what I thought.
4.28% is about right for the amount of people who should legitimately claim to have a real college education of any value.
I asked BF about this once, and I think he said it’s more like 1% in France.
LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE FAIRYTALE OF HOW THIS WILL END
Teachers who can’t fail children early on, pass them onto the next teacher, and the next, and the next until the kid is 18 and their parents realize that she still hasn’t learned how to properly read, write, do math and use logic.
Then maybe her parents decide that they’ll just throw money at the problem instead of being horrified and trying to fix the situation.
So what does she do?
She goes and gets some fake online degree where you get to study from home (from one of the 95.71% of useless colleges course), click on a few multiple-choice answers with the help of her mother or father hovering over her shoulder telling her what to do*, and receive a paper degree in the mail certifying that she is indeed, a college graduate.
*No joke, some helicopter parents actually write full-on college essays for their children, and they think they’re helping their child learn something by doing so.
Then this child, armed with this fake online degree, goes out into the world and comes back crying to Mommy or Daddy because her degree is worthless in the real world and no one wants to hire her.
Mommy calls someone like this guy in HR and screams at him on the phone for making her little girl cry and not giving her the job:
As a former hiring manger I sometimes encountered helicopter parents. I simply told them it was my policy to NOT hire anyone I deemed not capable of working independently.
A few got pushy so I told them I was not going to waste any more time talking to them and I wasn’t going to waste any more time considering their son/daughter for the position.
I then thanked them for helping me determine their offspring would not be a good “fit” for the position and I hung up.
Some would immediately call back and I’d let the call go to voice mail.
These parents are simply crazy. Life is too short.
Or maybe, she finally lands a job but then her boss yells at her because she’s late AGAIN and totally incompetent, so Daddy gets on the phone and calls the boss to straighten him out, like he has always done.
She of course, gets fired.
Then she moves back in with her parents, gets a minimum wage job, becomes depressed and spends all her time whining on the internet on some blog she started about how her life sucks, she’s only able to find a job at Wal-Mart working minimum wage as a cashier, but she’s really, REALLY smart and she has a college degree to prove it.
Did I mention she’s now 35 but still living rent free and sponging off her parents for free (cellphone, food, clothing, and whatever else paid for)?
Her parents in the meantime nearing their 60s, look into the dark basement filled with the stench of despair and hopelessness, and think:
Well, at least our precious snowflake is at home with us.
Don’t worry about anything at all, even if you are siphoning off our entire retirement fund and eating us our of house and home.
We’re not worried…. much.
You’re smart. You’ve always been smart.
Remember the time we fought against that teacher who wanted to fail you in 5th grade because you couldn’t read at a 5th grade level?
Yeah, that teacher was a moron wasn’t she?
HAHAHA. Those were the good ol days when we could bully others into giving you what you wanted!
REALITY HIT. MINUS 5000 POINTS. GAME OVER.
All for naught, it’s just a piece of paper with some fancy words on it, but these parents have missed ALL THE SIGNS of their wonderful snowflake being an actual flake.
What a lovely tale, don’t you think?
SO THIS IS THE REALITY OF OUR FUTURE
..and why I think that Canadian education is going down the drain because it just isn’t on par with Europe in terms of filtering and rigorous, careful TESTING of whether or not these kids are worthy of a degree in the first place.
We aren’t hard enough on children and we’re not letting them hit reality early enough because we want to cushion them and protect them from the real world.. until the real world comes and gives them a good kick in the ass.
So I’m skeptical with our fantastically high college education scores, and with lots of young, eager people in our society having a college degree, because to me, the true value of a college degree in Canada drops significantly in value in light of everything I have said above.
I can only hope as a parent that I get teachers for my children who will not have already been beaten down and have given up on ever doing their jobs properly because of other parents.
I want them to tell me the truth about exactly how my child is faring, and I will take care of it the best way I can.
Oh and before you go, one last point, this is exactly the kind of parental bullsh*t I am talking about:
We agreed that subjects like math and reading are the least important things that are learned in a classroom.
(WTF is school for then?)
We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger community – and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are Kind and Brave above all.
Teachers- you’ve got a million parents behind you whispering together:
“We don’t care about the damn standardized tests. We only care that you teach our children to be Brave and Kind. And we thank you.
We thank you for saving lives.”
(Not this parent! Please do not lump me into your stupid Mommy + Me group.)
If I didn’t know better, I’d think that blogger wrote that post just to troll people like me.
But…I’m not totally insensitive.
See, I get the whole speech about how teachers have a responsibility to take care of children as well in light of tragic incidents such as mass school killings that have happened but why is it that this is mass killing spree among children so common here on this side of the pond but NOT IN EUROPE?
The only one I can recall out of the ones reported regularly in the U.S. is when this freak went insane in Norway and murdered children at a camp.
It was the shock of the country, let alone the world that it could have even happened, but it is not something that is a common thing to expect (unlike in the U.S.).
Why do Europeans not seem to have a widespread, constant problem of mass shootings in schools that happen on a yearly if not more-than-yearly basis?
Anyway, chin up parents! Even if your kid works retail, he or she could still make a decent salary with the right attitude.