Saturday, January 17, 2004

We distributed the Student Report Cards for the second term this morning. As expected, the parents of those who failed in my class came to see me to know what happened that they should fail in a subject that, although they wouldn’t admit, consider as unimportant.

This is the first time I failed a big number of students especially in the graduating class. I feel I have to do it. The students are becoming lazier and lazier. As a teacher, I believe it is my duty to prepare my students, not only for college, but also more importantly, in life.

From among the parents that saw me, there was this couple that caught my attention. They were the parents of on of the senior students. They were appealing fir a reconsideration as their son did not make the cut at the DLLs. Their main argument was that they wanted to put in their letter of appeal that their son has NEVER received a failing mark in any subject from elementary to high school. I told them I couldn’t do that, as it would be unfair to the others who are similarly situated. They argued further that I don’t seem to understand. I told them I did and that it was them who should try to understand my situation. They asked if I could just give their child another project to compensate for a passing grade. I told them we could only do that during the final grade.

It was at this point that they reversed their tactic by intimidating me. They began to tell me that they should have been informed before hand about their child’s situation in class but I never sent them any notice. I told them that this can be explained by several reasons. First, the communication for failing students (MTS or Midterm standing) is given before the mid-term exams. At this time, the project is still ongoing and I wouldn’t know who would pass or fail. (Why we don’t give the same before the finals is beyond me. An oversight?) Second, I keep my deadlines very flexible. I accept projects even at the very last minute. If I didn’t do this, more students will fail. Furthermore, I told them that their son is now 17 years old. Of all people, he should have known how he fairs in class (although I know their son is capable of lying) and should make the necessary adjustment if he really wanted to pass.

By this time, I realized that it was the mother who was the more aggressive of the two. They introduced themselves as professors of Law at the UP (she said this about three to four times) and that as a colleague, they are appealing to my heart for a reconsideration. (Almost teary-eyed) I stayed firm on my stand. I wanted very much to tell them that as professors, they should be the first one to understand my predicament.

When I saw that more and more parents were gathering up in my room to either get their children’s card or to clarify something, and realizing that our discussion was not going in circles (as always) I asked them if they can give me several days to think about reconsidering their appeal.

When will we ever learn the true value of education when there are parents, knowledgeable as they are, who continue to misunderstand the purpose of education? That spoon feeding the learner doesn’t work. To do so would only give them the idea that they can always have what they want, at their on time and pace. When will we ever grow?

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