When Did Average Become Below Average?


Not Sad, But True.Question:  In your school or community, how many students made the Honor Roll?

Answer:  Most of them (no, I’m not a psychic… but I did play one on TV).

If you don’t believe me (and thank you for calling me a liar), the next time it’s in your local paper count the number of students listed.

Then compare it to the number enrolled.

You will discover what many educators already know.  The majority of students do VERY well.

At least with their grades.

We are raising a generation of students who believe success is the only option.

The Honor Roll is way different from students doing well on mandated testing. 

Or the ACT or SAT.

Turns out when Honor Roll students take these tests, some do great… some do “not as” great (which is okay, or at least it should be okay).

What is it about our society that we’ve come to believe every student must be successful?

I always thought you learned more from failure than from success.  More from losing than winning (and I speak as someone who has lost a lot).

Why aren’t C’s okay?

When did average become disappointing?

Did the Honor Roll expand around the same time we started giving out participation trophies?

Does every kid have to be recognized as being good at everything?

Shouldn’t the majority of students in any class be average?

Shouldn’t half get C’s and above and the other half C’s and below?

Isn’t that okay?

I wonder if we are doing more harm than good when we promote false expectations in students (and parents… not that there are any parents with unrealistic expectations… I’m just throwing it out there).

When report cards go home, shouldn’t parents be more concerned about how much their child has learned rather than what grade they’ve received?

Wouldn’t C’s be great if the student was 100 times smarter at the end of school  year?

As opposed to receiving all A’s and B’s and only being 10 times smarter?

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The Gift.


I Have My Own Cup.  Yet, I Don’t Drink Coffee.I believe that everyone has a gift.

Sometimes these gifts are discovered at a young age, while others seem to stumble upon individuals later in life.

In a perfect world the gift you’ve been given has the ability to also make you money… like underwater welding, yodeling, or maybe even the ability to mime.

I have none of these. Mine is far more pathetic (yes, more pathetic than a mime… if that is possible).

But I believe it is a gift none the less.

At a young age, I used to watch people and try to guess what they did for a living.

Sure, it was a sad and lonely childhood, but it is the only one I had.

As I recall the easiest people to recognize were teachers. Why? Because they have a aura.

When teachers are in public, there are certain tell-tale signs that give them away.

Their tired, haggard look is always easy to spot, especially at the end of a semester.

A gleeful, upbeat smile is a dead giveaway as summer vacation approaches.

And there are other signs such as the coach who wears shorts when it is 27 degrees outside or the elementary teacher who has a collection of 8,000 sweaters with various apple designs on them.

Teachers look like teachers. You don’t have to be an expert to recognize this. You just have to be in the same room with them for 13 straight years (if all goes well and there isn’t some sort of “incident” that slows you down).

If you are lucky enough to grow up and work in a school, you may gain another skill/gift that I like to call Teacher Profiling.

This is an ability that can only be mastered after spending the 13 years of a K-12 education and another 4-7 years of college (give or take 1 to 3 years… all of which depends on your commitment level, parental funding, student loans, and total number parties attended).

After my extensive schooling and 15 years of work experience, I believe that I have mastered this second gift (I’m still looking for a gift that pays the bills).

What is Teacher Profiling? Excellent question. I am glad you asked because if you didn’t this blog would have come to an awkward and premature end.

This gift of Teacher Profiling means I can walk into any school and identify what every staff member teaches just by looking at them.

How do I do this? It is quite simple if you know what you are looking for.

PE teachers look like PE teachers.

English teachers look like English teachers.

Business teachers look like Business teachers.

Elementary teachers look like Elementary teachers.

Shop teachers look like Shop teachers.

And Administrators look overpaid (I thought I would say this before someone else did).

How do I know what they look like? It’s easy, they just do. Plus they often sit together (seldom do they go outside their species and intermingle).

I am supremely confident that I can walk into any school in the country and correctly match 80% of the teachers with their subject areas (I would say 100%, but Math and Science teachers get a little fuzzy for me).

What good is this gift of Teacher Profiling?

Honestly, it has no value whatsoever. I wish I had been born with the ability to make balloon animals. Now, that is a cool gift.

Teacher Profiling is in no way useful, beneficial, or good for society.

But, it does help me pass the time at workshops.

If you are one of the lucky few who share this gift… remember, it should only be used for good and not evil.

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.