Monday, June 2, 2014

Consequences

I was talking to a fellow counselor about how the school policy dictates that all kids at elementary/primary level be promoted, irrespective of their performance. Often, the deadline for an assignment/homework to be turned in is extended for a few kids who aren't able to submit it.

While I agree with the school's good intention of giving students a second chance, I am not sure, this is the right way to do it. By extending a deadline for a few students, we are being unfair to a majority of the kids who were organised enough to get their work done on time. More importantly, we are teaching the students who have been given another chance that life will give them second chances to make good on their mistakes. Often, as we all know, this is seldom true in real life. Your boss is not going to pat you on the back and say, " Its alright", for missing the last date for tender submission.

Far more worse, is promoting a child who clearly does not fulfill the criteria to move to the next grade. This child is going to grow up into an adult feeling entitled to a promotion or pay hike, just for showing up at work, everyday. Careful planning and organization at work and home, diligence, perseverance and sheer hard work are the values, students should learn at school. An automatic promotion to the next grade can make all of the above values redundant in the student's life.

And what happens, when the promoted student is incapable of understanding the advanced syllabus, of the next grade? Will he work hard at something that he has difficulty grasping? Inability to perform or even understand peer level academic curriculum can have devastating effects on his self esteem. So how is this policy of indiscriminate promotion to the next grade helping?

I am 100% on board, for applying different criteria of assessment for differently abled students but a complete disregard for the assessment process or overt guidelines, is way too much mollycoddling for my comfort.

As teachers and parents it is our job to prepare the children for the tough road ahead. We would be utterly failing in our duty, if we are focused on making the path easier on them. The message we need to send to our children is that if you follow the guidelines and work hard to achieve your goals, success will be yours but if you chose to ignore hard work, there are repercussions to it.

Every behavior has a consequence and its up to us to guide our children towards the right habits and behaviors.

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