Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The hard facts of life

My kids took a test on Friday. It wasn't a hard test, just thirty questions on matter and measurement, and they had a study guide (that basically gave them all the answers) for a week before the test.

Their scores were beyond awful.

Mrs. Eagles' kids were awful as well so we decided to put a little fear into them (down here this is called a "Come to Jesus Meeting") today, by putting up a graph from this past June that appeared in USA Today. The graph shows how much the average salary is for different levels of education. For example, no high school diploma is about $18,000 a year, a high school diploma is $27,000, a bachelor's degree is $51,000 and an advanced degree is something like $124,000. I made the kids copy this into their notes, and it's going to be a permanent part of their folders this year. Then we had a little discussion about how they needed to get off their rears and start working towards that high school diploma or they're going to be living with mom and dad and riding a bike for the rest of their lives because they wouldn't be able to afford anything else.

They were not happy.

And of course I always get the yahoo who says that "I'm going to play in the NFL," whereupon I launch into my "What's Your Plan B" story. Basically this is where I ask them what are they going to do when they step off the curb and a drunk driver hits them and they lose a leg? Or what are they going to do when they blow their knee out their senior year in high school? And how on earth are they going to play college ball so they can get drafted into the NFL, if they don't pass seventh grade????!!!! They usually look at me with that "I never thought of that" look.

Then I made them retake the test again, open book, and I'm going to average the scores.

And told them that this will never, ever, happen again. That they better get with the program and that means doing a little bit of work and putting forth a little bit of effort.

Nothing like a hard dose of life to make a seventh grader squirm.

1 comment:

Penguin Pilot said...

I like your plan of attack on your students. It amazes me that college students don't seem to put in much effort either sometimes. And in college THEY'RE PAYING FOR IT (or their parents are at least). And being a flight instructor it just amazes me these kids are not only paying tuition to go to the school but they're also paying flight costs of up to 230 an hour and still don't give a care. Its like a generation of kids who are used to having stuff handed to them so when you make them work for it, they get confused. I tell them "look you can either learn it by yourself for free, or you can learn it with me for 48 dollars an hour."