|Myer Elementary School principal gets slimed by 3rd graders Wednesday|
Homework Blues said, in a comment to Pajama Day:
To add: Even more offensive are silly gimmicks the principal pledges to pull off if the kids read more. One local stunt had the principal lug her desk onto the roof where she spent the entire day.
Anonymous, lest you think I'm out to kill all fun too, what I hated about those ridiculous contests is each time the students read, they logged their reading logs onto a master graph. There was a goal and the principal promised to do something crazy if the kids met that goal.
No, I'm not out to ban fun. Hardly. What I didn't like about those condescending contents is that school keeps inventing new and ingenious ways to kill reading. Then, in lockstep motion, just as we predicted, the kids hate reading. Voila! Mission accomplished.
Now the school tears its hair out. The kids aren't reading! Oh, dear, we have NCLB, what shall we do?
I'll tell you what to do. Ban reading logs. Ban stupid assignments with dippy questions that cause children to groan in despair. Cultivate a love of reading. Then the principal won't have to die her hair green, climb a chimney or wade in the mud.
Reading is not a gimmick. It's a way of life. For some here, it's the only life!
Homework Blues, you said a mouthful. You're giving me flashbacks to the days when I used to watch the local news (haven't for many years.) Stupid principal tricks were a staple for "happy news" on the local broadcast.
Everything about this is wrong. As you point out, we're telling kids that reading is so unattractive that it has to be "motivated" by those in authority with all kinds of gimmicks and tricks.
Besides that, the assumption that it's fun for kids to see someone in authority humiliate themselves bothers me. Do we really want to promote this? Aren't we telling kids that of course they should enjoy making someone else uncomfortable? We're encouraging their worst instincts.
Why should we be surprised if kids don't respect the principal, after she's engaged in some ridiculous stunt? Kids know that they are at the mercy of the adults who control their lives, and it hardly builds their confidence to see the principal dye her hair a silly color, or spend a day on the roof, or whatever.
There's an element of narcissism in there too, as if kids' lives revolve around what the principal does. I don't see why the average kid would care what color the principal's hair is.
It's just so wrong-headed. Of course that shouldn't surprise me any more ...