Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Softies

After hearing about this Rhode Island high school football team forfeiting their game because the headmaster says the other team has much bigger players, I'm really starting to believe that we're raising a bunch of softies.

To be honest, I've been thinking this for quite a while now. More and more things are being changed as to not make kids feel badly. Not only do these things not make them feel badly, but a lot of these things do not hold them accountable for their actions. Some counties won't let teachers use red pens to grade homework. Some won't allow teachers to write the names of the children misbehaving on the board. Others won't allow honor roll lists and other lists which may exclude children (e.g. those who did/didn't make the school play) to be posted in a visible spot. There are many counties who have completely done away with the A+ (but left the B+, C+, D+) in addition to lowering the standards of the grading scale. There's even some school districts doing away with having a valedictorian, class rankings and weighted credits. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.

The problem I have with all of this is the fact that the schools are coddling children. They're not allowing them to experience real life. You don't always win. Sometimes you just don't make the cut. When you work hard, you get rewarded for that hard work. When you don't work hard, you don't get the same outcome as others who do work hard. That's just the way it is...or should be.

In my opinion, there needs to be a higher standard. There needs to be consequences for their actions. Children need to have levels of achievement. They need to fail sometimes. A valuable lesson is taught to children when they don't get their desired outcome. Not allowing children to even experience those lessons teaches them that they don't have to try and is a huge disservice.

Imagine if it's always been that way....would there be a Bill Gates? Oprah Winfrey? Albert Einstein? Jerry Rice? Blaise Pascal? P-Diddy? Or any achievers for that matter?

Deep Throat of the Day: Let the team play!

7 comments:

Andrea said...

YES!

I had this conversation with my (ex)in-laws a few years ago when I learned that my nephew received a trophy just for being on the T-ball team. All kids got trophies. Not just the winning teams. All kids.

I said that was setting kids up to be lazy and to not try. You can offer certificates or ribbons or levels of achievement...but there has to be incentive to work harder!

Durn.

~Kenny said...

What happened to putting up the good fight and rooting for the underdog. Can you imagine if We just gave up on Europe because Hitler's Panzers were superior, or what would the movie Rudy be like if he just said...well I'm too small and just dropped out of Notre Dame? This is thee worst message this coach could possibly send...like in the history of bad messages. In fact, if they are not going to play their games then why do they need a coach?!!!

Jim McKee said...

You said what I have been saying for YEARS. Good job.

Grant said...

I say we let the Rhode Island and other Yankee teams be a bunch of sissies in case they ever have to play a team in the South, while we continue to sell our kids sodas and greasy fried food in the cafeterias so they'll bulk up. Then we'll win Nationals for sure.

Hubman said...

I principal I agree with what you're saying, but I have to object to the example you use about the school up here.

One school's line averages over 300 lbs, with 5 kids committed to D1 schools. The other school, much much less. It's not a fair fight and in a sport such as football, the risk of injury is already there, I can't object to what the administrators did in this case.

Kira said...

Aw, I was the very college instructor who taught the kids that, "although the schools told you previously that the sun rose and shined out of your ass, it's not like that anymore. Work hard or fail. Or drop the damn class." Yup ;) My best moment ever was when I told a class that I knew they needed extra help, so they needed to come and see me. Only two from that class did. Then two more just did well because they were good writers/understood English. And the rest thought that the sun rose and shined out of their ass so they'd be ok. Of course they failed as a result. I went to class, told them I graded their papers, and then they asked me what I thought of them. Mistake. I threw the papers on the ground and stomped up and down on them :) I think that was the moment I became legend at that school...but hell, those papers were HORRIFIC! We can't coddle because it prevents true achievement. I want my children's teachers to tell me when they are not providing the effort they should because my role as a parent is to encourage my child to be the best she or he can be. It's NOT to hand them the world on a silver platter, fill their ego, and let them think they are number one!

April said...

Hubman: I understand that there's a risk of injury. I even understand that some of the players are bigger and have commitments to play for D1 colleges. But I feel that there's a risk of injury during any football game regardless of the size of the opponents. I also feel that teams shouldn't give up just because the other team is bigger and better. I just don't believe that's a good message to be sending to the kids. So, I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree. ;-)

Kira: I wish you had a video of you jumping up and down on those papers. I also wish more teachers were like you.