Friday, March 22, 2013

Everybody Gets a Pony - Honors Ceremony Cancelled to Celebrate Mediocrity

Ipswich Middle School in Massachusetts has decided in their infinite wisdom that honors ceremonies are just too harmful to the kids who didn't make the cut.  I mean feelings being important as they are these days, it all makes sense right?  After all, why would we want children who didn't do their homework on time, didn't study for their tests, or not pay attention in class to feel badly right?  That just isn't "fair".  Fairness being the new buzz word of late and all, so I guess it has to filter down to our students.

The statement reads in part:
“The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients’ families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade point average,”
I fully understand that some children, no matter how hard they work, will not make the cut.  This can happen for a variety of reasons, especially when you start introducing standardized multiple choice tests into the equation.  I am a person who doesn't do well on multiple choice tests.  In college I explained this to my professors and most allowed me to answer questions that I didn't quite comprehend in a written format.  So I get it.

What I don't get is that why are we asking those that did work hard and were able to maintain their GPA's to suffer?  What we are actually telling these children is that a strangers feelings are more important than your hard work.  This isn't how the real world works.  In the real world you are judged based on your own performance.  Does this principal believe that when these children get out into a working environment that they won't be viewed based on their own performance?  Look, it is very possible in a work environment that someone tries and works hard, but is just unable to perform the necessary tasks that the job requires, and will eventually lose that job.  What this man is doing is setting up unrealistic expectations of what faces these children as they grow into mature adults.  The world isn't fair.  Bad things happen to good people.  Good things happen to bad people.  That is life.  What you do is keep your own sense of integrity and morality, and work as hard as you can.  Some of the best things that come in life are the things that happen to you after you fail at something.  Those failures and how you handle them become the very essence of the person that you are.  This principal is cheating these kids of that experience at a young age.  That of course makes it harder for them to learn that lesson as they grow older.

Parents in this school must stand up to this man and demand that their children be taught the hard lessons in life.  You will not always get your way, you will not always succeed the first time at everything you try.  The rewards that come in life normally come to those who work hardest for them.  It is about time that we, as a society, stop giving these children the idea that everyone gets a pony simply because they exist.

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