General Etiquette > Life...in general

the "Clueless List" - teacher issue

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joraemi:
Abbreviated version:

Two of my children are in the same high school level biology class.  They are covering a complicated topic right now and the teacher has been documenting on the board which students are "Clueless" on the board. They are in the same class period together but are in different grades - my son is younger. OH - and the list gets erased at the end of the class period and a new one started each period.  ::)

ie:  DD's friend was called on to answer a question (she did not volunteer but was chosen).  She answered incorrectly (because she doesn't understand the concept) and the teacher put her name on the board under the heading "Clueless". This was in a class period that my children are not in. (Friend shared with DD because she was really upset about this!)

 In *my* children's class period, there was a similar discussion of some students being clueless and some knowing what was going on because this is a hard concept.  He then stated, "I'm going to show you the difference between someone who knows exactly what's going on and someone who is clueless."  He then proceeded to call on my DS and ask him a question, which he answered correctly, then called on DS's friend to answer another question which he missed, thus deeming him the "clueless" one.  DS was upset by this for obvious reasons.

I just don't even know who to call first - teacher, principal, guidance counselor - or all three?  I just thought this was horrid.  According to the children, the point of this is supposed to be to identify the kids who have the conept well in hand so that they can help those that do not, but this just seems like a degrading and humiliating process. >:(  My DS was one of the kids who "gets it" and he was horrified to be singled out in that manner, I can only imagine how the other kids feel that are having difficulty.

The general consensus among the students was that this was really mean.

Thoughts?  Help?

Oh - my question is - I can't even begin to formulate a polite, e-hell approved response.  Most of my thoughts have centered around asking the teacher if HE is on the clueless list!

ETA: forgot to add my etiquette question!

CakeEater:
I was a teacher, and I often read these posts ready to defend the teacher in question, but wow.

Go straight to the principal, and let him/her deal with it. With any luck, (s)he will be horrified and the issue will be sorted out.

Iris:
No. No. Nonononononono. Call everyone. Call them twice. Call them now. This is so far counter to best teaching practice that it could be used in an antimatter engine.

Okay, sensible answer. Call the principal. This is such deeply unacceptable teaching practice that I think you need to take this straight to the top. Use the words 'degrading' and 'humiliating' and also let him know that your DS, who 'gets it', was also made to feel uncomfortable. Honestly, the details you have typed out here are pretty much what you need to let him know.

I would also consider doing it via email in order to create a paper trail. 

Honestly, as a teacher, I can't even *believe* that someone in a westernised school system would think this was okay. It harks back to the days of dunce caps and caning for being slow to learn. If this teacher wants to designate students that can help others then they could call those students 'helpers' or 'experts' in that topic - though even that needs to be handled sensitively and I don't think this teacher would do that.

pearls n purls:
I would contact the principal or counselor.  This is a horrible method.

If the teacher wants to show who understands the concept, he should have a "clue-ful" or "science stars" list, not mock those who get a question wrong.  What a great way to discourage classroom participation.

gmatoy:
As a teacher, I am shocked at his approach! Do call the principal.

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