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Our Class Rules

Like many parents, last week I was able to attend the opening meetings at our childrens’ school which included a brief “ra ra” assembly with the Principal and then we go to the classrooms to meet the teachers and listen to their shpiel on how they will educate our kids and how lucky they are to have our kids and so on. I didn’t register much of it – after the first bit of ra ra on how our school fares on standardized tests (I don’t care) and more ra ra on the new goodies bought in each classroom like smart boards (I don’t care), we finally got to something I DO care very much about. The Class Rules. Here is why I send my kids where they go now:

3rd Grade Class Rules

  1. Treat others as you would wish to be treated
  2. Respect others
  3. Be responsible for yourself
  4. Be kind
  5. Be honest
  6. Be fair

In any event, I think it is in 3rd grade that the actual indoctrination of children begins. In their “social studies” unit they are learning all about communities this year, I’ll share tidbits with you as it comes in. And the science done by third graders is a mix of life science and earth science – but with very little actual physical science (a shortcoming of all science education in my view is that this is not done early or often or deeply enough) and a nice big chunky section on climate. I don’t remember having climate taught to me in third grade. Or fourth. Or really much, ever. For fun, I am going to ask my child to write a paper for her science project comparing all of the deaths worldwide due to easily preventable causes like infectious diseases caused by poverty as compared to all of the deaths due to climate, and we will be generous and assume any death caused in anything remotely weather related can be attributed entire to the burning of fossil fuels.

Finally, our school does not do normal grading like when I was in school. I distinctly remember getting letter grades (A, B, C, D, and F) as early as first grade. Now, even in third grade, we get “Beyond Mastery” or “Mastery” or “Developing Mastery” or “Not Meeting Standards.”

2 Responses to “Our Class Rules”

  1. Doug M says:

    I didn’t get A,B,C,D,F until 6th grade.
    k-5 were “Excellent, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory” And there were dozens of atributes scored on this scale. e.g. listens in class, follows directions, keeps a neat cubby.

  2. Harry says:

    I like “mastery”. Just think about that concept, whether it means learning your times tables or learning how to read when you are a third-grader, especially if your teacher wants to give mastery grades to children so they will not have to confront parents who think their tattooed children have failed to learn their times tables. As the Dewey folks say, teach the child, not the subject, and elevate the child’s self-esteem.

    Professor Wintercow is most wise in sending his calves to Catholic schools, which though far from perfect do less BS. As calves, they will break out through the corrall, but they will know better than to drink from municipal water.

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