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Yet another innovative defiance of common sense

Education Honor Rolls Underachiever Embarrassment

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#61 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 02:43 PM

See how we did it is you play on a court about the size of full size basketball court.  The middle 1/4 of the court was setup with two giant mats.  Stood on edge these suckers were about 10 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 5 feet tall.  So you had from the center of the court two lines about 20 feet or so apart.  The first area on one side of the line is terrain of team one and the other area is on the other side of the line is for team twos members only.   Now the middle area between the lines is where it gets interesting; both teams could go into that area.  So you could easily get hit in the back when you run past the mats by someone hiding there or have someone circle behind the mats and wallop your back.  Meanwhile people who were hit by the balls would line the sides of the court and the back of it for your teamís side.  They could toss balls back into play to their still playing team members but they could throw into the otherís teams area or the no mans land in the center.    

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JonĒ ^If you catch the ball, you can then throw it back at the other team. If you try to catch and it bounces off your hand, you're out.

See how we did it was if a ball is caught the person throwing it is out and one of your own team members gets to come back in.  So everyone was throwing those balls as fast as they could to avoid them getting caught.  Oh you could also use a ball that you were holding to deflect balls tossed at you as long as you didnít drop it when it was hit.  

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Jon: In elementary school, they used foursquare balls. They were rubber, so they didn't hurt when they hit.

We did the same in elementary school or even nerf balls earlier on.  Then we had the rubber kickballs in Junior High up.  The nasty addition was these rubber balls that they called zingers IIRC.  They were only slightly larger than a softball but very spongy with just enough air in them bounce.  You could really get your hands around them to throw them.  Some of the guys could throw them at about 45 to 50+ mph and they would sting so bad that they raises welts.  

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Jon: In junior high and high school? Volleyballs or basketballs. Why? So we were motivated to get out of the way.

Gym teachers are fun guys but I swear they are sadists or most of them are.  Ours added 2 tackles dummies to dodge ball games that could be used as riot shields. Of course to counter that he added a huge rubber ball youíd lose for strength training.  The thing was about 3 feet across, really bouncy, and weighed maybe 10 lbs.  If you spike this thing it was really moving.  Then he invented low net volleyball with the net set at waist high and you played with that ball....  Oww!
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#62 Norville

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 08:19 PM

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Norville, I've never heard it so aptly put. Thank you.

Bless you for thinking so. :wideeyed:

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Both Chaddee and i were archtypical misfits at school, were 'problem students' , we asked too many questions (and most likely contributed to at least two incompetent teachers getting fired) detested team sports and frankly 'didn't fit in'

I didn't seek out trouble, but trouble tended to find me anyway. I'm not sure I asked too many questions, but to this day, I'm far too stubborn and intent on thinking for myself. (What a surprise.) I detested team sports, and never "fit in" in any sense, anywhere.

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i will never be a team player, because i absolutely abhor the idea of someone else getting credit for my work, or unjustly taking the blame for my screwup

Yeah. I hate having work that I didn't get to finish that day (because of constant interruptions) being given to someone else to finish.

I had a boss for a few months last year who was an absolute ass, and he accused me of not being a team player because I never accepted extra hours. When I demanded that he give me examples (ooh, troublemaker!), he could only give me one example, and infuriatingly, it was a day when I couldn't accept extra hours because I was exhausted, I'd thrown up a lot that morning and come in to work anyway, but wasn't certain I could stay on my feet much longer, and I even *told* people that, but they didn't notice that I told them and got me in trouble. (Excuse that long sentence.) Well, if that's teamwork in the workplace -- ignoring what people say and reporting them because you allegedly said nothing about it -- then keep it away from me. :barf:

I've also discovered that I simply can't automatically give respect to people for whom I feel nothing but contempt, such as the boss mentioned above. He hated me for it, of course. He didn't last that long, though, and I've outlasted him. ;)
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#63 Nikcara

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 10:17 PM

You know....the only team sport I ever liked was water polo and that was more cause...well....when playing sports I have a bit of a violent streak and water polo is quite accomidating to that.  My coach would pretty much just have me keep a specific player on the other team covered (normally the other team's most violent player, so we'd effectivly neutralize each other) and well....the refs always hated me and I think I creeped out my teammates a little.  I still wasn't "part of the team"

Every other team sport I've played generally ended badly.  Mostly once someone told me that I wasn't a team player some some asinine reason or another.  

Sports were the most ego-damaging part of school for me, and I went to a highschool that was about as academically competitive as you can get

The most recent time I got called 'not a team player' was when I was working in a retail store, it was around 1am and we were still sorting the various articles of clothing, I had to wake up at around 7am the next day for my other job and I said something along the lines of 'I hope we get this done soon, I want to sleep tonight'
I then immediatly got called to the back by my manager, told I wasn't a team player and that I was done for the night because of it.  She then proceded to not give me any hours to work for the next 2 weeks.  As far as I care, that woman needs a life.
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#64 Norville

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 12:13 PM

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The most recent time I got called 'not a team player' was when I was working in a retail store, it was around 1am and we were still sorting the various articles of clothing, I had to wake up at around 7am the next day for my other job and I said something along the lines of 'I hope we get this done soon, I want to sleep tonight'
I then immediatly got called to the back by my manager, told I wasn't a team player and that I was done for the night because of it. She then proceded to not give me any hours to work for the next 2 weeks. As far as I care, that woman needs a life.

Yeah, the attitude in retail is that if you have a life outside of the store, and require sleep to function, you're not a team player. :Oo:
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
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Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#65 AnneZo

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 06:37 PM

Cyncie, on Jan 29 2004, 09:11 AM, said:

This whole discussion assumes, though, that all kids can achieve within the existing system if they're just properly motivated to do so. That's just not true. Some kids don't fit the system, and the system can't accommodate them. Kids with learning disabilities, or physical disabilities are not "underachievers" by choice, but they often get left behind when schools insist on rigid adherence to traditional means of evaluating progress.  No matter how hard they work, they can't perform "honor roll" quality unless the system will bend enough to let them.

Cyn

I don't want to be impolite, but I'm assuming that unless the school crams all of the students into an auditorium, has the "honor roll" kids come to the front, and then has the principal tell the school that the "honor roll" kids are superior and that everyone else just failed to try hard enough...well, I'm assuming that unless that happens, the only "pressure" a student might be under to hit the "honor roll" will be from their family and if a developmentally disabled student's family pressures them because they're not on the "honor roll" that doesn't mean "honor rolls" are bad.

It might mean the family needs some help, but it isn't going to do anyone any good to invalidate the achievements of the students who do make the honor roll.

It would seem that a lot of us here weren't really the athletic type in school.  Should we, because of that, eliminate the sports teams because selecting some students for the teams tells the others they're not trying hard enough?  Should we eliminate "pep rallies" where such teams are celebrated by the other students? Should we ban "cheering" at any games such a team does play, for fear of making the students not on the field/floor feel like less?  That's silly, isn't it?  It's PC-ism run amok.

And it's nice to think we could all be self-motivated, but that's not going to happen.  For whatever reason, the majority of people are not self-motivated, they're motivated by the expectations and esteem (we hope) of others.

It could be a world-wide failure on the part of our species to properly develop ourselves and our young or it could be a biological thing that keeps us looking to each other for validation and helps nurture the "clan" bond and makes us want to live in proximity to each other, I'm no expert either way, but that's the way it is.  You can teach someone to pay more attention to their own wants and expectations, but you can't "train out" the urge to please others, or to measure up to the standards of others.

This thread has really made me think.  Education, good education for all kids is a pet passion of mine, but at the same time I dislike the trend toward "lowest common denominator" expectations.

I guess, although it's not PC to say so, I don't want the achievements of the "average" child neglected in favor of honoring the achievements of those who have different abilities. Yes, we need to do more to support and encourage the students for whom "the system" doesn't work, but not at the expense of the students who either fit inside the system or have coping mechanisms that allow them to survive there.

#66 Beldame

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 07:21 PM

I don't know about 'honor rolls' as we don't have them in the UK but I do think that nothing motivates as well as recognition of achievement. It worked when I was 11 and got a poem in the school magazine and it works now when my boss notices what I've done.
However I do think it is important to level the playing field and not always reward only the best and brightest children. Whenever a child puts in an extra effort and produces work above their usual standard they should get the recognition.
I wasn't althletic either but I have no problem with team sports -as long as I don't have to do them. Many years after the event I still think it was cruel to force me to compete in a sports day when I knew that failure would be the inevitable result. We need to learn how to win and loose gracefully but we also need some hope and some pleasure in the competition.
(The only thing I learned from sports lessons was the best place to stand on a rounders field to avoid all contact with the ball!)
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#67 Cyncie

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 09:25 PM

AnneZo, on Feb 6 2004, 11:35 PM, said:

Cyncie, on Jan 29 2004, 09:11 AM, said:

This whole discussion assumes, though, that all kids can achieve within the existing system if they're just properly motivated to do so. That's just not true. Some kids don't fit the system, and the system can't accommodate them. Kids with learning disabilities, or physical disabilities are not "underachievers" by choice, but they often get left behind when schools insist on rigid adherence to traditional means of evaluating progress.† No matter how hard they work, they can't perform "honor roll" quality unless the system will bend enough to let them.

Cyn

I don't want to be impolite, but I'm assuming that unless the school crams all of the students into an auditorium, has the "honor roll" kids come to the front, and then has the principal tell the school that the "honor roll" kids are superior and that everyone else just failed to try hard enough...well, I'm assuming that unless that happens, the only "pressure" a student might be under to hit the "honor roll" will be from their family and if a developmentally disabled student's family pressures them because they're not on the "honor roll" that doesn't mean "honor rolls" are bad.

I never advocated elimination of the honor roll. I realize and agree that the school in question was quite probably being overly PC.  I did want to point out, however, that the honor roll, by itself, may have some down side.

The honor roll tends to reward a very particular set of abilities : children who are bright, who have good study and test taking skills and may be college bound. There's nothing wrong with that. For those kids who have those skills, its a great motivator to make the list.

But, a lot of children don't fit that mold, and can't be forced into it by just telling them "try harder".(This was in response to the number of posters who were saying "That's stupid. Instead of getting rid of the honor roll, the other kids should just try harder"). It's just not always that simple. Some kids have more to overcome, and some kids just aren't honor roll material.

But, that doesn't mean that they can't accomplish anything or that they won't succeed at something in life. I just feel that those children also need to be encouraged and recognized for their unique abilities. Not instead of the honor roll, but along with it.I only used children with disabilities as an example because that's where my greatest experience is. And I don't want to see the standards lowered. I want schools to challenge all children. But, children aren't created with cookie cutters, and that variety should be considered in structuring the learning environment.

As for your hypothetical situation, honor roll awards are usually publicly posted, and kids will naturally make comparisons whenever there's anything to compare. But, when there is the recognition of a variety of skills, and a variety of ways to succeed, then the honor roll, or sports, or whatever, isn't the only means to a positive school experience.

The schools wield great power to build a child's future, or destroy it. I just want to see all children succeed at their highest possible potential.

Edit: typo

Edited by Cyncie, 06 February 2004 - 09:31 PM.

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#68 Rhys

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 10:59 PM

I was often on, or close to the honour roll.  I probably should have been there every time, but I was often a little bored, and didn't apply myself very well.  The honour roll did give me something to aim for.

I was never very athletic, but I did play minor hockey and softball every year.  I enjoyed the "team atmosphere", and the idea that just going out there and doing my best, even if I wasn't the best player, could contribute to the team winning.

I guess one of my best accomplishments on the athletic side of things was at the school track & field meet in grade 8.  Everyone had to do a certain number of events, and almost everyone signed up for the 100m sprint, because it required the least amount of serious effort (as opposed to, say, the 1500m).  There were lots of timed heats, then the final.  I came second in my heat, by a fair bit, but the guy that beat me was one of the faster runners.  When the phys ed teacher was announcing the names for the final, he was kind of surprised to find me on the list.  (Honestly, so was I!).  I actually came 4th in the final.

The point of this, and why it's relevant to the discussion, is that while I didn't do very well at athletics, the competition was good for me - something like 20 years later, I still remember that with some pride.  If they'd taken the kind of philosophy that's being espoused here, it would be the equivalent of running each person's 100m individually, and never posting the times.  Everyone might have run the same times, and I might have finished 4th, but I never would have known, and would have assumed that I'd finished somewhere near the bottom of the pack.  For students that don't do well at academics, taking out the honour roll and other academic rewards might deprive them of that one time they could make the honour roll, or get that one "A", or place highly in the school math contest, or some other single achievement that they might remember with pride for the rest of their life.

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