As I was checking out some funny stories, I came across one that stood out. The article entitled, “Awkward Family Photos: 12 Detention Slips Only A Millennial Kid Could Get,” included several examples involving students who had reportedly “misbehaved” and the detention slips that were in turn produced by the concerned teachers. At first glance, I agreed that the student behavior was in line with the times and, in my view, rather harmless. However, one story caught my attention.
The case in question involved a student who was given a detention for “improper usage of a computer.” As outlined in the note, having finished his classwork early, the student proceeded to take a laptop computer and began looking at pictures of “pugs.” As a result, the child ended up spending the lunch hour in detention.
Some readers might say that since he didn’t ask permission to use the computer, the teacher was justified in giving him detention. Others would say that the child should actually have been praised for demonstrating initiative. In essence, rather than being disruptive in any way, having completed the required tasks, he occupied his time by looking at totally inoffensive pictures of dogs. In addition, we might question the teacher’s seemingly lack of direction and attention, failing to delineate the limits within which the students could function if they finished their work early. Last but not least, how did the teacher fail to see the student take the computer? Was she sleeping? Did she fail to ensure appropriate supervision while she left the class?
My belief is that the teacher felt guilty for having failed to provide suitable limits and attention, in turn taking it out on the student by blaming him for her failure. I will add that the entire situation provides us with a good example of bad teaching. No wonder why today’s kids do not strive to excel or do anything over and above what is required or asked of them! What do you think? Is this so far off the mark?
- B. J. T. Pepin