Have you heard about the Arizona mother who is outraged that her 8 year old daughter received a “Catastrophe Award” from her teacher? The award was given to the child by her teacher because she had the most excuses for missed homework.
Where do I begin with this story and why it bothers me so much?
Let’s start with the award. I think the award was a real passive aggressive move on the teacher’s part and I’m never a fan of that. Why didn’t the teacher call the mother during the year and inform her that the child was missing homework assignments? Why did that news have to come home on an award? It seems strange to me that the teacher never called home to say there was a problem.
And why do schools insist on giving everyone an award at the end of the year? I read a lot of teacher’s blogs and this is a common topic I see cropping up this time of year. They are struggling to make up unique awards for kids. Everyone can’t have “Nicest Smile” so teachers have to come up with some ingenious ideas like “Most Improved Singer.” Personally, I think the “Catastrophe Award” is hilarious, but I have a sick sense of humor and I’m not the parent of a child receiving the award. If the schools did away with awards for the masses, this problem never would have occurred.
I’m definitely not impressed with the mother. Who goes on national television and tells the country how “humiliated” her daughter was by this award? Yeah, because going on national television to talk about it isn’t humiliating. I realize she called the principal and he told her it was a “joke” and she didn’t find that to be an acceptable answer, but was calling the media a good solution? I don’t think so.
I know what I would do. I would sit my daughter down and say, “Why would your teacher give you this award? What’s going on at school?” Nope. Not this mom. She calls the principal and when he tells her it’s a “joke” she doesn’t like that answer so she goes to the media to demand an apology. Meanwhile, not once does she offer an explanation for her actions or her daughter’s, instead she is made out to be a victim.
Is the girl a victim? I can’t say for sure. I can say that we’re becoming more and more sensitive as a society and so many people claim to feel victimized when really they’re just being called out on their bad behavior. Let’s face it, the girl missed a lot of homework assignments and had outrageous excuses. The teacher poked fun at her. Her mother flipped out. What is there to flip out about? The girl messed up and her teacher called her out on it. She’s not a victim, she’s a slacker and someday when she has a job it won’t be a “Catastrophe Award” she gets, it will be a “pink slip” so her mother isn’t doing her any favors protecting her.
What would you do if your kid brought home a “Catastrophe Award”?
Be sure to read my daily rants at People I Want to Punch in the Throat where you’re sure to laugh and/or might be offended (it’s where you can find my R-rated rants).
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Image: Unique Teaching Resources