Failing grades can scar children for life

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to an article on grading practices at Franklin High School (“Board nixes grading practice,” Wednesday, Oct. 12).

After a career as a teacher/instructor in public education and with the federal government, my experiences have led me to understand that it is a teacher’s job to teach the student, not to destroy him. Grades should not be used as a disciplinary tool. We need to understand that a grade given to a student in a particular grading period may be detrimental to his passing, regardless of how well he does in the other grading periods. This can have an emotional effect and a psychological effect that damage that child for life. As educators, is that what we want? I don’t think so.

Your job as educators is to teach the students regardless of the challenges you face. This is not always easy but rewarding. Children are just children. As individuals, they are different. A lot of factors feed into these differences, thus making them behave and perform differently. Regardless of how different they are, it is the school system’s responsibility to educate all of them.

So you need to be careful that you don’t set the less-motivated children up for failure. An “F” is an “F,” regardless of the numerical value attached to it.

I think a student needs to be given a chance to recuperate from a troubling grading period. Remember, it is the teacher’s job to teach the student, not to fail him. As educators, you need to realize that student failure reflects negatively on the teacher and the system regardless of the effort put forth.

Clyde Johnson