Monday, June 14, 2010

Justice versus Mercy

Kids come to school differently privileged, and I am not talking money.

Some lucky ones have parents or guardians that have helped them master concepts like boundaries and deadlines, timeliness and responsibility. Some aren't so lucky.

This is the last week before high school and their final grades determine so much. "Which courses will I be able to take next year?" "Will I be able to attend the promotion ceremony?" "Will I have to go to summer school?" "Will I be held back?" "Will I make the grades for football?"

We teachers and administrators pretzel ourselves to help them make smart choices, help them toe (or is it tow?) the line, help them become the best they can be. Sometimes this means granting mercy ("Ok, you can turn in that assignment from February") and sometimes this means showing the steely eye and the squared jaw ("I'm sorry, there are no retakes of tests").

I wish I had an "Eggdicator" to let me know which to apply to whom.

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