Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Can you handle this?

There's something kind of appealingly straightforward about the objectification of problem students on The You Can Handle Them All Web Site. It's a behavioral index for teachers, and while I'll admit I feel a little unsettled when imagining my son's teacher running her eyes down the list looking for his handle ("Let's see... The Goldbrick ... The Gossip ... The Greedy ... The Griper ... The Habitual Absentee... The Hater ... The Hider ... ahh, The Hyperactive!"), I have to admit that I did exactly that. And you know, the advice was pretty darn good, very much along the lines of what I've passed his teachers in the past. The closest classification I could find for my daughter was "The Crier (Who Sheds Tears)" -- as opposed to "The Crier (Who Claims Foul)" -- and again, the advice to instructors is just as I would wish. How many times have I asked teachers not to interpret her crying as a negative, or be overprotective on account of it? According to "You Can Handle Them All," they're handling her wrong and I'm handling her right. So despite the somewhat name-calling organizational strategy of the site, I'd say it's a good tool for parents looking to advise teachers, as well as teachers looking for advice. And if nothing else, it's comforting to look at that long list and appreciate all the bad things your kid is not.

No comments: