Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

September 5, 2013

Living with kids and their classroom behaviors

The statute of limitations has expired concerning the following tale, so I can finally tell it.

In October of my now 40-something year-old son Eric’s seventh-grade year, he informed me that he was probably going to get a D, maybe even an F, in English on his upcoming report card, and perhaps for the entire year.

“How’s that?” I asked.

“My teacher doesn’t like me, Dad,” he replied. He then launched into a litany of her many offences against him, including blaming him for things he didn’t do, targeting him for unwarranted criticism, covering his best work with negative comments in dread red ink, and mocking his answers in front of the entire class.

“You can’t pull wool over my eyes, Eric,” I said. “The truth is that you are making it difficult for her to do her job. You’re a troublemaker in her class. Maybe the other kids think you’re funny. She doesn’t, and neither do I. I have only one thing to tell you which is that if you don’t get at least a B in her class, you will spend every free moment of the next grading period in your room and you will go to bed every one of those nights at 7 p.m., lights out. End of conversation.”

Indeed, he managed to get a B from said Evil English Teacher. How he managed in less than five weeks to accomplish this feat is something I never looked into. I did not even talk to Miss Malevolence. She may not have been a very good teacher. I doubt that seriously; nonetheless, her competence wasn’t the issue. The issue was that I expected Eric, under any and all circumstances, to be a good student.

There are three instructional morals to this story, the first of which being that Eric solved his English problem because he believed me. In the absence of at least a B in English, he absolutely knew he would spend all of his free time in his room for nine weeks and go to bed, lights out, at seven. Eric knew that threats were not part of my parenting vocabulary. Can you say the same of your kids?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Smoking ordinance misguided As a subscriber to the printed edition of the Kokomo Tribune, and a non-smoker, I was very interested upon seeing a page one article in the Aug. 13 edition titled “City-wide ban on smoking revealed.” After reading the article, my interest was peaked

    August 22, 2014

  • Why government openness matters Failing to share information makes us weaker. It enfeebles congressional oversight, which is a cornerstone of representative democracy and which, when aggressively carried out by fully informed legislators, can strengthen policy-making. One of the fu

    August 22, 2014

  • Aug. 22: Letters to the Editor Rokita wrong on GMOsThe Aug. 13 Tribune article about Rokita’s “Town Hall Meeting” left out a key issue — Rokita’s co-sponsorship of HR4432. This bill would ban mandatory labeling of currently genetically modified foods and prohibit any state from en

    August 22, 2014

  • Use the law to save lives As college students head back to campus, it’s a good time to remind them of the Indiana Lifeline Law.When the General Assembly passed the law two years ago, the goal was to encourage minors to call for help by giving them immunity from being prosecut

    August 22, 2014

  • It's time to deal with crisis For five and a half years, the president has gone around Congress to ignore, defy and alter laws in a variety of areas, from Obamacare implementation to issuing excessive new labor and environmental rules to infringing on religious freedom. It is no

    August 21, 2014

  • Nation must be united On Aug. 9, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, by a police officer. Since that time, protestors and unrest have filled the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a town near St. Louis.A similar scenario

    August 21, 2014

  • John understands fight against mental illness Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide.Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a major league baseball pitch

    August 21, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor Former Kokomoan on FergusonI was a resident of Kokomo from 1992 to 2008. Because of the housing crisis, my wife and I relocated to the St. Louis, Missouri area, which is close to where I grew up. With the eyes of the world focused upon the St. Louis

    August 21, 2014

  • OPN - KT082014 - king What Fergusonsays about us Aug. 9 is a day that Americans lost sight of themselves. It is the day Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager of Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. That evening, and for all but o

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the editor Congrats on wind farm defeat Congratulations to the citizens of Kokomo and Howard County! Your officials have done you a great favor by stopping any further considerations for construction of industrial wind turbines in your area. Now, if the fede

    August 20, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll