Dear Teachers: how do you like them apples?

HAHAHAHAHA! Okay, If you don’t want to follow the link, the upshot is that there’s a website (G) where students can grade their teachers! Okay, kids can sometimes lack perspective, but overall I think it’s a great idea. The teachers, not so much. A German teacher’s union has gone to court to shut down the site. “We need an impartial dialog between students and teacher,” says a union spokesman, which is utter, utter bullshit. This is an impartial dialog. What they want is monologue – the teachers grade the students, and the students shut the hell up – not a taste of their own medicine. I’ve been here six years, and I know Germans have many fine qualities, but accountability is not among them.

Honestly, so far I have been thoroughly impressed with the kids’ teachers, with one or two exceptions. They’re good people, and many, perhaps even most, would be down with the idea of useful feedback. But it only takes one huffy little pissant to screw things up, and Germany has those in abundance. Most expats have at least one (true) story about the neighbor who went through their trash and then called the police because she found uncomposted grass clippings, or some such. I was sure I blogged mine, but I can’t find it now. In a nutshell, Barbara was ticked because my shrubberies were hanging over the fence and shedding on the sidewalk, so she groused about it to Dagmar who mentioned it to Klaudia who whispered it over the fence to Mrs Next Door, who actually had the cojones to tell me about it so I could actually do something to solve the “problem.” Mrs Next Door is, of course, not German.

But I digress. Kudos to the superior court for ruling that kids have rights too. And to the teachers’ union: seriously? That’s what you’re spending your time (and our tax money) on? Because I can think of several more important things you need to address.

  • You could find some English teachers who actually speak English.
  • Or some informatics teachers who know basic HTML at a minimum. (Hint: writing something in Word and then clicking Save As Web Page? No. Just no.)
  • Get some help on dealing with special needs students in regular classes. No, I mean beyond just recommending that we send them to a different school.
  • Maybe find some substitute teachers, so that when one of you can’t be bothered to show up for work (seriously, at least once a week last year at Ignatz’s school), they don’t have to cancel the class altogether
  • Finish up that construction that’s in its third year (at least), so you can get those classes out of the metal container-things.
  • Stop treating the kids like pack mules. They’re carrying half their body weight in books every day. There is no justification for this.

See? And that’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure, given a few minutes, that I could come up with more.

Song du jour of the day: Fr. Schmidt, by die Schröders

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