Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Signs That I'm Doing My Job Right

If your a conservative minded person like myself, chances are you've realized at some point in time that educators are typically liberals.  I can recall as far back as fourth grade being down graded on my papers about conservative politicians.  Did that make me change gears and write glowing reports about FDR or JFK?  No.  Instead, I decided to call the teachers on their liberal prejudices and point out precisely why they were wrong. I must have been an insufferable student for the super liberal teachers.

Madeline came home today with a social studies assignment.  She has to pick a President and write an essay about him.  She knew right off the bat that Obama was off the table.  So she started to look at the list of presidents I had pulled up on the White House website.  She was mildly interested in Abe Lincoln, another President who shares our last name, Ronald Reagan (probably because I love Ron) and George W. Bush.  I pushed for Nixon because I had written several papers on him in high school and college (and still have them).  Then I tried to sell Reagan telling her that he liked jelly beans, got shot and lived (that makes him super hero cool, right) and was one of my favorite presidents.  My selling points on Nixon and Reagan didn't succeed.  Then I pointed out John Adams and tried to sell her on a founding father.  No dice.  Taking the know-it-all angle (I'm a know-it-all just in case you didn't know) I tried to sell her on George Washington telling her we could overturn all the lies they teach the kids about him in school.  No, he never chopped down a cherry tree and said "I cannot tell a lie."  She decided instead that she wanted to write about W.   While he wouldn't have been my pick, I'm not going to stand in her way. I'm just thrilled she happily selected a Republican.

I thought about emailing her teacher and asking if I should expect a lower grade on her paper since it's going to be about a Republican, but I'll be nice and wait for the grade.  It will certainly go into the school as an A paper (I have the grading rubric).  It will be impossible to keep this Republican mom with a degree in political science away from such an appealing assignment.  I shall do my best to not take over this latest project, but I'll still be very much involved.  I'll be playing the role of proofreader, writing coach, and in house historical fact consultant.  Perhaps I can get her to put in a line or two about how the liberal media has done their best to down play GWB's accomplishments, but history will remember him as a great President.  I'm becoming my dad, who also has a degree in political science. He was always my sounding board on all things history and politics related when I was in school.


  1. I'm a liberal educator, but I think I'm also fair. It pains me when my conservative students are surprised by good grades on excellent essays. (I teach college writing.) I'm sorry that we have this bad reputation. A good educator teaches students to find their voices and use them clearly, whatever they have to say. Good luck on the W. paper! :)

  2. and what grade is Madeline in?? you need to make sure you are careful, as you proofread and edit, that it is in a style of whatever grade she is in (and I know you know that) so she can get used to doing her own papers. I learned this the hard way, believe you me.

    I don't know, Obama could have been an interesting choice too of a great public speaker, but one that is having trouble delivering (I did not vote for that man)


  3. Betty,
    She'll be doing the writing herself, but I'll prompt her to add more details and better wording where necessary. A single grammatical or spelling error will drop the grade from an A to a B automatically, so I'll be going over that paper with a fine tooth comb looking for errors.


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