Guilt trip.

The other day one of my teacher asked “So I need your advice. You know here, the government has this rule where when a student fails one class, he has to repeat the entire year? I don´t think it´s fair. What would you do?”

Maybe it is because I went to a French public high school and had nightmares about having 0.5/20 at the next math test, or remember being traumatized when the very year of the French baccalaureate, my entire class got less than 05/20 at the first “dissertation de français”. Throughout my entire education, I saw the entire scale of 0 through 20 being used in class.

I was told “if you don´t study, too bad for you. You study for yourself, not for your teachers, not for your parents.”

Maybe because of that, I find that most teachers here are WAY too leniant on their students. (if you fail the end of the year test, no worries, you get two weeks of “supletorio”, aka, extra tutoring type attention. If you don´t want to postpone your vacation for two weeks because you didn´t do shit before, you can beg your teacher and try the “no seas malito/a, me falta solamente 1 punto, por favorrrrr ! If this fails, you get a second chance with exam B after the two week supletorio: – easier version of version A, already pretty damn easy since most likely exercises you´ve done in class during the semester and you were told to review. If you fail exam B, you can try to beg your teacher again and try the “no seas malito/a, me falta solamente 1 punto, por favorrrrr ! ”
Most likely, your teacher will put extra work for you again, giving a last oral exam chance. “Come on time at 7am on Monday. If you´re not there on time, there´s nothing else I can do.”
Most likely, you´ll be late, and your teacher will still give you that chance.
If after all this you still fail… well, “if you don´t study, too bad for you. You study for yourself, not for your teachers, not for your parents.”

So when my teacher started, I was ready to explain that I do think the students are given way more chances than most students and that if after all that they still fail, maybe it´s a good lesson?
Like, when you get a job, if you don´t like one part, you still have to do it. Just like when you don´t like one subject at school, you still have to study it.
And people in life won´t just give you that extra point to pass. It just doesn´t work like that. So maybe actually it´s good for kids to fail once and realize they should study more next time.

“No, but what if it´s a student who has good grades, an excellent student, and he fails one subject. Something happens and he fails one subject, and has to repeat the year. Some students…. take drastic measures. Some students kill themselves. 3 students committed suicide here at the school…. One was a decimo student” (13-14 year-old ?)

“Well, in that case, the teacher must not feel it´s his or her fault and think it´s JUST because of bad grades that the kid goes to such extreme solution. The teacher should see that that failure in one subject the kid used to excell at is unusual and that probably this kid has bigger issues at home before the end if the year, so I believe the teacher should talk one on one with the student to see what happens, talk to the parents, send the kid and the parents to the DOBE (departamento de bienestar y orientation). I mean, there are like 6 people at the DOBE here, that´s their job too!”

” Yes, yes, but we need support and we need a PC volunteer to come and help us.”

“huh….I can´t help with that, really. The school needs to ask for one and apply.”

But in reality? I mean it´s kind of worrying that my school would think that
1) they´re bound to get another PCV
2) PC will be a child psychologist / expert in the field….
3) making me guilt tripping with horror stories will make PC send another PCV

1 Comment

  1. Maybe the answer is along the lines of more flexibility with choosing subjects.


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