Monday, April 28, 2008

providing incentives to improve at school

Eight year-old Iris Uber Alles reported to me today that from now on, she doesn't have to write out her spelling words three times each. She only has to copy them out once apiece.

"That's great, honey!" I said. I assumed it was a nod from the teachers in response to Iris's perfect record of spelling. It makes no sense to make a child who already knows how to spell words write them out over and over again.

"They did this for one of the girls before."

"Oh, is she really good at spelling, too?"

Iris clarified: the reason she only has to write her words once apiece is that her handwriting is so dreadful that the teachers don't want to subject themselves to reading so much of it.

"And this is supposed to motivate you to improve your handwriting? Having less homework?" I asked in disbelief. "Maybe you should make up a system of hieroglyphics."

We laughed so hard that the cashier at our cafe raised an eyebrow.


Silliyak said...


Epiphany said...

IUA, with her illegible handwriting, is well on her way to becoming either (a) a doctor, or (b) a lawyer. Both of them have to take classes in bad handwriting so as to torture their staff!

Or maybe she's just practicing for when she has to sign autographs...

Vodalus said...

Haha, when I was in second grade, I was convinced that I couldn't spell. Mostly because "i before e, except after c" seemed like arcane bullshit that I refused to accept.

So I would purposefully fail the spelling pre-test given every Monday so that I would have to learn the more difficult vocabulary given to the kids who passed. That way I was virtually guaranteed to ace the actual test on Friday.

I wish that I could remember if I got sloppy about it by failing too spectacularly, if I bragged about it to my mother or if the teacher just changed policies on me. All I know is that ultimately I ended up generating my own lists of words out of Ann McCaffrey novels.

Vodalus said...

Science! That was why I continually disbelieved that bit of sing-song.