Town Square

On Deadline: There are many ways to feel 'connected' in school, not all positive

Original post made by Jay Thorwaldson, editor emeritus, on Jun 20, 2011

Over the years I have made it a practice to ask adults -- most of them more or less successful in their lives -- if they were straight-A students in high school.

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Posted by topdog
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2011 at 7:11 am

More trauma was caused by my age, than by my grades at the time but hey I am here , happy and at the top of my profession.

I graduated high school at 15 as a B student in the years before grade inflation.

It was and still is one of the very worst ghetto high schools on the east coast and I was targeted as "the minority". To tell the truth my parents didn't care about my grades much, as long as it was C or better, so there was little pressure . I spent my time haunting the library stacks everyday reading, reading and more reading because I loved to learn and every book had ome interesting nugget to digest and learn.

No one has ever asked me about my high school grades, nor did I attend what are called the "best colleges". Eventually I worked full time nights to pay for school and went to college full time days at a state school.

So while grades can count so does hard work/career choices ,good luck and good friends. Not everyone can be the A student all of the time .

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Posted by less is more
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 21, 2011 at 8:50 am

I was lucky too. Not that any teacher or school official stands out, but I don't recall suffering under any of them.

More than the individual teachers, I remember the classes where I was engaged. And being engaged had nothing to do with quantity of work or productivity, since I don't recall working very hard at all but did well in high school, and beyond in college and graduate school.

In HS I think less is more. But the system is the opposite now, it's all about more work.

How can anyone care with so much to do?

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Posted by Misha
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I still remember Mrs. Calla from 4th grade. Every morning we would stand, recite the pledge of allegience, and launch into lusty rounds of patriotic songs. I can sing them all today like it was yesterday.

Mrs. Calla sent one of my stories to the local paper which published students' creative writing. How proud my father and I were to see my story in print. I still remember the story, too!

Not much I seem to remember these days, but boy do I still remember Mrs. Calla and with great fondness.

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Posted by Mr. B
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 5, 2011 at 2:25 am

I think it must be harder for teachers to
reach out and take a student under their wing
these days, with the litigious society these days. . .
fear of being sued for comforting a kid with a hug etc.

I'll never forget Mr. Zucca
who put his arm around me and
encouraged me and acknowledged my
science talent. Or Mr. Peavy
my gym teacher who protected me
from some of the class bullies and
let me have a fair wrestling match
where I was able to defend myself and
beat the class bully.

I was a sad and troubled kid
from alcoholic family,
but if it were not for a few good
teachers who sort of became surrogate
parents, I might not not have make it.
It was that human touch and kindness
that kept suicidal thoughts away and
gave me hope.

Teachers can make a huge difference.
I wish they were more valued in the culture.
And it would be nice I'm sure for them
to know the lives they have touched.
I hope students take the time to let
the teachers that are important to them

Mr. B