JuicyLesson 218: Too Bad About the Habs, They Deserved a Better Fate … A Lesson For Teachers … There’s Certainly A lot More to the Profession That Meets the Eye ..

Full disclosure: I worked in the same school building as Mrs. Goodman for a couple of years while I was teaching high school social studies at a private Jewish school in C.S.L. Also, I taught her son.

To start off the week after this hung-over post-Patriotes party, I have decided to take issue with some of the points made by Birdie Goodman in her Gazette Letter to the Editor.

The citation for and content of Ms. Goodman’s letter both appear below:

Birdie Goodman’s Gazette Letter, Saturday, May 17, 2014

First Ms. Goodman’s letter: — Excerpts

“For some students, graduation is a huge achievement”

For many, graduation just marks an easy transition from high school to higher learning, and the biggest concern is the party that follows the ceremony. For others, those with learning challenges, graduation means much more than that. It represents years of work, frustration, repeated work and endless amounts of tutoring, coupled with anxiety and confusion. For these students, all must rise to congratulate them for reaching a milestone.

As an educator, my entire career – 30 years – has been focused on these students. Difficulty learning often equated with difficulty in self-image. Throughout their high school experience, they are the last to be chosen, the one (sic) to whom the teacher returns the graded test face-down …

Many parents, at first, had attributed bad marks to laziness or (to) a poor work ethic. Thankfully today, parents have their children assessed to accurately diagnose their learning challenges ..

When graduation night arrives, applaud with your heart all graduates: the ones who had the fortune of easy travels and the ones who struggled but hit the mark. I know that I will …

As far as I know, Ms. Goodman has not spent significant slices of her professional life in a high school classroom as a teacher – as an educator for sure, but not as a teacher. That is nothing more than a statement of fact; reading anything more into it can be placed at the feet of the reader in terms of the attribution of blame in a scenario so defined.

imageOne way I know this is that I have: I have spent about more than thirty-four (34) years as a secondary social studies teacher in Quebec, including a short stint – one summer session, mere weeks in length, to be honest – in adult education. The latter was an extremely rewarding experience for both me and me students. By the way, I taught Sec. 3 English during my time as an adult ed. teacher.

In addition, any significant time spent in front of a group of adolescents – ranging in age from thirteen to nineteen, and ranging in class size from twenty-five (25) to more than forty-five (45+)**, with hormones raging and loaded for bear – would have told Ms. Goodman everything she needed to know regarding how teen-agers see themselves, regarding their self-image in other words.

Ms. Goodman, in fact, refers to that very notion in the following quote from the above-mentioned letter: “As an educator, my entire career – 30 years – has been focused on these students. Difficulty learning often equated with difficulty in self-image”.

Turns out Ms. Goodman has more to say about student self-image; later.

Make up your mind, teachers, once and for all; either return all tests face down or return all tests face up but teachers should not be differentiating between success and lack of same in this manner.

I believe the best idea is to call students up to the teacher’s desk to give back tests, exams and major pieces of work, an act which takes a little more time but permits the student to take control of the situation, including the degree privacy he/she wants or needs regarding h/er level of achievement.

To this end, ALL tests should be folded slightly in half, mark hidden, so that each student could look at his mark in his own time.

Otherwise, returning documents in the above-mentioned method – i.e. returning certain pieces of work to the students’ actual desks, face down – is bad for the students’ “self-image” – there’s that term again – as he or she immediately feels singled out in a way that so publicly announces to the rest of the class – or to any of the students in it who happened to catch the teacher returning a test face down – that this particular student was not successful on that particular assignment, exam, etc. The alternative, of course, is to return all tests face down.

Under no circumstances should exams, etc. be returned to students in order of achievement. I used to ensure that when I entered the classroom with the graded tests, either that they were all face down so that no marks can be discerned or I would consciously place a student known to be average on top, who had done better than usual for any and all to see, note, and derive motivation from.

What purpose does returning an un-successful student’s exam face-down serve, anyway? There are certainly more effective means to confronting the challenges inherent in teaching children who have learning disabilities than returning certain exams face-down. Like I said, if Ms. Goodman had spent any time as a high school teacher she would know this as well as being cognisant of how students see themselves and their psychological environment; both of which are nuggets of wisdom essential for the success of students, and, by extension, of their teachers too.

Bye, Bye Price. Allo, terrains du golfe.

“Referees suck. Referees suck. Referees suck”. So there’s no doubt that half-way through the game, with exactly 10:28 ticks left on the Period 2 clock to be precise, the fans blame the refs for the situation on the scoreboard as the latter reflects the situation on the ice.

Therrien presumably made the decision to go with the youthful and relatively very inexperienced rookie Dustin Tokarski in nets for one of two reasons: either he was perceived as being more at the top of his game than habitual Price backup, 31-year old Budaj, or because he, Therrien, had a hunch, and took a risk.

Bad choice, so far, as Tokarski has been “alright” in the Canadiens net this evening, but alright is not good enough when King Henrik – ‘tween the pipes in the Blueshirt net – is turning in what can only be described thus far as being a “truly remarkable” performance. In that light, just “alright” doesn’t cut it, not by a long shot.

Period 2 is over, Habs will enjoy about 1:30 worth of power play time at the start of Period 3 but unless they can figure a way to put the puck past King Henrik in the Rangers’ net, it won’t make much of a difference.

Final score: New York Rangers 3; Montreal Canadiens 1, as New York takes a commanding two games to none lead in their best-of-seven conference final with two road victories and unless Price gets back, fast, it’s all over for one more year. Apparently, Carey will be out for the entirety of the conference final and for the rest of the season, effectively the same thing.

Therrien’s summary says it all. “They won because of Lundqvist. He was fantastic and the reason we did not win. He stole the game for them and that happens in the playoffs.”

Therrien takes the fall for this if a fall or blame must indeed be apportioned.

Depressed. This was their year. Who the fuck wants to wait another year? The perfect storm was brewing and now this.

Peace. Good thoughts required.

Good Thoughts Required.

See you Wednesday.

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