Teacher of the Year

Sorry, that should read Worst Teacher of the Year.

When you’re this stupid, no amount of higher education is going to make you into a teacher.

A high school teacher wanted share an important life lesson with his students.

But a dull lecture just wouldn’t do. So he planned a simple interactive exercise. All he needed was some scrap paper for each student and a recycling bin at the front of the room.

He set up the exercise by telling the class that they represent the country’s population and everyone has a chance to get rich. But there was a catch:

“To move into the upper class, all you must do is throw your wadded-up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat.”

The results were about what you’d expect. Most of the students in the front made it into the bin, and most of the students in the back didn’t.

The teacher explained: “The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like.”

Understandably, the only students who complained about fairness were those in the back of the room.

Students in the front of the room, however, focused only on the task at hand with little consideration for their advantage — their privilege.

That’s how privilege works. It can give us clearer insight into both our present and future. But it can also distract us from the challenges people behind us face in pursuit of the same goals.

In that sense, people with privilege can themselves be an obstacle to social mobility for the underprivileged.

Wow. The stupid is strong with this one. There are many holes in his idea, the most blatant of which is seating arrangement: Did he choose where everyone is sitting, or did the students?

If he chose the seating, then he is the granter or said “Privilege.” And is therefore the one responsible for the downfall of his theory.

If the students did so, they they are the ones at fault for their lack of having an “advantage” over the students further back.

And since students who sit up at the front of the class are already more likely to study harder and get better grades to earn this so called “privilege”, and the students at the back more likely to half-ass their free public education and be stuck behind the “middle-class” in terms of living standards, then they are the only ones holding themselves back.

In either case, all this teacher has done is show folks who don’t worry about something as asinine as “privilege” that the whole purpose behind the idea is to divide people and cause those less successful to be jealous and angry at the more successful.

Which should be grounds for stripping this “teacher” of his credentials. Using class time to make one group of students hate another group is not what he is getting paid for.

This entry was posted in Academia and Other Nonsense. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Teacher of the Year

  1. Mike says:

    I don’t think I’d get too worked up about it. If they simulated an active shooter barging into the room, the ones in the front would have been mowed down. Success in life these days seems to be equal parts endeavor and luck – only one of which can be controlled – and “privilege” can be simply as lucky as being born with rich parents.

  2. formerly dfwmtx says:

    Thank you. Yours is an excellent refutation of this exercise I’d wish I’d head before.

    Too often the ‘privilege’ argument turns into ‘white privilege’. Definitely divisive. No one ever speaks about other types of privileges other social groups enjoy.

  3. Rolf says:

    I think this lesson is OK (self-awareness is hard for most people, especially teenagers), but it would be far better if it included your follow-on comments about allowing others to have power over you (teacher-assigned seating) or whining about stupid decisions (student selected seats) or not changing your ways (allow kids to move not just for the exercise, but for the month or longer).
    At its core, teaching that each of us starts at a different place and we need to be aware of the advantages / weakness the starting place each of us have is good. The lesson that you don’t have to stay at the back if you don’t want to, though, is powerful.

  4. NotClauswitz says:

    As I remember being a sometimes back-of-classroom guy, students who choose to sit in the back usually do so in order to get-away with shit that the teacher would otherwise not allow…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.