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Subject: When you are proud of your child and you shouldnt be... rss

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Julius Waller
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So my daughter's physics teacher is actually a cool guy. He has some innovative ways to get kids into physics. He showed the class a clip from the Cars cartoon - there is some chit chat between the cars and then a bowling ball is dropped which subsequently bounces over the other car.

He stopped the clip and asked: "What is wrong in the clip you just saw?"

Darling daughter raised her hand and was recognised by the teacher.

Answer: "There is a talking car, cars dont talk Sir."

<pause as laughter went round the class room>

"oh and the bowling ball that was dropped bounced higher than the height it was dropped from, that's not possible either"

So I got a mail from the school regarding my daughters attitude. I am trying to respond seriously and not cause trouble for her with the teacher who is a little hurt it seems. All responses I am writing are not really hiding that really I feel she was just right.
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They're the kids you want it seems to me. Smart and funny. Your daughter obviously feels comfortable enough to have a little joke with her teacher also, which is great. (she won't now, I guess). Surely if teach was upset about it he could have dealt with it there and then as well. "Thanks for the response, but we can do with less of the smart alecky stuff okay?". The end.

I dunno. I'd probably just respond with a "thanks, I acknowledge your letter, I will talk with her about it". And you have the chat and say, okay, we've learned Mr Physics has thin skin - respect that, and keep going with your learning cos it's clear you're doing great.

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Steve W
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Oh man, that's a tough one. Do you support your daughter because she answered a vague question correctly or do you support the teacher for asking a vague question and getting a correct but unintended response? While there's a lesson in appropriateness here for your daughter to learn, the teacher, as an adult, should also be able and willing to acknowledge his mistake as well as learn to be more specific next time. As your child did nothing against the rules, I don't think she should be punished.

My wife is a teacher too, and I'd point out the same flaw in her questions if she was offended at a correct answer.

I once had a science test where the directions stated to match the lizards to their appropriate names. I turned in the paper with only my name at the top. I was always a straight A student, so my teacher called me up and asked why I would turn in a blank test. I pointed out the directions specified matching names to lizards, but all the animals on the paper were either newts or salamanders, both amphibians and not lizards. She wanted to be mad at me, but I was right and every other kid that took the test and had ever taken the test was wrong. Could I have just answered the questions? Sure. Would that have pointed out a pretty important typo and helped correct it for the next student? Nope.
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Gerald
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Too funny.

Maybe this is the difference between European and US Education systems. I can’t imagine an American teacher so much as raising an eyebrow over something this tame. In fact I can imagine most of my kids’ teachers chuckling along, assuming they didn’t anticipate the response and frame the question as “in addition to talking cars what else is wrong with what you saw in the scene.”

I guess we just expect our kids to be a little precocious.

As an aside, I would certainly get a good laugh with my kids if they had this response, one time. If this isn’t a pattern of disruptive behavior I would graciously thank the teacher and hope he will also see the humor and think of possible correct, if not preferred answers before asking.
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Andy Leber
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mykidsdad wrote:
Too funny.

Maybe this is the difference between European and US Education systems. I can’t imagine an American teacher so much as raising an eyebrow over something this tame. In fact I can imagine most of my kids’ teachers chuckling along, assuming they didn’t anticipate the response and frame the question as “in addition to talking cars what else is wrong with what you saw in the scene.”

I guess we just expect our kids to be a little precocious.

As an aside, I would certainly get a good laugh with my kids if they had this response, one time. If this isn’t a pattern of disruptive behavior I would graciously thank the teacher and hope he will also see the humor and think of possible correct, if not preferred answers before asking.


Yeah, my mind was blown that he was contacted at all, unless as you said, there's a pattern of disruption, cracking jokes, not taking things seriously, etc...

Otherwise, It's a funny one off and move on with the day. Weird. Could be cultural.

Edit: I hope this doesn't come across as accusatory towards your daughter, OP. Just thinking out loud. I realize all teachers, and all schools are very different.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Back in the early 60's I was given an 'aptitude test' and came home with a score close to zero. The teacher was of the opinion I was severely retarded and couldn't figure out how I could even function with a score that low. So she calls my Dad in for a conference and I sat out in the hall (this was 1st or 2nd grade, I believe). After a bit Dad calls me in and asks me to explain my answers.

First question: Which of these things doesn't belong?
Chair
Table
Car
Stool

The answer they wanted was Car (it's not furniture), my answer was Stool because all the others touched the ground at four points and the stool only had three.

Second question: Which of these things doesn't belong?
Baseball bat
Tennis Racket
Ball
Tree

Their answer: Tree. My answer: Ball, it's not made of wood. All of my answers were like that, slight twists off of what was expected but actually made sense when I explained them.

My Dad smiled at the teacher and said "I think the only retarded person around here is whoever made up this test." Our school never administered those test again.
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CHAPEL
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Question: "What did the Brontosaurus say to the Tyrannosaurus?"

Answer: "Nothing, because they are all dead"
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Steve W
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MWChapel wrote:
Question: "What did the Brontosaurus say to the Tyrannosaurus?"

Answer: "Nothing, because they are all dead"


Too soon...
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Holmes108 wrote:
mykidsdad wrote:
Too funny.

Maybe this is the difference between European and US Education systems. I can’t imagine an American teacher so much as raising an eyebrow over something this tame. In fact I can imagine most of my kids’ teachers chuckling along, assuming they didn’t anticipate the response and frame the question as “in addition to talking cars what else is wrong with what you saw in the scene.”

I guess we just expect our kids to be a little precocious.

As an aside, I would certainly get a good laugh with my kids if they had this response, one time. If this isn’t a pattern of disruptive behavior I would graciously thank the teacher and hope he will also see the humor and think of possible correct, if not preferred answers before asking.


Yeah, my mind was blown that he was contacted at all, unless as you said, there's a pattern of disruption, cracking jokes, not taking things seriously, etc...

Otherwise, It's a funny one off and move on with the day. Weird. Could be cultural.

Edit: I hope this doesn't come across as accusatory towards your daughter, OP. Just thinking out loud. I realize all teachers, and all schools are very different.

Absolutely.

I come from a family of teachers: sister, brother-in-law, my father and aunt, 3 out of 4 grandparents. If an Australian teacher complained about your daughter's response, he or she would be asked about their problem.
Obviously this is a cultural thing, but down here a teacher who regularly complain about stuff like this would be ridiculed. Send too many notes home because kids are confident to speak in class and you'd be asked if teaching is the right job.
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J J
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That's exactly the attitude that a child should have. The school ought to be ashamed of itself for sending a letter about her "attitude".
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Julius Waller
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Thank you all for your responses. Both my daughter and I really like the young physics teacher, in fact as someone correctly surmised she made the joke because she was comfortable in his class. Her physics tests which were always good have improved and she certainly is not a disruptive element in class.

Personally I also applaud his methods - for sure as a kid I would have been more interested in physics with the short intro of the subject through a cartoon clip. Teach has done a few other things like that and I thought it was great. Its a shame he got a little vexed by really a harmless response.

I have sent a duly serious and contrite response to the school,I dont want the teacher to feel bad, hence I am not following the line of whats your problem with him. At the next Parent - Teacher meeting I will try and make a point that really it was to his credit she's doing well in class.

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Daniel B
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mykidsdad wrote:
the difference between European and US Education systems

Lol, way to tar everyone with the same brush. So typically American...
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Werner Stangl
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I have to be the supercool teacher because I don't see the problem in the first place: I really had to read the OP several times and the comments to understand what this is about. I think it is completely unacceptable that a witty, correct and unoffensive comment of your daughter triggers communication from school concerning her attitude. Hello, where do we live?

I have received several such comments by pupils over the course of my probatory year, maybe because I explicitly encouraged them to think out of the box, I don't know. It's a reason to laugh, laudate, not to report! My younger son does that to me regularly.

Where a pupil oversteps is by ridiculing colleagues or the teacher, go ad hominem, etc. And if a kid does that frequently and feels over-confident, just pay back with the same coin.

I see that nowhere close in this example. I think school and teacher missed what education is all about, thinking out of the box. Feeling slighted by having a fallacy pointed out (which in this case is not even by the teacher, it's about Cars) is usually a sign of pettymindedness or that old-school thinking where the teacher is a god/doctor-like omniscient being.
We all have some logical slips when communicating.
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Dave Kudzma
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Tell her not to joke with THAT teacher. It's a shame that he could not be lighthearted.

Jeez. If I was their teacher I would have LOVED that response. Let us not forget that the follow up was the "correct" answer, and she wasn't only trying to be a clown.
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Andy Andersen
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Microaggression alert!!!!!!
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Adam Phelps
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MWChapel wrote:
Question: "What did the Brontosaurus say to the Tyrannosaurus?"

Answer: "Nothing, because they are all dead"


"And dinosaurs can't talk anyway."


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shumyum
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Dirge the Troll wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
Question: "What did the Brontosaurus say to the Tyrannosaurus?"

Answer: "Nothing, because they are all dead"


"And dinosaurs can't talk anyway."




"The Brontosauruses never died and never didn't talk because there was never any such thing as a Brontosaurus...they are called Apatosaurus now."

Spoiler (click to reveal)


I got in trouble with my 8th grade English teacher on a "Tom Swifty" assignment.

Example: "I dropped my toothpaste," Tom said crestfallen.

The submission that got me in trouble: "I need a tampon," Tomina says periodically.

The difference here is that this teacher was TERRIBLE. So my parents laughed it off and didn't even tell me she contacted them until I was in my twenties.
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Adrian Hague
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"What is wrong in the clip you just saw?"

For me this squarely falls in the category of 'Ask a stupid question...'

I had a similar experience last year whilst applying for a job as a software tester. During the interview I was given a logic problem along the lines of:

"There are three jars. One jar has nothing but black balls, one has nothing but white balls, and the third jar has a mix of black and white balls. All 3 jars are labelled, but the labels are incorrect. How many balls would you have to pick out of the jars to determine the correct contents of each jar?"

(I'm working from memory here, one or two of the details may be wrong)

At first I thought the problem stated that the jars may be mis-labelled, but it was pointed out to me that it was the case that they were definitely incorrectly labelled.

This confused me, because the answer (to my mind) was rather trivial.

My answer was "Zero". Cue silence round the room.

I went on to explain that in order to be sure that the labels are definitely incorrect, someone would have had to check the contents of the jars, to make sure that one or more jars had not inadvertently been labelled correctly. Therefore all I need to do to determine the correct contents of the jars is to find the person who checked their contents (an 'oracle', or Subject matter Expert), no balls need to be drawn.

I don't think they appreciated my 'out-of-the-box' thinking, and I was unsuccessful in my application!

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Justin
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shumyum wrote:
"The Brontosauruses never died and never didn't talk because there was never any such thing as a Brontosaurus...they are called Apatosaurus now."


Recent developments have found that brontosaurus does exist and is a separate species (maybe genus) than Apatosaurus.

So, I'll be taking all your nerd points.
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shumyum
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WyantJM wrote:
shumyum wrote:
"The Brontosauruses never died and never didn't talk because there was never any such thing as a Brontosaurus...they are called Apatosaurus now."


Recent developments have found that brontosaurus does exist and is a separate species (maybe genus) than Apatosaurus.

So, I'll be taking all your nerd points.


Nice. Looking forward to living clones using brontosaurus DNA spliced with vocal cord genes.

Then the answer would be, "Hey T., why does Spielberg give you all the juicy scenes. All I get are cameos in majestic montages. I want to stomp on Jeff Goldblum."
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I have to admit, I'm a bit confused by this teacher. If he's that "cool", why would such an innocent joke come across as bad attitude? Having the cartoon example in the first place seemed like a demonstration of "having fun", so a lighthearted joke like that seems to fit the mood (especially since she followed up with the "right answer" afterwards, anyway).

It seems like the teacher wants to have fun, but not TOO much fun. And all this did was tell the kids "only serious business allowed, even when watching cartoons", and all of a sudden it's going to go from "cool class" to "groan, not this again".

Honestly, I don't think there was any need to apologize, unless your daughter was intentionally trying to mock or embarrass the teacher (which doesn't seem to be the case). I'm just having a hard time buying this as a truly "cool teacher" if you have to walk on eggshells to avoid offense?
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Julius Waller
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I am just putting it down to a bad day - I am trying to avoid a flame war sort of thing by not sending in an ambiguous or sarky response. Like I said I will see the young chap again soon enough at the Easter PTA evening. What I saw of him before didnt strike me as requiring this kind of reaction to a quite harmless bit of fun. Till now I only had good things to say about him and results of both my daughter and others in class speak for themselves.

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Larry L
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Maybe your daughter could write a letter of apology. Not because she did anything wrong, but to sincerely (no snark!) explain how much she liked the class, and how she honestly thought he would find her joke funny, and that she did not mean to seem disrespectful.

Possibly the teacher could gain some perspective for the future.

(And, yes there are touchy teachers in the U.S.)
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jos horst
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AdrianPHague wrote:
"What is wrong in the clip you just saw?"

For me this squarely falls in the category of 'Ask a stupid question...'

I had a similar experience last year whilst applying for a job as a software tester. During the interview I was given a logic problem along the lines of:

"There are three jars. One jar has nothing but black balls, one has nothing but white balls, and the third jar has a mix of black and white balls. All 3 jars are labelled, but the labels are incorrect. How many balls would you have to pick out of the jars to determine the correct contents of each jar?"

(I'm working from memory here, one or two of the details may be wrong)

At first I thought the problem stated that the jars may be mis-labelled, but it was pointed out to me that it was the case that they were definitely incorrectly labelled.

This confused me, because the answer (to my mind) was rather trivial.

My answer was "Zero". Cue silence round the room.

I went on to explain that in order to be sure that the labels are definitely incorrect, someone would have had to check the contents of the jars, to make sure that one or more jars had not inadvertently been labelled correctly. Therefore all I need to do to determine the correct contents of the jars is to find the person who checked their contents (an 'oracle', or Subject matter Expert), no balls need to be drawn.

I don't think they appreciated my 'out-of-the-box' thinking, and I was unsuccessful in my application!


Good decision on their part IMO. You had no guarantee the expert was willing to share the answer. They were looking for a software tester, not some smarty pants eyeballer.
 
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