Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Winners and Losers

Why not winners and winners?  Recently, a screenprint of a Facebook transaction between some graduated students and their former teacher have made the rounds.

Zero-Sum Game
First I have to say, I think teachers, in general,  are some of the most amazingly wonderful people we have on the planet.  They put up with some awful students and some even more awful parents, and deal with societal issues that are often completely insurmountable, and they could NEVER be paid enough for doing the work they do.  That being said...

The responses to the interaction above were very positive toward that teacher, but I think her reaction was childish, self-serving and possibly damaging to a young man who clearly isn't the brightest guy.

The cheers from readers for the teacher (at least on Facebook) were all about how she won.  But I ask at what cost.

The concept of zero-sum game is one that basically says, if someone gains, someone else loses proportionately. And beating the pulp out of a dullard in a public forum may have even been a greater loss for the student than it was a gain for the teacher.  She's obviously smart...I would have thought she might have come up with a way of keeping her respect, and trying to help the unfortunate ex-student gain some sorely needed self-respect (or minimally, not look worse than he already did).

I don't mean to point out this situation specifically...I'm sure the teacher was irritated by an annoying former student calling her a bithc, and I can't fault her for standing her ground.

But given the state this country is in, and how everyone seems more interested in winning, even when the losses on the other side can be devestating, I keep hoping people will look for alternative ways of having both sides win.

How about this for a valuable school lesson - have people come up with ways the teacher could have handled this in a more win-win way?

Current Knitting
Very little actual knitting has taken place...couple of rows on the Milano Stitch blanket and a few rounds on the orang Tosh socks. about wins...I got this wonderful gift from knitter Jack from the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat.

I had admired his, and he thought I might enjoy a pair of my own.

He was right...I LOVE them!

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