Disclaimer: I am feeling downright rant-o-rific today. Maybe it's the poor night's sleep. Maybe it is the lack of sweets in this house. Or maybe it is that brilliant determination to mix out wine. Whatever. I am rolling. You are forewarned.
I walk up to Maggie's class a few minutes early and was waiting in the hall for her class to return from recess when I overhear the following exchange between a student and what appeared to be a teacher's aide.
Aide: Can you think of any random acts of kindness?
Student: I don't know.
Aide: What were you doing when I came to get you from class?
Student: Reading a book.
Aide: And what did you do after that?
Student: I put the book away.
Aide: Right! Now that is a random act of kindness. By putting it away, you saved your teacher the trouble of picking it up! Now which random act of kindness do you want to write on the paper?
Student: I don't know.
Aide: Go ahead and pick anyone you want. Spelling doesn't matter.
Seriously, you have to be motherf**king kidding me.
First off, let's take a closer look at the definition of random act of kindness. According to Wikipedia (so you know it's right) it is, "a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual." So by this aide's interpretation, doing something you should be doing anyway (putting away your own gear) rather than being an entitled brat (expecting a teacher or other adult to pick up after you) qualifies as a selfless act.
Really? Don't you think that is setting the bar a tad low?
Then the writing it down. One, what is the point of that anyway? Two, if you are going to make the kid do something, shouldn't you at least make him do it right and use proper spelling and (god forbid) grammar? Not to mention, it was quite clear the kid had no interest AT ALL in the conversation and was there to check the box so he could return to class.
To summarize, we have someone, paid with our tax dollars, who I am sure sports the title of "Interdisciplinary Multi Cultural Anti Bullying Outreach Coordinator," teaching our bored children that if they pick up after themselves, they are spreading love, kindness and making the world a better place. And by the way, don't worry about the spelling because god forbid you be judged on an actual academic achievement.
You want to know what is wrong with our public schools? It is that I have been fighting for weeks to try and prevent the City school system from cutting gym, music, recess and library time with limited success but they can fit this complete bunk into the day. You know what they used to do to bullies back in the day? Suspend or expel them. What a novel idea. And I can guarantee it would be cheaper than the salary and benefits of an Interdisciplinary Multi Cultural Anti Bullying Outreach Coordinator.