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Failing by Half

At the end of the school year, the principal asked why half the kids I was teaching were failing. Easy answer. They didn’t work. Half the boys were hyperactive. James was either spinning like a top or picking fights. Hardly any of the kids did homework. Most the boys failed miserably and everyone was below reading level except a few of the girls.

I suspect that the word hyperactive is one of those words that political correctness disapproves of. Calling a kid hyperactive was replaced with ADHD, because it doesn’t sound as negative. Boosting self-esteem means changing words even if they mean the same thing. I never did agree with the self-esteem movement.

The principal said a fifty-percent fail rate was unacceptable. I refused to lower my standards so kids that hadn’t worked would be given passing grades. The principal wrote in my annual evaluation that he was not recommending me for a full-time position, because I hadn’t learned to be a team member.

USO Show, Chu Lai, Vietnam - 1966

I wouldn’t see Marshall Kahan for several years. The next time we met, I would be teaching at Alvarado Intermediate with Grendel as the principal. Marshall had transferred from Romier looking for a school without razor wire and bullet holes in the doors.

See Grendels Closed Door Policy

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