Thursday, January 5, 2012

Different Expectations

A colleague told me of a student who wants to transfer to a different class because my colleague assigns too much homework. Despite being in an honors physics class, the student has weak algebra skills, so the assigned homework takes this student longer than it ideally should, but the real reason the student wants less homework is because the student really wants to be a concert pianist, and physics homework is cutting into precious piano practicing time... Unfortunately, "I don't like the teacher" or "the teacher assigns too much homework" isn't considered an acceptable reason for a schedule change in our school, in the name of fairness (not giving some teachers a greater workload, giving all students an 'equal chance' at particular teachers) and rigor (chiefly not allowing students to play teacher lottery by changing classes until they find a teacher who doesn't ask them to do anything challenging)...

Frankly, I find it depressing that this budding pianist apparently is being forced to spend her deliberate practice time in ways she'd rather not, no matter who is pressuring her to choose physics homework over piano practice.

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