I remember in 6th grade, my teacher would use a red pen to correct our class work and home work. Sometimes, my work would be returned to me looking like it was stabbed and died. A red comma, red quotation marks, a word circled in red with the dredded ‘SP’ meaning that the word was misspelled. The teacher was trying to show you what your mistakes were and those marks were to show you what to look for in the future. Imagine turning in a book report with many spelling and grammatical errors, even the plot summary is wrong and no red marks to indicate what is wrong. The student would not learn. Isn’t that what students are supposed to do, learn? The teachers are to ‘teach’aren’t they? Those red marks prompted me to double and sometimes triple check my work. My parents taught me to write a rough draft first, then add to and correct it after my initial thoughts were put on paper. The first draft is a skeleton of my work, just to get the foundation in, so to speak. I learned to check my work thereby making my work better. Those red marks taught me and I became a better student because of them.

Later, in college, I recieved work back from my chemistry teacher with red marks in it. My handwritting was not clear in my stoiciometry homework and the teacher did not know what element I was refering to. Chemistry class is a terible place to make mistakes. Do not add ammonia to chlorine without knowing you will make the poisonous gas ammonium chloride. It is the same gas created when using chlorine bleach to clean up pet urine, or any urine for that matter. Those red marks could save your life.

But look at today’s schools, work is devoid of any red marks. Sometime ago, some self appointed experts claimed that it is bad to tell children that they are wrong. They said that if a child added 2 and 2 and came up with 5 to tell them that they are not wrong, that they will figure it out. It is more important to guard the childs self esteem than give them an actual education. Now, there are certain people in positions of authority that think that it is wrong to have standards. It is wrong to say that hard work is better than no work because some children can’t learn.

Look at participation trophies where all children get a trophy just for participating. Scores are not kept because it might make the children feel bad. Teachers don’t correct, they just encourage them to keep trying. I have said before that this type of thinking is bovine waste, road apples, camel dung, BS. I remember many years ago when women wanted to become firefighters. An honorable profession, but there were some that demanded the standards be lowered to allow some women to pass the test and become firefighters. That decision cost people their lives and the standards were returned to the former levels. Since the standards were lowered for the few women that could not carry a certain weight down a ladder, they risked the lives of their fellow firefighters and distressed citizens. I am all for women firefighters as long as they can pass the test. Life is not fair. It never has been and never will be.

Our forefathers knew that everyone had the right to persue happiness but not everyone had the same capacity to achieve it. Would you watch the superbowl if the quartedback was in a wheelchair? Should the Navy employ a deaf person in the post of a radarman? And I know that some of you might think the umpires in a baseball game are blind, but should the major leagues employ blind people as umpires? I hope you are not ignorant enough to say yes to any of those questions. Some people cant physically, mentally or emotionally handle certain situations but that does not mean they can’t persue happiness. I wanted to be the first marine biologist/astronaut on Mars but…. well, you figure it out.

It is our obligation to prepare our children for life, and we can’t do that while protecting their feeling from being hurt. Our children must be allowed to experience pain. That way, they can discover themselves the power from within to overcome adversity.

I am glad for all my red marks. They helped form who I am and how I interact with the world. My kids were not protected from red marks and learned how to interact and overcome adversities.  We owe it to our kids. If we can just help one child learn how to experience life, isn’t it worth it? Do it for our kids, otherwise the well educated morons from The left will continue to destroy the next generation.

One thought on “The red pen

  1. All good points. Just let me add it is hard to correct any work in classes today since most school districts are furnishing computers in every classroom. I wouldn’t be surprised if those that produce pencils aren’t close to going out of business. But that might mean fewer tree huggers. Hummmm

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