An English teacher’s nightmare: Out for a walk recently, Hobo Teacher noticed a sign in front a shop displaying the quotation “To be, or not to be”—signed Anonymous! On inquiry, he discovers that prioprietor just forgot the source of the quote and didn’t bother to look it up. Where has he seen this attitude before?
Yep. That sounds about right. Those are my students—rather making the slightest effort to be accurate, just slap something up there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with a student after they failed an essay, and I have to tell them that they failed because their work was incoherent. Frequently that’s followed with, “But you know what I meant!” Occasionally, that is followed with a “Gawd!” as they storm off.
My concern is not having the right answer. Hell, no one always has the right answer. My concern is being comfortable with the wrong answer if it means you don’t have to make an effort. I just don’t get it. When did "It’s better than nothing" go from a folksy saying to a blueprint for life?!
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.