Education Letter to the Editor

Could Zoe’s Grandmother Help Other Students, Too?

February 21, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I commend Mildred Alpern for helping her granddaughter Zoe with a tough history assignment (“Zoe’s Poster,” Commentary, Jan. 11, 2006). How lucky Zoe is to have Ms. Alpern as a grandmother.

The essay raises a serious question: Was the assignment suitable? It also fairly shouts that Ms. Alpern needed to be in touch with Zoe’s teacher early in the process. An empathetic teacher would have had discussions with all of her students to explain that perhaps there were serious barriers to success in this project, and to give advice as to how the assignment should be approached.

It is very unlikely that other students had caring, loving assistance offered by a former history teacher, as Zoe did. Some parents would not have had a clue about where to start, how to proceed, or how to organize the project.

This brings me to a daring suggestion: Would Ms. Alpern feel comfortable in talking with Zoe’s teacher and offering to assist with future history projects? I hope so. She could set an example for other students’ relatives to come forward with their areas of expertise and become a very real research support network for the students, and perhaps the teacher who gave the assignment.

I know, from her wonderful Commentary, that Ms. Alpern would be a resounding success.

Alice R. McCarthy


Bridge Communications Inc.

Birmingham, Mich.

A version of this article appeared in the February 22, 2006 edition of Education Week as Could Zoe’s Grandmother Help Other Students, Too?


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: October 11, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 27, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 20, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education From Our Research Center What's on the Minds of Educators, in Charts
Politics, gender equity, and technology—how teachers and administrators say these issues are affecting the field.
1 min read
Stylized illustration of a pie chart
Traci Daberko for Education Week