Tribolum.com Making Light of Things

Rants and Raves

So in the tiny island of Singapore, schools are starting to clamp down on student bloggers, namely those who “flame” their teachers online.

Youngsters rant. They have been doing it since the beginning of time. Sure, blogging now makes the information more publicly accessible and permanent, but the less heed you pay to it, the less permanent it is likely to be.

Back in the day I remember having an English teacher who wasn’t, how shall we say, very effective. The grades of the entire class was plummeting and resentment toward her and her teaching methods was growing. Feeling a need to say something, I wrote her a note in one of those journal entries we were supposed to pass up as homework. I had hoped that she’d take the feedback seriously.

She did. She took it so seriously the said journal entry made its way to the Principal’s office and the entire teaching staff. It was her hope that the rest of her peers would find it equally apalling that a student dared give her feedback on how she was affecting us. In the journal I had commended the disciplinary methods adopted by some teachers whom I named in the hope that she’d learn from what I described. These teachers came up to me, looking concerned but secretly pleased (you know the look), and said that I shouldn’t have said such things.

In the end all our grades suffered for it as the feedback was treated as a student’s disrespect of a teacher. I never had any problems with the language, but my assignments were constantly marked down, unfairly I felt, because of my bravado.

Granted, there are some very poisonous-tongued students out there. But teachers need to learn to be the bigger person. To give these young ones some space to rant, and perhaps take away whatever useful feedback they can glean from blogs.

Alternatively, you can always cane their sorry little behinds.