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June 28, 2005

Workplace Issues - Do You Have A Favorite?

Hello again,

I can remember in middle school hating the teacher's pet. Do you know what I'm talking about? There was this one kid in class who always got to be the teacher's helper, got to run notes to the principle's office, and never seemed to get into trouble. He was the teacher's pet, and I thought it was the most unfair, unjust thing on earth.

I have a confession.

In each one of my classes, I have a favorite student. When I want to demonstrate something and need a volunteer, I usually call on them. When I'm grading homework or reviewing class work, these particular students' work always brings a smile to my face. They are the hardest workers, the most dedicated and are always on time and in class.

And suddenly, it doesn't seem so unfair.

Now that I can see things from my former teacher's perspective, I realize that the teacher's pet is generally a student who makes a teacher's life easier. They are never a discipline problem, always do their homework and tend to learn faster than the other students. Now, I'm not saying that I openly favor them in class (I try very hard not to), but I can easily tell you who is my "pet" in each of my classes.

So, here's the question: Because these students go out of their way to be the best, shouldn't they receive some sort of recognition for it? In today's society of putting everyone on an equal level, I realize that this is entirely un-politically correct, but the truth is, I want to reward these students for their extra effort. But not at the expense of the other students.

What about you? Do you have a favorite in your class? If so, do you make it clear that their hard work and dedication to learning comes with its rewards, or do you make an effort to keep them on the same level as everyone else in the classroom?

As usual, I'd love to hear your take on this one!

Until next time,

Michelle

Posted by msimmons at June 28, 2005 01:34 PM

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