And the Winner of the Catastrophe Award is…

I find this story a bit intriguing and I think you might too. A teacher (Ms. Plowman) at the Desert Springs Academy in Tucson, Arizona, gave out awards earlier this week as part of an end of the year celebration. Every child received some sort of award or recognition in front of the entire third grade class. Eight-year-old Cassandra received the “catastrophe award” for being the “one student with the most excuses for not having their homework done.” The children laughed, but the mother did not. She is beside herself while defending her daughter and claiming Cassandra was bullied. An investigation is pending and the teacher has not yet been disciplined.

I have to admit that I find this story a little amusing. As a father of three children, I understand the whole homework saga. Actually, I thought Ms. Plowman was rather creative. In fact, if she were to make this story any better, she should have included a printed listing of all the excuses used that year. That way other children would have a useful excuse resource for the upcoming forth grade. Think about it this way, if Mrs. Murphy (my 3rd grade teacher) had done this to any of my classmates including myself, it wouldn’t have made the newscast. Either it’s a slow news day or it’s much to do about n nothing. Who knows, maybe this is actually a good lesson for Cassandra to learn about the value and importance of completing homework on a timely basis. Lessons earned early pay big dividends. In my opinion, let’s save the bullying crusade for the important stuff like real bullying.

4 thoughts on “And the Winner of the Catastrophe Award is…

  1. Janet Thompson

    When I was in fourth grade I had the blessing ( some would say misfortune) of having my own aunt as my teacher. Partway through the year she caught me passing “love notes” to a fella I thought was pretty special. She confiscated them, and to add further insult, she posted every one of them on the blackboard! Then she called my mom! Abusive, some would say. Smart others would say, because she taught me that I was there to learn, and seeing my notes up there for all to see made me realize how silly I was. I never did it again, not ever.

  2. Brad Hoffmann

    Wow… great lesson. Thanks for sharing the story. Posting the “love notes” to the blackboard – definitely pretty embarrassing, but a lesson long remembered.

  3. Shahines

    I was reading your blog and saw your comments on this story! I had heard it on the news and thought…”How sad the world is to actually comment on that and take the side that the teacher was intentionally bullying that student or making fun of her.” What the world doesn’t realize is that MOST teachers are only in Education because they LOVE children and MOST of them would never ever do anything that would intentionally destroy a child’s self confidence. I think there was humor in it…because the teacher was trying to be creative and give EVERY student an award that day…along with the message…do better next year! We need to prepare them to be responsible and productive citizens! SO sad that the world is so quick to judge and parents so quick to anger! Thanks for your comments on that story!

  4. Brad Hoffmann

    I think you make a really good point. Most teachers are in it for the kids. They desire to see their students achieve and exceed expectations in life. Thanks for the comment!

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