Follow Up on Student Feedback

A classmate replied to the story I posted yesterday. Here is my response…

Mark, thank you so much for sharing your story. It was thought provoking. Do you have any thoughts on why you got that particular response? Do you think that there was a paternalistic or maternalistic effect? Mother or Father knows best so don’t have to ask the children. Mary Ann

Thanks for the response and questions, Mary Ann. I have three thoughts about why my suggestion met with these reactions… and one of these answers the (possibly more interesting) question of why I let it go:

1.) It was actually shocking because people don’t often solicit students (or children in general) for their opinion. The county office may be closer to the rest of the world in this respect than it might be to a school.

2.) Many of the people on the committee are not educators… they are employees from the IT, HR, legal, and accounting departments, and so have a mindset more like the rest of the world than an educator might.

3.) And this is the one that explains why I let it go… It would be a lot of extra work to survey employees children, and none of the volunteer committee members at the table (including me) wanted to actually do the work.

Though I don’t think this story was a great example of this, I am proud to report that an intern in our department called me a “paradigm buster” on Friday. :) I hope to actually follow through on the teacher training programs he was talking about in a more determined and effective manner than I did on the “Children at Work Day” committee. :)


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