Monday, February 18, 2013

Failure is Not an Option

Last time I told you how the College President game me three examples of inappropriate teaching to justify my dismissal from the Carpentry Apprenticeship program in Thompson, Manitoba:

* * * * * * fact she came up with exactly three cases, the smokestack being Exhibit A. And as an argument for my dismissal, it is patently absurd.

Let's move on to Exhibit B: the water heater controls. This example comes not from the Apprenticeship program but from Level Two Facilites Tech. Now, I admit that in this program I was a little less meticulous in following the curriculum as compared to the Apprenticeship classes, where I knew that the students would be responsible for passing a Provincial Exam at the end of their program. I took the Provincial Exam very seriously: in fact, from early in the year, I made a point of meeting with Murray every single day after my class ended to confer with him about what I had just covered and what I ought to work on the next day. That’s how I handled the Apprenticeship course, so if I ever veered from the curriculum you should blame Murray, not me. But as for the Facilites Tech program, just what was the particular urgency about following the curriculum?

No one who has not seen the social problems among the native people of the North can completely understand what we are dealing with in an educational setting. Many of the students who enroll in our courses are barely functional after years of chronic alcohol abuse. It was made clear to me that failing them was not an option: we wanted to keep them enrolled at all costs, because we believed that one way or another the school is providing a positive social influence. In the case of Facilities Tech Level Two, we had a further motivation....

* * * * * * *

When we return, I'll tell you just what that "further motivation" was all about.

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