A recent study found that teachers like my typing and creative writing teachers — teachers who are demanding, critical when criticism is due and in every way the antithesis of touchy-feely — do the best job of bringing out the best in their students.
The touchy-feelies are more well-liked, mind you, but their students don’t give them their best. They slack off, because they intuitively know that touchy-feely teachers are touchy-feely when they hand out grades. Billy did C work, but Billy gets a B from Mrs. Imok-Youreok because Billy needs “encouragement.” All the kids really like Mrs. Imok-Youreok. Their parents do, too.
It was recently announced that The Duke Endowment is giving Davidson, Duke, Johnson C. Smith and Furman universities $3.4 million to study why so many of today’s college students report high levels of stress and anxiety and find ways of enhancing their “resiliency,” which the project defines as the ability to thrive despite adversity and difficult circumstances.
I will tell these institutions, for free, why today’s college students find it so difficult to cope. It’s because they have never had to deal with high expectations, demands and high standards that don’t waver because they need encouragement. It’s because they’ve never encountered the likes of my typing and creative writing teachers.
It’s because if they ever had, their parents would have screamed bloody murder, administration would have caved in and the meanies would have been replaced by the likes of Mrs. Imok-Youreok.
It takes $3.4 million to figure this out? The trustees of The Duke Endowment ought to be ashamed of themselves for wasting all this money. They need a good whacking with a yardstick.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parent questions at rosemond.com.