Crayons in the College Classroom
The mother of one of my students is the receptionist for one of our doctors. Because we were going to see his mother today, I took one of his assignments to her. This particular assignment is known as the star diagram and students use crayons to complete it. When my neighbor Ruth saw the assignment, she thought it looked as if had been completed by a kindergartener.
After arriving at the doctor’s office, I gave the assignment—which I had placed in a clear, protective folder—to mom. I told her that I wanted her to know that her son was doing well on his assignments and that the money she was paying for tuition was being well spent.
We had a good laugh and I told her that she needed to put the assignment on the refrigerator when she got home this evening. During the next hour, she showed everyone her son’s schoolwork. When they asked how old he was, she replied “18” and everyone laughed. And then they talked about her son and how well he was doing in school.
Many years ago, I remember an incident where someone was complaining about liberal college professors who make their students draw pictures. He was definitely not amused by such “innovative” techniques. The day before this incident took place, I had purchased new crayons for the upcoming semester.
Taken out of context, my student’s kindergarten drawing might not be impressive, but as part of the overall strategy for the course, it was pedagogically sound. And in this case, it gave a proud mother the perfect excuse to boast about her brilliant son.
The image is not of the student who is the subject of this blog.