Each december David Brooks of the New York Times puts out a list of notable articles from the past year. “Anybody interested in being a better person will click the links to these essays, and read attentively”
I’m only a few essays through, but the Sidney Awards essays have always been thoughtful and informative, even entertaining. My favorite so far to be expected, is Paper Tigers by Wesley Yang. This article came out amidst the storm that was the Tiger Mom and for me it was the effective counter to the benefits of the Asian parenting style. Yes, that style leads to forced academic success. But it also leads to low self esteem, depression and pressure cooker type explosions. I’ve experienced it and I see it daily as a teacher.
The friday before Winter vacation, we teachers were at school submitting final grades, finalizing the semester. I was in my classroom, blasting music, filling out hoop-jumping-worksheets for my BTSA credentialing, when one of my kids walked in with red puffy eyes. She was checking her semester grades, and she was getting Bs in her classes. I gave her a B too. She started sobbing and telling me that her parents were going to be so pissed at her and that all she ever does is disappoint them. With her Bs this first semester of her senior year, her chances of getting into a UC are now slim to none. I just hope that one day she will realize that she’s more than just a failure and a disappointment.