UPDATE: I watched this video of a report on this story and was delighted to get a look at the girl's actual homework. Some of the assigned work looked like excellent reinforcement, assuming it was actually at the girl's independent reading level. But then I spied the spelling work. Experts long ago found that copying spelling words more than three times is completely useless, in addition to being mind-numbingly boring. I could see that the words were repeated well over three times each. It is busy work, pure and simple. Shame on the teacher.
Experts say that children should be given no more than ten minutes homework for each year they have been in school. I wonder if this girl's teacher followed best practices in assigning homework. Did she give more than half an hour's homework to this eight year old? Yes, I know that parents often want more homework for their kids. They think it will make them better students. Instead, the parents should be reading to their kids, discussing what they've read, discussing everyday math, and exchanging ideas and opinions with their kids. A lot of parents do this, and their children do better in school.
Also, I'd really love to know what the assignment was. Many teachers give work that they didn't have time to cover in class, so they expect parents to teach it. This girl's parents may not have been able to give her the needed help.
Many teachers think respect is a one-way street, something kids owe to them, but they don't owe to kids. One teacher at my school contemptuously referred to kids without homework as "losers".
Arizona girl, 8, humiliated with "catastrophe" award
Teacher pointed her out for not having homework
BY NANCY DILLON
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
May 28, 2012
An Arizona teacher gave her 8-year-old student a "catastrophe" award for not having her homework.
The dog ate her homework, so third-grader Cassandra Garcia got a serving of humiliation that some are finding hard to swallow.
The 8-year-old was called in front of her laughing classmates recently to receive a “catastrophe” award for “most excuses for not having homework” at her Tucson elementary school, KGUN9 News reported.
The colorful certificate included a giant cartoon ice cream cone, her teacher’s signature and a smiley face in black marker.
“It’s cruel, and no child should be given an award like this,” the girl’s mom, Christina Valdez, told KGUN. “It’s disturbing.”
She said her daughter was crushed by the hazing, so she complained to the principal at Desert Springs Academy.
“She blew me off. She said it was a joke that was played and that the teachers joke around with the children,” Valdez said.
Sheri Bauman, a psychologist at the University of Arizona College of Education, agreed.
“That isn’t an award,” Bauman told KGUN. “It doesn’t fit the criteria."
Being humiliated after making mistakes is counterproductive to learning, she said.