Celina Furness In Praise Of The “F Word”

Celina Furness In Praise Of The "F Word"

Who or what does Sherry blame for the “meaningless diplomas” that are issued each year? What other reasons for this situation can you think of?

Students are slipping through the cracks from elementary all the way through high school, at the fault of America’s educational system and its teachers. Sherry explains that teachers struggle with getting students attention, as well as instilling in them a sense of urgency. Most importantly, however, teachers fail to use the threat of failure as a motivational tool. It is not to say that teachers should threaten failure at every turn, but that students are being wrongfully passed without any consequences for their lack of action. Students also struggle with a lack of motivation, which Sherry attributes to a lack of maturity. However, this problem is not purely the fault of educators. The school system itself often encourages allowing students to pass, citing concerns of budgeting and lack of resources. On the topic resources, teachers are often underpaid and overworked, and are not given enough of a budget or the right tools to support struggling students. Passing and graduating students who are not really for the professional world is doing a disservice to schools, the students, and the workplace alike.

In her title, Sherry refers to flunking as the “F Word.” What point is she making by doing this?

Sherry refers to flunking as the “F Word” in order to associate it with something bad, taboo, and/or scary (much like the actual F word). This tactic is used strategically, since the threat of failure is not used or followed through with nearly enough in high school. Although Sherry associates failure with a negative swear word, she also cites it as a “…positive teaching tool,” (Sherry, 3). Flunking must be taken very seriously in order to be effectively motivational. Instead of allowing students to slip through the cracks, Sherry explains that teachers and parents both have to band together and make good on their threats of the “F Word”.

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