Cassandra Garcia, an 8-year-old student, was humiliated last week when her teacher awarded her the “Catastrophe Award” for giving the “most excuses for not having homework” during the 2012 school year.
Kgun9 reports that the teacher, Mrs. Plowman, announced the award in front of the whole class.
Garcia’s mother, Christina Valdez, complained to the school about the award but said that the teacher brushed the incident off, saying it was just a joke.
“She blew me off. She said it was a joke that was played and that the teachers joke around with the children.”
But child development experts disagree. Sheri Mauman, an education psychologist at the University of Arizona College of Education, said:
“That isn’t an award. It doesn’t fit the criteria… They feel fearful of authority of what might happen if they make a mistake.”
Marlon Jones, a UA education psychology graduate, said:
“(Teachers should) make them feel better about learning. I don’t think a catastrophe award is doing that. It’s just not. We have to set a better example, I think.”
Whether it was a joke award or not, Valdez said that her daughter didn’t deserve the Catastrophe Award since her daughter has a folder full of complete assignments.
What do you think of the Catastrophe Award? Is this a playful joke among teachers and students? Or is it a humiliating award that will discourage students from trying harder on their assignments?