Is this a weekly feature? Biweekly? Monthly? It is a question I am not able to answer. Regardless, I will continue to share interesting reads I stumble upon in this space. Hopefully these articles could spark a little bit of excitement into someone else’s day as well.

Why Girls Tend to Get Better Grades Than Boys Do by Enrico Gnaulati from The Atlantic

While this is an interesting article, I have to point out that this seems to be skewed too much. Boys might be less conscientious at their works than girls, but turning in late assignments and other lapse on their part should be addressed rather than handwaved. Being punctual and mindful of one’s responsibility are valued life skills. Maybe it won’t affect their grades when the new system takes place, but fast forward a few years and the boys would realize the real world is not so forgiving on tardiness. Bending the world to follow one’s character does not shape one to stand on their own. They have to confront this ‘natural inaptitude’  sooner or later, just like girls have to face their ‘natural inaptitude’ in other areas. So the current grading system is favorable to girls. A shame. But grades don’t make a man or a woman, if one happens to forget.

How to Make Teachers More Like Doctors by Dmitri Mehlhorn from The Atlantic

Both professions are two occupations in the world that baffled me to no end. Back in school, at the start of every schoolyear the teacher would ask for everyone’s preferred career in the future. The result was highly predictable. Most in the class would say ‘doctor’ while it was rare to see more than ten percent said ‘teacher’. The ratio got steeper as we got closer to college-age. It would usually end with the teacher’s awkward laugh.

Speaking about this country alone. it never fails to astound me when people flock into medicine viewing it from the lucrative side of the industry. On the other end are those who turn into teaching because they fail to get into their preferred majors. Many views ‘teaching’ an occupation when you’re rejected from doing anything else. “Ah, you’re studying Biology? Why didn’t you enroll in a medical school instead?”

The article said that in olden days teachers were apparently trained for morality instead of pedagogy and curriculum. At least here, I now see the opposite running rampant across the country. The brilliant teachers with mouthful of entitlements, but less dazzling performance in identifying with their students. The teachers who know the A-Z of their fields but totally blind in the art of knowledge transfer.

And yet many of the true teachers are struggling out there, armed with nothing but cheap writing utensils and willingness to give their students a chance in life.

Wrong Answer by Rachel Aviv from The New Yorker

Related article and commentaries below.

In Atlanta, Educators Stand Trial for Cheating on High-Stakes Tests by Emily Richmond from The Atlantic

So it’s happening in other countries as well. Not that eye-popping, really. I’ve seen the practice throughout the years…though not as high-tech. You know what Indonesian call the national exam? It’s a breeding ground of cheaters and corruptors. Score lifting is a common practice as well. Knowledge? All we need is test score…period. While these educators seemed to make it like a Robin Hood crime (I couldn’t help but think that not all of them were genuine. Money must be involved somehow, somewhere), I saw less honorable excuses around. Rich kids trying to get into prestigious college? Too little time to study? ‘Come on, it’s just an exam. They don’t bother making it right so why bother with the rules?’ Everyone has their own set of reasons to take part in the formal education system, but it doesn’t mean we can ignore the honor code. Cheating is cheating. Why is one afraid of stealing but not a second thought given to cheat?

Back to the article… The saddest part of all? These kids…they didn’t know they were cheating. To them, it was a moment of pride and joy. It was proof they could do something. I understand these teachers’ reasons, but have anyone thought how crushed these kids would feel when they realized everything was a simply a well-woven lie?

Social Media and The Spiral of Silence from Pew Research

This study proves one of the most ignored fact in modern age. One’s social media account shows how one wants to be perceived instead of their real self. Social media may cultivate interactions, but it doesn’t mean people are more willing to share their thoughts if they think it’s against the popular beliefs. We put only things we feel making us look good in the showcase. It’s also the reason why people would feel those they know online seem to be much happier or more successful than them. Aggravating, the amount of time we spend on cultivating our masks instead of growing as our unique individuals.

Speak up. Voice your thoughts. Never let it drowned just because people you know don’t think the same. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Spark lively debates, start fruitful conversations. Enrich people’s views. If you stay true to logic and keep your manner civil, differing opinions should not be a problem.

Personal problem is another beast entirely.  I don’t expect people to start putting their private problems/thoughts/stuff online. Now is bad enough. It’s one thing to discuss the Snowden case to people you barely know, and it’s another to publicly ask whether or not to make important (or completely silly) decisions in your life. Or random rants. Save those for people who actually know you, and those who actually care about the stuff you meant to share.  This kind of thing is called ‘personal’ and ‘private’ for a reason.