Mary Sherry In Praise Of The F Word Summary

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The essay “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word” by Mary Sherry explains some flaws Sherry has noticed in our education system. These observations are from her teaching perspective, and from her son’s own experience in high school. Sherry claims that some students that have earned a high school degree should not have because they are “semi literate.” She starts out her essay by stating this bluntly, but further explains herself as it goes on.

Sherry is an adult literacy grammar teacher, and often faces students that wish they could have had a more beneficial experience in high school. Before her theory now, Sherry explains how she blamed the “poor academic skills our kids have today on drugs, divorce and other impediments to concentration necessary
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Sherry goes on and explains why we think it is right to sometimes excuse students who cheat the system because they come from terrible environments, but then goes on to conclude that “most kids don’t put school first on their list unless they perceive something else is at stake.” I think this is why there is a UIL rule at a lot of schools with a “no pass no play” policy. Students who are involved in extracurricular activities then have a reason to strive to pass.

Sherry believes that “people of all ages can rise above their problems, but they need a reason to do so.” This is where failure comes in. Sherry proclaims that we need to recognize that this fear of failure is a positive teaching tool. To make this tool work, teachers and parents need to accept that if the student doesn’t learn the material, they must follow through with their promises of flunking. Both teachers and parents have to realize that the future of the child is at stake, and only good intentions come from the
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