I read one of the saddest, yet most infuriating, comments last week and I feel compelled to share it here. As my Director of Admissions and I were reviewing a stack of admissions applications, she came across a most telling comment by a teacher on a teacher recommendation form for one of our candidates. She nearly dropped the file. "Oh! My! Gosh! You must read this!"
Like most teacher recommendation forms used by admissions offices across the country, our teacher recs include a table on which a recommending teacher evaluates a candidate based on a variety of categories and scores him/her as "exceptional," "above average," "average," and so on. One of the categories on the teacher rec is "Creativity." Sadly, this particular teacher's recommendation form did not score this particular candidate for "Creativity" at all. Instead, this teacher wrote off to the side of the "Creativity" row "No basis for judgment."
Let that sink in for a moment. A high school teacher from an above-average high school in Houston, Texas, in the year 2011, actually wrote, actually admitted, that she had "no basis for judgment" of a student's creativity. What subject did she teach (and, at this point, I use the term "teach" loosely)? Drum roll please... English. Seriously?
What a tragedy.