On the first day of class this 2015-2016, the students received this timed-essay prompt, used by College Board on January 2015 SAT:
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.The rewrite which one student submitted was poor and needed more revision, particularly expansion.
We are often told to "put on a brave face" or to be strong. To do this, we often have to hide, or at least minimize, whatever fears, flaws, and vulnerabilities we possess. However, such an emphasis on strength is misguided. What truly takes courage is to show our imperfections, not to show our strengths, because it is only when we are able to show vulnerability — or the capacity to be hurt — that we are genuinely able to connect with other people.
Assignment: Is it more courageous to show vulnerability than it is to show strength? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
Here is the email exchange mentioned in the introduction at the beginning of this blog post....
AOW: "The rewrite which [your son] submitted on October 13 is inadequate (F) because he did not fulfill the minimum word requirement. This, in spite of all the suggestions I gave him on his handwritten draft. On October 20, [your son] will receive the essay back to try again and to resubmit on October 27....He will also need to get a parent signature on the chart page where I wrote the F grade."On October 17, I received the parent's reply.
Parent: "Thank you for the email and for giving [my son] another chance at the essay."This parents of the student referenced in this blog post immigrated from China approximately three decades ago, and their reaction to their child's inadequate essay is typical of the homeschool parents as a whole.
The Chinese and Korean parents with whom I come into contact are particularly supportive of the teacher's evaluation of their children's schoolwork and less inclined to make excuses for their children's inadequate submissions. Why is this the case?
Note: the parent referenced in this blog post does not qualify as a tiger mother. She is, however, heavily invested in the education of her five children.