Mary Sherry's Essay 'In Praise Of The F Word'

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Will failing a student motivate them to do better in school? Mary Sherry thinks so. In her article “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word”, she uses personal experience to make a case for this. Her article demonstrates the effects of failing students or passing them when they do not earn it. She also explains why it is important to consider the best interest of the student. Therefore, failing a student can give them motivation to do better and will keep them in the learning environment they need to be. Initially, motivation is the key force that drives people to do the things they do, but sometimes in life there are things they do not want to do. Especially in school, most tasks just seem like a chore. Thus, some students may need help getting that motivation. Sherry uses an example of her son having problems in English. She meets with her son’s teacher, and the teacher threatens to fail him. Of course, it is a huge shock and very frightening to think about, but Sherry decides to tell her son anyways. She notices an immediate change. That fear of failing…show more content…
People do not feel comfortable if they do not feel like they fit in. Additionally, a learning environment is the worst place for a person to feel left behind, and unfortunately students feel like this sometimes. Sherry mentions her experience with students that are falling behind because they are going to a different grade when they are not ready. If a student is passing when they do not earn it, they will not understand the work like their classmates. It is hard to motivate a student if they are the only one that does not understand what is going on. However, students will motivate themselves more if they are in a group with students on the same learning level; it will give them a sense of belonging. In consequence, it does more damage to pass a student that is not ready than to fail

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