Mr. D is one of the few new TV shows that I actually really enjoy. Plus it’s Canadian, so double win. Today’s episode was called “Exam Week”. I thought this was a fitting time for it, since my brother and sister both just finished their January exams. Mr. D focuses on the perspective of the teacher, as opposed to that of the students, giving a new take on things.
In this episode, Gerry is unprepared for giving his exam, and things are disrupted due to multiple fire drills. He ends up making it up on the spot, asking the students the broad question “What was World War II about?” as their one exam question. Broad questions like this save the time of having to write up specific questions with specific answers. The difficulty with these broad questions, is that the marking is so subjective.
Instead of reading them and marking each exam, Gerry looks at the mark that each student has going into the exam, and give them a mark a little higher than that. As for the smartest kid in the class, he marks that one first and uses it as his answer key. He writes random comments and puts random marks on the exams so it looks as if he’s read through them and then come up with the mark as a result.
The scary thing about this, is it is based on Gerry Dee’s own life experience as a teacher. If you watch his stand up comedy, he admits that he actually did things like this when he was teaching. Because he’s so hilarious, I suppose he can be forgiven for this. But it makes me wonder how many other teachers out there have similar methods.
In this episode, while explaining his marking strategies to his friend, he also mentioned that there was a girl in the class who he didn’t like. Because he didn’t like her, he would fail her, but then give her just enough to pass his class so that he wouldn’t have to teach her again. I’m not sure if that part is based on his real life experience as well. It very well could be. It makes me think back to when I took History 12. I got 50.5% on my History exam that the teacher gave and marked in January. But when it came time for the standardized provincial exams at the end of the year that she had nothing to do with, I got an A. I think that’s proof right there that she just didn’t like me.
This episode of Mr. D confirmed my belief that sometimes the reason you do badly in school is because the teacher just doesn’t like you. I know it’s only a TV show. But it’s based on real life. Possibly an exaggerated version of real life, but real life nevertheless. So if you do badly in a class, maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe your teacher just doesn’t like you. And I learned this from TV, so it must be true.