Maybe honesty is not always the best policy. Here is a comment from a student whose class participated in the Scholastic Dear America webcast:
“I am sorry but I did not like your books. I did not like your books because they are a little boring and they teach us about history which I find to be boring too. I also wanted it to be exciting but it was not fun or exciting. But, the only part that was cool was when you took questions from other kids and answered them. I liked that.”

At least she was sorry that she didn’t like the books!

No Responses to “Ouch”

  1. Jeanette Larson

    I always wonder a bit if some of the negativity is because the teacher required the kids to write something. And of course, the student liked something…the Q&A!

  2. Martha Brockenbrough

    I think it’s sad that this child lacks the compassion to anticipate your response to this note. How would she feel if her teacher said, “I am sorry, but I find your ideas boring.” This is one of the things parents and teachers SHOULD work on with kids, so that they learn to use their words in positive ways. I’d wager that this child regularly hurts the feelings of other kids around her. It’s the whole idea that if you say, “No offense, but …” or “I’m sorry, but…,” then you bear no responsibility for your words. Very sad.

  3. Kirby Larson

    Wow, Martha, how wise of you! I had not thought about that before. I’m betting that child has no idea that writers are “real” people. Let’s hope the teacher saw the comment and used it as a teaching moment!

  4. Liesl Shurtliff

    Oh wow. I was thinking about this kind of thing the other day, how I would feel or respond to a child’s negative feedback. Maybe when we visit schools we can tell the kids they can feel anyway they want about our book, even hate them, but in order to tell us they hate our book they must write a 500 word essay in which they adequately reason WHY they didn’t like the book and the WHY of the WHY they didn’t like it. And they also must reason why the writer wrote the book and why other people might like it. Maybe that will make them think before they open their mouths!

    We can tell the teachers these requirement, so if the kids sent hate mail we can forward the email to the teachers and then Ding! Ding! Extra homework!


  5. RavPadfoot

    Children are so painfully honest. As a teacher, my fourth graders don’t hold anything back. A student told me the other day that class was going to be “more boring” when my student teacher leaves. Gee, thanks.

    I wonder if the teacher read the letter before the student sent it. It’s definitely a teachable moment when a student writes/says such comments.