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Old 09-22-2011, 12:29 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,943,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
I've been avoiding this for a couple of years now, syracusa, but I just have to ask...why do you stay here, if everything is so dreadful?

I'm not saying "America, love it or leave it", but for the love of mike, I have never seen one positive post about anything in this country flow from your fingertips. Why would you stay in what is apparently, for you, Dante's tenth ring? It seems...illogical.
Take a wild guess!! Then let's stay on topic.

If you dislike topic or approach, why not choose another thread?
No need to question MY motives. It is completely irrelevant to discuss why I am inclined to see what I see out there.

Is it just my imagination? If yes, demonstrate or support your view with solid argumentation.

Also, did you catch the part about my profound admiration for what American teachers do? Is that positive enough for you? Or do you just want me to ooze general positivity about everything I see in this country (or in this cohort, globally speaking!). Because if that's what you want, I won't be able to oblige.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:00 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,719,242 times
Reputation: 6677
I'm a parent who has spent 15+ years volunteering in classrooms and I have totally seen behavior among the student populations in public schools across four different states spiral downhill in recent years. It's pretty scary.

I feel so bad for teachers. You have these out of control kids, and these "my child is not the problem nor is my parenting to be questioned" parents, and a school system that doesn't support either groups, truly, because the districts are too busy worrying over budgets and how they are going to keep paying their admins and principals 6-digit salaries...

I feel so bad for teacher's. That's why I try to volunteer as much as I can. A lot of times I'm simply trying to keep kids quiet and reminding them to pay attention to the teacher! I want my kids teacher to be able to focus on teaching - every minute counts - so I try to help by dealing with the behavior issues. Also, it means a teacher has a witness in the classroom should they require one. There was one time when a student complained to their parents about something, the parent got mad and went straight to the principal - not to the teacher, they went straight to the principal - and the principal then had to go talk to the teacher. I was able to support the teacher because I was there when the situation happened.

Some parents just have it already made up in their minds that teachers are evil and not to be trusted. I don't understand it. And of course if the parent thinks and behaves this way, that will usually pass on to their kids.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
Reputation: 14495
I agree. Our kids are raised having everything done for them and are held responsible for nothing. Teaching a child who is not ready and willing to learn is kind of like pushing a rope. Everyone else is working 20 times harder than they need to because the child is doing nothing and we're lucky to get 1/10th the results.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:31 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,943,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
I feel so bad for teacher's. That's why I try to volunteer as much as I can.
Agree.
Coming from a different country, I started out feeling offended at the very idea that schools would expect parents to drop other problems they have including work and household-related chores etc. and just come to do unpaid work at school; but when I understood the process and the cultural background better, I realized I want to do it. It is HARD for the teachers and after all, it would help my kid too under the circumstances.

However I do not volunteer for basically anything outside of the classroom as I don't believe in the extra, PTA-type frills.

Last edited by syracusa; 09-22-2011 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,107 posts, read 39,170,046 times
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I've been teaching for 28 years. My first position was in a middle school. I'll never forget my first Principal telling me, after he offered me the job, that I had to remember that "the students are "very social". Which I didn't realize at the time really meant "they can't shut the **** up".
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,160,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snofarmer View Post
yea, just conform and become a sheeple.
Not at all. But one has to wonder why someone would bother if there's no-- or virtually no-- positives, whether it's a country, a school, a job, or anything else. More importantly, why put your child through it?
(And really? "Sheeple"? Who, with more of a vocabulary than a pile of dead squid, even uses that term?)
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:12 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,015,271 times
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Perhaps if they focused on actually teaching something, rather than straining to make every day a "party". Especially in the lower grades, its a rare day when they are not celebrating a birthday, or having an assembly, or field trip, guest "speakers", etc. Then, they try so hard to make it NOT look like schoolwork. everything is a game---learning is diced up into board games, songs, group activities, crafts

They keep the kids hyped up all day going from one learning "game" to another, then wonder why they can't settle down. Guess they must all be ADD Look you reap what you sow, if you constanly present school as a carnival, don't wonder why the kids act like it.

They are so conditioned to think school is some sort of party and the teacher is some sort of clown, no wonder they can't settle down. When I went to school (way back in the dark ages), we were expected to be in our seats when the bell rang---individual seats, not little group tables. Our mouths were shut, our supplies out and ready, our eyes foucsed on the teacher, who was all-powerful. she certainly wasn't there to entertain us, and we were never given that impression.

Both my kids are now in high school---yet their supply list looks more like something for kindergarten. Instead of calculators, rulers, etc, its all about crayons, colored pencils, poster boards, glue sticks----the only skill they will have is to make a poster WILL WORK FOR FOOD! And my DD is in AP courses
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:23 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,015,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I agree. Our kids are raised having everything done for them and are held responsible for nothing. Teaching a child who is not ready and willing to learn is kind of like pushing a rope. Everyone else is working 20 times harder than they need to because the child is doing nothing and we're lucky to get 1/10th the results.

They start that way in pre-school and kindergarten. They literally go from one activity to another. They are never expected to clean up their supplies, put stuff away, get stuff out, etc. Instead, while they are engaged in one activity, teacher aides are busy setting up the next activity, so all they have to do is stand up, turn around, and dive right into the next activity. They are never expected to take any responsibility to put things away, assemble materials, within their capabilities. Instead, they are taught someone else will do all the grunt work and they just do the "fun stuff". By the time they get to grade school, they are trained to expect someone to literally wait on them hand and foot while they engage in one fun-fun activity after another. its all validated by saying kids learn by doing. Right---they could learn to be responsible for their own supplies, learn to think ahead a little to plan their activities, etc. Instead, all they learn is how to cut up paper, color, make posters, go on field trips, go to assemblies, etc, etc.


Great skills to learn!
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
P...they try so hard to make it NOT look like schoolwork. everything is a game---learning is diced up into board games, songs, group activities, crafts
Learning can take place in ANY of these formats. Embedding lessons into functional activities is not "not concentrating on teaching." I can use essentially ANY format available to me to present information for student learning. It might be standing up in front of a class giving a lecture, or it might not be.

Creativity in teaching does not = "bad," as long as there IS, in fact, teaching of the lessons going on. I wouldn't assume that because an activity looks like (horror of horrors!!!!) students are enjoying it, that nothing is being taught or learned.

Getting the intended lesson across is what matters, not the format in which it is done. If you're talking about activities that are done in lieu of teaching, that's one thing, but there are PLENTY of ways to teach effectively while using a game, a creative activity, a role-play scenario, a hands-on project, an entire group of interconnected activities.

If the intended objectives are getting across, they're more likely to be retained if they're in some way meaningful to the learner (whether that's because they're entertaining, because they're interesting, because they allow the student to use some practical skill, whatever). Lessons don't HAVE to be structured as punishment (Here, kids! You'll sit in your desks silently and copy spelling words over by rote for 25 minutes, and LIKE IT!!!!) to be effective.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,881,813 times
Reputation: 27519
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Having 3 kids, 1 through high school and 2 almost done, I have NEVER witnessed a lack of classroom discipline in ANY of the schools they have attended. The kids all know that when the teacher is talking, you are quiet. If another classmate is talking, you are quite. You raise your hand to ask a question, etc. Sure there is the occasional child that lacks discipline but they are dealt with. I am still curious where all of your kids go to school that they are such Lord of the Flies type schools where all the kids are hellions, the teachers can't think their way out of a box and the administration sits in their offices obvious to all of this.
The OP described inner city Austin schools to a "T".
You have been lucky to have never witnessed it.

I have also witnessed it in rural schools but not to the same degree as urban schools. In rural schools you have 2 maybe 3 that act up while in inner city you have 7-10 acting up. (I speak from middle school experience).
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