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Thread: Teachers' Union in CA proves their point ...

  1. #21
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I think we are looking for too-simple answers.

    I'd say that there are more a combination of factors. Home environment, an inspiring teacher, a natural propensity to a work ethic, natural gifts (which can be physical or mental), some life-changing moments, flashes of insight. Some people who have had the worst outlooks can turn into remarkable achievers. Two children in the same family in a "deprived" life situation can turn out completely differently. We also see times when any one of those variables can outweigh all the others in spite of the adversity.

    I think that one of the things we have failed at is in the effort to give all students self-esteem we praise them for what is easy for them, rather than what takes effort. Teachers and parents are only human, and they can misinterpret the concept of building self-esteem. Not every child will be capable of being a rocket scientist or a musician or an artist. And most of them are aware of when the praise is "robotic" and not based in some "fact".
    To the contrary, I think we are looking for to complicated an answer...................
    Stan b & Elvis

  2. #22
    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I think that one of the things we have failed at is, in the effort to give all students self-esteem, we praise them for what is easy for them, rather than what takes effort. Teachers and parents are only human, and they can misinterpret the concept of building self-esteem. Not every child will be capable of being a rocket scientist or a musician or an artist. And most of them are aware of when the praise is "robotic" and not based in some "fact".

    I think that the phrase "GOOD JOB!" has become one of the most abused phrases in America.
    Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Rookie, I can certainly see your point. This was the kind of inequity that Head Start was supposed to help. Yet, now they find that the kids lose the benefits gained in Head Start to a large extent by first grade; and entirely by 3rd grade; by 3rd grade actually being behind overall.

    So, it would seem, that Head Start works while they are there, but is lost in elementary school. This may not, of course, be the case in your wife's school. There may not be an active Head Start program for those children.

    I have to believe that, in the inner city schools, which is where Head Start programs may be most available (and needed), the benefits become over-ridden by the violence statistics of those elementary schools.

    When it comes to violence, the teachers are in as much danger as the kids!

    My solution would be to assess what it is in the public schools that wipe out the benefits acquired in Head Start ... and find a way to fix that. Throwing more money at Head Start is not the answer. It appears that Head Start may work ... until the kids get into the public school system.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  4. #24
    Senior Member luvalab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPL View Post
    I think that the phrase "GOOD JOB!" has become one of the most abused phrases in America.
    Teachers are taught that for every one negative, a kid needs to hear three positives. I actually happen to believe this, as a guideline.

    HOWEVER, the negative and the three positives need to be rooted in fact for the "formula" to work. Too often, the negative is out of frustration over something the kid has no part in rather than focused, constructive criticism, and the three positives are not genuine. Kids have amazing BS detectors, at least at first, before we mess them up.

    Then the REAL problems come... they don't believe the negative, they don't believe the positive... they don't know WHAT to believe. Some default to self-doubt and self-hatred; some default to "I'm super, because everyone tells me so and I want to believe it"; some create other nonsense unrelated to any feedback. And when a bit of GOOD feedback sneaks in with all the BS, then they really get confused.

    As a teacher, criticism and praise are probably the most maddening, difficult general set of decisions I make, and I have to make them constantly. What about objectivity? As objective as a teacher tries to be, every assessment, formal and informal, has a value set to kids--NOTHING is objective. Nothing.

    A little truth and compassion early on, that sense of where they fit into the world, would go a long way for a lot of kids, IMO.

    Are people scared of those things? Exhausted? Tuned out? I don't know.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvalab View Post
    Teachers are taught that for every one negative, a kid needs to hear three positives. I actually happen to believe this, as a guideline.

    HOWEVER, the negative and the three positives need to be rooted in fact for the "formula" to work. Too often, the negative is out of frustration over something the kid has no part in rather than focused, constructive criticism, and the three positives are not genuine. Kids have amazing BS detectors, at least at first, before we mess them up.

    Then the REAL problems come... they don't believe the negative, they don't believe the positive... they don't know WHAT to believe. Some default to self-doubt and self-hatred; some default to "I'm super, because everyone tells me so and I want to believe it"; some create other nonsense unrelated to any feedback. And when a bit of GOOD feedback sneaks in with all the BS, then they really get confused.

    As a teacher, criticism and praise are probably the most maddening, difficult general set of decisions I make, and I have to make them constantly. What about objectivity? As objective as a teacher tries to be, every assessment, formal and informal, has a value set to kids--NOTHING is objective. Nothing.

    A little truth and compassion early on, that sense of where they fit into the world, would go a long way for a lot of kids, IMO.

    Are people scared of those things? Exhausted? Tuned out? I don't know.
    No, it's because..........."Everybody Wants to Rule the World!"

    Stan b & Elvis

  6. #26
    Senior Member luvalab's Avatar
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    Hah. Through their kids? Good luck! Kids'll eventually do their own thing. But you might be right.
    --Greta Ode
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