Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Feb 18, 2019.
Feb 22, 2019
Hey, I wouldn't send my kids to where I teach!
I dont think this is terrible. We all get amped up sometimes and then kids realize we are human beings just like other adults in their life. And your apology was the right thing to do. I learned in my career it was ok to apologize to kids. But you got their attention and told the truth. SOmetimes the truth is painful to hear.
The problem with the apology is that he insulted the HS students by saying that they were a lost cause, for all intents and purposes. You don't get to throw others under the bus to rationalize your actions with the student you yelled at. If you want to apologize, zero in on your actions, make the changes you can make, and leave other current students out of the conversation. It may have made OP feel better to tell them that he was angry because he doesn't want them to end up the same way, but that wasn't really what was behind his outburst. Don't you think that what was said when he yelled will get to the HS students? Or get out into the community? I believe we all have moments that aren't our finest, but we need to own that it isn't behavior we aspire to, and that we will work on our own weaknesses to be better teachers while they likewise work to be the best students they can be. And then the hard part, for all concerned, is follow through.
Correct.... if I had left out the “I don’t yell at the juniors or seniors because it’s too late” portion and just told the 8th graders that it’s not too late for them, it would have involved just the class that I was dealing with. Granted, the whole faculty knows about the juniors and seniors. I was just casually talking to our 1st grade teacher about my seniors and she said, “Bless your heart.... I know what you’re dealing with. They were mine way back in 1st grade and they were hard to handle!” But enough of the past. I’ve got to figure a way to reverse this trend. If I’m hired back for next year, the juniors will be seniors and a group of low performers that I had last year will return to me as juniors.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard of paddling being used even though it’s still legal. Maybe twenty years ago?
Feb 23, 2019
Consider: Put yourself in the place of an unmotivated student. Pretend math is not your favorite subject due mainly to not having much success - Ds and Fs. When you try nothing positive happens. You are embarrassed to ask for help because you don't want to look stupid in front of peers. You don't work on assignments because to do so would show, graphically, what you don't know. Then the teacher, with best intentions, rubs your face in your mistakes by pointing out your errors. By hiding behind non-work you save a sliver of self-esteem as you subscribe to the saying, "Better they think I'm stupid than to show my work and remove any doubt."
Now that you have a picture of the student you are dealing with what can you offer that will make the student try? Not talking about mastery of an algorithm. Talking about starting on a piece of work. A sliver. A morsel. A tiny step that he/she can be successful doing. In other words, one of the most powerful incentives (reward) is the feeling of being successful at something. It's human nature to return to those things you are good at and avoid those things you are not. If you can task analyse a skill into manageable steps and ask yourself, "If I'm a confused, unmotivated student will I be able to do this step?" If "No" then break it down some more until the student can "teach you" the step. Then practice only that step on a set of problems - about 5-8 (judgment) as opposed to asking the student to do the first step then start adding more steps - surefire way to cognitive overload and, again, "I can't do it. I'm still a failure." Idea is to work on "movement" through an assignment. Once students feel confident you can work on mastery.
I received a notification that this post was added to the thread. I absolutely love your insight. I believe fully that students should learn at their own pace.
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