Are today's parents really RAISING their kids?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by scholarteacher, May 19, 2017.

  1. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2017

    I wonder if anyone else--especially in other parts of the country--see a trend of parents being irresponsible and negligent with their kids. I know there are special circumstances, but overall, I see the kids in my area being brought to school an hour late, not completing any homework, not wearing sufficient and/or decent clothing to school, not being taught responsibility, parents making excuses for their behavior, etc. Parents have literally told me that they won't read to their child at home--that's the teacher's job. Kids can hit others, flip the bird to the teacher, be disrespectful, etc., and parents don't do one thing about it. Rather, they make excuses for their little darlings and get mad at me for implying that the little angel could ever do anything wrong. And this is kindergarten! Does anyone else see this? (I'm in the southeast US.)
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 19, 2017

    I think in general we have plenty of parents doing a fine job with what they have, but yes, I do have cases where I wonder.

    I even have one case where Grandma, who comes in weekly to volunteer, flat-out told me her daughter is tired of being a mom and sees Kiddo as a friend rather than a daughter. Kiddo is 7. While Mom is nice and a good person from what I can gather, I have seen enough that I wonder why Kiddo is as responsible and decent as she is with Mom not really wanting to be Mom.

    I may have mentioned it here before, but years ago a letter to the editor was basically calling for teachers to raise their kids.
     
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  4. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    I had a handful of parents get upset because I stopped giving homework during the 2nd quarter... I don't remember exact wording but was basically told by every one that it was a babysitter so they could do other things without their child distracting them.
     
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  5. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I thought that was what TV and technology was for. ;-)
     
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  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I have a student who plays truant all the time, is rude and disruptive, stirs up the other kids to rebel against the teacher. His mom is an aide in another school. We have phoned multiple times, emailed multiple times, called her place of work multiple times. Mom does not want to know about what her kid is up to. Prefers to stick her head on the sand and pretend it's not happening. Kid is not all bad and his behaviour has escalated recently due to a recent traumatic event to his close friends. he desperately needs help from a professional and a mother who takes an interest; he is on the path to self destruction. I can't believe mom thinks the problem will go away if she doesn't respond to us.
     
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  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    It's disgusting. I really hope things turn around because we can't have these kids growing up like this.
     
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  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    A resounding yes. I had parents the other day justify their students' use of violence in my classroom, because another kid flipped his phone out of his hand, all of which happened in a split second, and why didn't I do anything about that (even though he could have sat elsewhere because it was free seating, they are friends and showed no sign of conflict before, and I was across the room). According to the father, he would have punched the kid in the nose. I was lucky all that happened was a headlock.

    Some people should just not procreate.
     
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  9. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    I think it depends on the demographic. My friend, also a teacher, works in an upper class, suburban, primarily 'white' school. What you are describing is the story of her life. My school, on the other hand, is the poorest in the state. I am white and the only white person in the classroom. My classes are always populated entirely with minority, immigrant, and refugee children. Parents not raising their kids is not an issue in my school. For example, two years ago one of my Latino students had a C on his report card. I have no idea what his mother said to him, considering she was speaking in Spanish, but the next day he came in and handed me a stack of make up work. She made him do it even though it was too late to fix the grade.
     
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  10. Janedo5513

    Janedo5513 Rookie

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    Yes. Yes. and Yes! Not only that but they blame you if their child acts up. All I could do was record everything in our system so if anything happened, I had covered my butt.
     
  11. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Its hard to expect students whose parents do not model accountability in their actions (its always someone's fault if there is a screw up e.g. the teacher's fault) to be accountable in their actions, when they have hardly seen it in action. When we call out the student's behaviour, its always someone else distracting them, someone else making them laugh, someone else told them to spill ink on the floor etc. These students will grow up, have their own kids and the problem perpetuates. Vicious cycle.
     
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  12. waterfall

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    I wonder if part of this change is due to parents working more/longer hours. In my area, the COL has gone up exponentially and a lot of people are having to take on second jobs, or more is being asked of them at their current jobs. I've even heard other teachers say something to the effect of feeling so guilty that they don't get to spend enough time with their kids that they want the time they do get to be "happy/pleasant/fun." They don't want to spend their limited time disciplining and dealing with an angry/upset kid. Same with people that are divorced and sharing custody.

    Of course there are always people that are just flat out negligent as well (yes, we have many of those at my school).
     
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  13. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    May 20, 2017

    I saw a lot of that with my peers growing up. My classmates had corporate parents who let daycare raise the kids because they're afraid that their child won't like them if they discipline. But, these were the same parents who'd pitch a fit if the school or daycare disciplined either, so the kids end up with no firm boundaries and no sense of accountability.
    My favorite was the 7th grader we were about to start the ADHD evaluation process for, then halted after we talked to his parents. The kid was bouncing off the walls because they let him have Red Bull at breakfast. :rolleyes: They had no idea it wasn't for kids. *facepalm*
     
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  14. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    I think there is definitely a change in the parenting styles. We talk about this all the time at my school site. I teach in a high poverty area. One of my Co-Workers pointed out something that I thought was interesting: We are now seeing the effects of kids having kids. This is not to say that all young parents are irresponsible and that older parents have it together. But it is an interesting thought. These kids were raised by people who were kids themselves. This is compounded by a lack of support or parental involvement. Some of our kids are so broken and damaged they dont even realize it. They have seen things that no one should have to see. The level of trauma some of our kids experience breaks my heart. I think the old saying: It takes a village is 100% correct.
     
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  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I really hate this phrase.
     
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  16. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Yes, yes, yes!
     
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I totally agree. Yet I hear so many parents these days with these cute one-liners about how they don't want the village involved. They may have good intentions, but they're destroying the cohesive respect needed for communities and the individuals in them.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I go back and forth about my opinion on this topic. I think that every generation thinks that the next generation is sooooooo bad. Even the ancient Romans talked about "kids today" being so disrespectful and whatnot. I do, however, think that I do see a degradation of parenting skills along with what seems like kids growing up too quickly (which may be the result of poor parenting). I'm not sure if it's a generational thing, a socioeconomic thing, a cultural thing, a regional thing, or something else entirely, but I do see it.
     
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  19. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    To some extent it is. I'm an old millenial (depending on who you ask) with parents from the boomer and silent generations. At least in the earlier years, I was raised on a much tighter leash than my classmates with younger parents. Our teachers used to think we were overly timid/shy because we were raised that children are to be seen and not to be heard. At the same time, we heard all about how we had it so much easier because our grandparents were stricter with them.
    I think each generation is getting more permissive, but somewhere along the line a segment of parents backlash reacted towards "helicopter parenting". I think another part of it is that the children who grew up in dysfunctional families are having children without the benefit of a model of functional parenting. There's so much judgement these days that it's hard to seek advice.
     
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  20. GPC0321

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    I go back and forth a lot as well, and like you, I believe every generation thinks the one coming up is the ruination of civilization as we know it.
    As for them "growing up too fast", I'm not sure about that either. In my mind "growing up" means becoming more like an adult, being given more responsibility, having expectations and facing consequences when those expectations are not met. In those areas, I'm afraid children are actually staying children much longer now than they once did. Heck, when I was in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade, the seniors in our K-12 school actually drove the school buses! This was the late 80's. Imagine them allowing seniors in high school to drive bus loads of students to and from school in this day and age! Yikes!
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    There is definitely an odd combination of early maturity and prolonged immaturity. When I think of how kids dressed when I was in high school, it didn't include extreme contouring, blow-outs, 6-inch heels. It was okay to have frizzy hair, braces, and some of that little-kid chubbiness that often accompanies early puberty.
     
  22. whizkid

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    Many are raising themselves.
     
  23. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I teach a very affluent, Mexican population. That is not the case. They are very engaged and hands on (sometimes too much so!).
     
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  24. John Lee

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    Not sure that I see that. I will say, that I've thought about the topic of families, etc. I do think a large portion of the general population doesn't know what good relationships, parenting is... As it relates to education, I think you're right in that the general tendency of parents (when their kids get a bad grade) is to question the teacher rather than the student. I'm not sure that is something that has changed since 30 years ago or not... a lot of people will say that is true, I don't necessarily buy it.

    The other thing I think I do see, is generally how people get blinded by their love/allegiance whatever you want to call it. In this case, parents are blinded by the love of their kid. They love their kid and their kid is awesome, so they are unwilling to think that their kid isn't perfect. (BTW, getting a bad grade doesn't mean they're not perfect.)

    I see it in other things too. You see it in politics, comments on FB. People who identify as left or right, just spout on about the other side, refusing to actually see how effed up their own party is... Also people on FB, talking about their relationships. They love to paint rosy pictures of how awesome their man/woman is, and I'm like: "Are you talking about that (mediocre) guy?"

    I think it is a changing of the times in some ways, but I think it is more just the fact that we can see more instances or cases (via our classrooms, but also on social media, the news) to where we think it is more prevalent... i.e. If we had all these things in the 70's, I think we would be same the same things about those parents.
     
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  25. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    I think you're right there. So many of the current generation of parents grew up in dysfunctional families that it's carrying over. I'm all too aware that unhealthy relationships are nothing new, but things like the high rates of single parenthood and high divorce rates are. Part of the problem is that people don't understand that there are many ways of being a good parent. There is no one "right" way and everything else means you're horrible, which is what a lot of the advice columns, magazines, and blogs tend to preach. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

    I don't agree with that. My mother and other family members were teaching then and things have definitely changed. Actually, my great aunt was the superintendent of the district where both my mother and I did our student teaching, so it's been a good metric. It's gone from, "Be careful with that story about cock robin," to, "One of the kids brought a tazer today. We're not sure how she got it." Quite of few of mine didn't have a proper winter coat, which is also a newer development. It's always been a sketchy district and the demographics haven't changed, it's what qualifies as sketchy that has.
     
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  26. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I agree with an above post, that every generation questions the new generation. In Bye, Bye Birdie, you have the song, What's the Matter with Kids Today. Prior even to my generation, the song Thoroughly Modern Millie questioned how it became popular to raise skirts and bob hair. Meanwhile, when I was growing up, singers would offer anything you want at Alice's Restaurant, and some media portrayed the supposed ecstasy of illegal drugs. Dragnet often included episodes where Sgt. Friday and Bill investigated drug dealers, and Emergency often treated overdoses. Perhaps there has been a downward spiral.

    OK, when I was a kid, yes we were cautioned about safety, but severe crime was a rarity in my small town. Now, EVERYDAY the paper is loaded with news about murders, drug arrests, you name it, it happens. People are finding hypodermic needles in their yards. When I was a kid, sirens were a rarity. Now it's several times a day. During my stay in the hospital a few months ago, a young girl broke into the 5th floor while experiencing the effects of heroin; she died within a few hours of an overdose. This was not a rare incident at the hospital but a regular occurrence. During a stay in the emergency room a couple months after that, the security guard had confronted a person who broke into the area: my brother and I listened to the ordeal happening right outside my room. And folks I'm talking about a quiet, old fashioned, rural area.

    I realize not every child who is raised in a loving home with guidance on right and wrong is going to grow up to be angelic, but....I wonder, who raised all these kids that are now adults who act worse than unsupervised children.
     
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  27. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I see a lot of your reasoning in the category of chicken or egg. Do parents disrespect school or did school disrespect learning? I can't tell you how many Disney movies my own kids watched in school or how much time was spent on frivolous non-learning things. How often was class time given to start homework where no one was walking around the room to see how the kids were doing? That sets a tone for all that learning isn't that important. Class time isn't sacred. So, was it society who decided school wasn't important or education had a very bad patch which made people respect the value of public education less and less?

    Teacher's commanded respect from the public as did many professionals. That is diminishing because people started to question authority back in the late 60s and 70s. That is when people started questioning the teachers who really were abusive to students. They questioned the lack of quality is some teachers. All the while the stance was because they were professionals they are always right when all knew there were enough who were just wrong. When a system closes ranks and relies on their position rather than ability and character, society questions the profession and the truthfulness of it.

    There are some wonderful posters here who do not allow poor quality teachers to go unchecked. We have seen the posts. However, when the profession in general downplays the damage of that minority that does the most harm, the entire profession looses respect when a society now doesn't blindly accept what they are told. Sad thing is it really hurts all involved, teachers, students, parents, alike.
     
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  28. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

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    I don't know if it is every part of the country or not. And I am a sub, so do not have a full time class to go by.

    But I have seen some really odd things. Last winter one girl came to school, IN THE COLD, with flip-flops on. When I asked her where her shoes were she just shrugged. And I have seen some kids in filthy clothes. One boy had on jeans that were so dirty they were stiff. Kids come to school in really cold weather in coats that are too small, and certainly not warm. Once it gets a little warm MANY of the girl come in flip-flops. Jeans are so tight that when they sit on the carper their butts are READILY visible. I have had to seat girls AND boys in chairs while the other kids are on the carpet, because I find this unacceptable.
    As for homework? The student all are supposed to have take-home folders with their homework in them, and with any messages or announcements. some things are to come back to school, and some things are to stay home. Kids routinely come to school without their folders, and say they have no idea where they are. And when I check the folders in very often there will be students who still have every single homework sheet, notification, letter or whatever in the folder, and it clearly has not even been seen by a parent.

    I do not find any of this odd, as after seeing some of the parents who comem to pick up their children, I can understand why the poor kids are in the situation they are.

    LOTS of kids eat breakfast every morning, and I am certainly glad about that, as I doubt they have much food at home. And they have lunch and a snack at school. SO MANY sort of beg for extras of the snacks, and usually I am not supposed to give them seconds, but if a lot of the kids refuse a 'first' I give their s to another kid who wants it!

    Some kids have shoes that are either way too small or way too big. And apparently some do not even have shoes suitable for PE, as I see by the attendance when I sub for that that some miss PE every week for no shoes. One school I go to has a box of shoes that the kids can share.

    Each year I try to collect several backpacks for kids who do not have one. Once I gave one to a little boy in second grade. He was SO happy. And the next day he told me that his sister also needed one! I gave her one to! Those kids were really happy. I have taken toothbrushes for the kids, because some tell me they have none.

    Some of the kids have REALLY bad home lives. I think there are a lot of drugs in some areas. Some parents are in jail, and I guess the grandparents are raising the kids.

    This breaks my heart. And sometimes it is like something you would expect in some third world country, not in America!
     
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  29. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Concerning showmelady's post, I agree, poverty is a serious problem for many families, but often it is not the parents' fault. The cost of living can often outweigh the job availability. Charitable and governmental programs do not always match the need. But sometimes the problem does stem from the parents.

    I'm of the age to have parents who grew up during the depression. I've heard many stories from this age group of parents who went without just so their children could have food and decent clothing; and they attempted to do so without their children's knowledge. Today, I hear stories of people who, although living in poverty, maintain a smartphone, cable or satellite TV, and high speed internet. When some people do land a good job, they disrespect the rules of that employment, some rules being so simple and not inconvenient to comply with, and therefore they get fired and wonder why. Drugs and alcoholism are a major disaster, and although it's true it's a disease that is tremendously difficult to treat and overcome, still, it eats up money that isn't there in the first place. And crime is at an all time high in my area.

    Growing up, I might have read about a crime somewhere, but in my recent adult life, a friend's house was robbed, another friend's drug store where he worked was robbed at gunpoint (and by chance, he had just missed the robbery; his shift was over, and he was next door shopping before going home); a neighbor of mine was stabbed (and survived, fortunately) during a house robbery; the bank down the road from me was robbed twice in one month, restrooms at our local mall have had so many knifepoint robberies of the elderly that older people (such as myself) now talk on a cellphone while in the restroom to help ensure some sense of safety, and I could go on and on. These criminals have children. How are they raising their children?
     
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  30. TeacherNY

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    It's sad that people who are living in poverty choose to have kids and have them grow up in poverty. There's a percentage who's parents might have lost their jobs and their circumstances change but I don't think most of the people who can't afford shoes for their kids could EVER afford them. Then, when teachers GIVE them things it becomes expected. I have a student who's shoes are way too small and he is obviously not taken care of at home. Several people at school are considering contacting the Justice Center (that's who we call in NY) for neglect. It's despicable. I am not buying this kid anything. Sorry. I'm a teacher who makes somewhat good money and also my husband makes a good salary but we don't have extra money to support other peoples' kids. Sorry if I sound like a mean old lady but that's my job.
     
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  31. Leaborb192

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    ,
     
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  32. Leaborb192

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  33. a2z

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    That works both ways. There are many parents doing the job of the teacher by having to reteach at home or hire tutors. More and more schools expect parents to be teaching academics at home and at an intense level. They must also fill in the gaps when the teacher doesn't believe in teaching topics such as grammar, for example.

    One of the reasons that middle-class students perform bettet is because if the school is not teaching it well the parents have the know-how or funds to make up for the gaps. They won't let their child be left behind.
     
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  34. Leaborb192

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    ,
     
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  35. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I see this so often within the profession. Many other teachers have said, you don't want to sacrifice for the students? Get out of the profession!

    Concerning poverty, I shall speak in generalities: our poverty is pretty awesome compared to most of the world. My poorest student last year had her own tablet and smart phone (She was free lunch). Now, who knows, maybe they were gifted by a caring friend or relative, but still: it's not uncommon for those in legitimate US poverty to have such things.
    There is so much entitlement. And sure, I might be speaking from my solid middle class perspective, but I just don't get it.

    To edit: I really have no problem with an adult or even a teen in poverty owning tablet/smart phone/etc. They often tend to be the smart and rather necessary purchase to get by/get ahead in today's world. But sometimes with the young kids...I don't get it.
     
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  36. TeacherNY

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    I don't think most teachers would want to sacrifice anything if it would have a negative impact on their own family. If I have to stay late at school to send extra emails to get anywhere with parents and service providers, maybe spending some extra $$ if I have a special project I want to complete that will benefit the whole class, not just one student, then I don't mind doing that. That's part of the job, not feeding and clothing children who have parents that are supposed to be doing that. People shouldn't expect teachers to sacrifice anything unless they want to.
     
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  37. Obadiah

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    The worst part of the problem is that the cycle continues. These children grow up and don't raise their children, either.

    This is very true, and there are ways for parents who can't afford such luxuries to provide them for their children. But I'm seeing another avenue of destruction, here. When I was a kid, even a younger teenager, I never used the telephone without permission. Today's kids, even very young kids, use the Internet unsupervised. Internet sites fools even adults; how are young children considered safe with a smartphone? And my other question is, are the children really, actually taking advantage of the profitable side of the Internet? I was rummaging through some old files yesterday, and came across a list of astrophysics websites for children that I had made note of years ago--but I wonder, how many kids, on their own, actually visit such sites. It's like TV, when it was first invented, it was touted as the greatest educational advantage for children ever--let's see now, there's SpongeBob....

    So what's the solution? I agree, teachers can't become the new parent. Some educators have come up with a possible solution that might help some kids, maybe. I mean, parental un-authority can be stronger than any other outside influence, but perhaps Donalyn Miller has a point. If we can influence children to read, the enrichment from books can steer children in the right direction. Perhaps Jo Boaler has a point. If we can excite children in solving mathematical problems, they might apply this to solving other problems in life, including cooperative planning and problem solving. Perhaps Ben Carson has a point. If someone can guide a child in the right direction, perhaps s/he will continue to follow that direction; this could be done through the outreach of various community groups such as YMCA activities (I know a former YMCA teacher who set more children in the right direction than Carter's got liver pills!), church groups (a teenager who ran off from home and slept in building insulation turned his life around; he was in my dorm at college and told me his story). A teacher's encouragement goes a long way too. I've seen the power of an encouraging word, sometimes so powerful, that I fear it's like carrying around a magic potion or something. Many times, all I said was "this" and years later that student is zooming ahead with the "this" that I said. No, it's not a perfect solution, but at least, perhaps we can do something, (perhaps, maybe)?
    Sources:
    Miller, Donalyn. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009

    Boaler, Jo. Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students’ Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2016
     
  38. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Jun 21, 2017

    Not well. I went to college in a pretty gross small city filled with drugs, gang violence, and all kinds of lesser depravity. The incident that really cheesed me was when I was leaving the (gated) student apartments one afternoon. There were two adult men in the parking lot of the sandwich shop across the street who yelled lewd things at me, and they had a gaggle of little kids with them. Five or six kids all under 10 heard that language and internalized that kind of interaction as normal. Without intervention, those children will mimic those behaviors. Those little boys will think it's ok to sexually harass women and those little girls will think that getting harassed is ok. NOT COOL.
     
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  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 22, 2017

    I totally agree with this. I just met with my boss yesterday and she gave me 100% on my evaluation plus told me that she uses my classroom as an example to other teachers. All this and I don't work myself to death, raise my students or feed and clothe my students. Insane, huh???
     
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  40. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Yes, this is too true. When I was teaching in large city, I was at the mall on the lower level. On the upper level, something had occurred that caused a policeman to chase a man down the walkway. I could see all this from the lower level. Several elementary age boys were sitting on a bench midway down and I saw them pointing to the chase that was heading their way. The man passed by, but as soon as the policeman came to where the boys were sitting, one boy jumped in front of him and politely asked, "Excuse me sir, can you help me with (whatever else he said I can't remember)." The policeman was able to eventually worm his way around the boy when the next boy jumped in front of him with the same type of request, again rendered politely. After getting around that boy, yet another boy stepped in front of the policeman.
     
  41. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2017

    It is really bad, I agree. But it is so confusing for average parents. They see kids from wealthy as well as poor families being spoiled, they see kids from wealthy as well as poor families using tyrannical methods. Parents don't know what is best. I wonder if anyone does. I wonder if politicians benefit from all this - maybe somehow it gives them an excuse to be against everyone and still win.
     
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  42. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 24, 2017

    Teachers being overworked is also related to the amount of expectations that teachers are held to usually amounting to doing the jobs of several specialists and multiple teachers because the district wants to cut positions to save money but expect the employees they have left to pick up all of the extra responsibilities and duties.
     
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  43. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 25, 2017

    I see what you're saying. At my district, not meeting these expectations can go on your record and affect your evaluations, and I'm guessing at some point might play a factor in firing, but I understand what you're saying now as it would probably take a long time to get to that.
     

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