Do you care more?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Do you care more about your students' education than they do? I guess that applies mostly to secondary teachers - so if you're in elementary, do you care more than your students' parents do?

    By far most of my students care about their education. Some of them care about their grades more than they do about what they learn, of course, but they still care. But probably 10% of my students throughout the year just don't care. Some will drop out and some will stay because school is where they see their friends.

    We have a staff member, not a teacher, who loudly, and with much conviction, tried to tell teachers that they did not care enough about their students. If they did, they'd be going to the kids' homes and dragging them to school every morning to make sure they got there. They'd be meeting them at the library for however long it takes to help them complete their projects and research papers. They wouldn't go to sleep at night until they knew they had helped each and every student reach their full potential.

    He may be right. I might not care enough. But I am simply not going to kill myself working for students that don't care themselves. I'll provide supports, I'll call home, I'll notify administration and counseling and give the occasional pep talk. I am a firm believer in you can't make a horse drink, however.

    It is just so frustrating when people assume teachers are miracle workers. Even more so when some of those people are staff members at a high school.
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Why doesn't he do as he preaches then. He can show how much he cares by doing all of those things, and we'll see him again in 2-3 months when he's ready to drown himself.

    I will say that this year, a lot of my students care about their education, and I love that. My first year it was still about 50-60% that cared, but there were a large amount that were just going through the motions.

    I too, would rather they cared about learning as much as their grades.

    I'm a teacher. I do a job. I like my students and I care about them for as far as I am in school mode. I turn off school mode and have my own life though. I didn't sign up for this job to be a savior or a hero of children. I signed up for this job because of the vacation time and the stable pay. So if that makes me a bad teacher, so be it, but I still believe that I am a good teacher. I will help those who I can and who want help.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Nov 21, 2014


    Many have said this to me, and it definitely resonates well and makes plenty of sense: there's never an "end" to the job... you can always do more, research more, prepare more, etc... At some point, though, if you do too much, you wear yourself down, which then means that those same kids (or other kids) are not getting your full potential because of that exhaustion. In my opinion, caring enough means that you have found the right balance that allows you to be the best teacher and provide the best for the kids each day, and that you use all of that energy on the school side of the balance to work on bringing your students to their highest potential.

    Sure, I could offer free tutoring and go around to each kid's house...but then they'd likely end up with an exhausted teacher that is unhappy because of not being able to spend enough time with wife, friends, and family, which would lead to not being nearly as productive with the main time spent with them.
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Nov 21, 2014

    Agreed, I will help those who help themselves.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I had a seven year-old, second-grade student tell me as much a couple of years ago when she didn't feel like partaking in our reading lesson. Of course, she told me it was a donkey, not a horse, but I should have known then to give up the fight.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2014

    To answer the original question, yes. I feel like I care more (or used to) than most of my students and most of their parents... and administrators, for that matter. Although, I will admit that I do have a small minority of both students and parents who do care.

    I've worked hard and long hours, into the evenings and on the weekends. And, now I've become that teacher that mathmagic referred to - the exhausted and unhappy one. I'm burnt out and ready to get out - of teaching, that is. I should have become a minimalist teacher (a term I saw used in a previous thread last week) sooner, but I didn't. Maybe doing so would have saved my career in education, but now I don't see any real way to salvage it. My passion is gone. I just don't care anymore.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 22, 2014

    Quite often, I feel as though I care more than the kids' parents.

    Case in point: I am in charge of meeting with parents once their child reaches 10+ tardies and/or absences.

    Last week, I met with a parent who frustrated me so much. Her children had 14 tardies each PLUS 7 absences. Her excuse was, "Oh, you guys start school too early. If I wake up late, I just keep them home. It's just elementary school, so it's not that important."

    I reminded her about Ed. Code and let her know that I will be referring her case to SARB (Student Attendance Review Board). She seemed unfazed, though. :rolleyes:

    I actually went to high school with her and remembered that she didn't graduate with me because she dropped out (or maybe she went to continuation school). Either way, when she left the meeting, I felt more sad than irritated. :(
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Most of our students come to school for the socialization, 2 free meals, networking (where they're going to sleep that night, with whom they can get a ride home, where they can get a meal at night, etc), a lot of them because they're on probation and if they didn't show up, they'd get locked up, and some that actually care about school.

    I don't know what it is about this year, but somehow they seem to be more motivated. I don't know if my lessons got more engaging, my grading makes to attain a passing grade easier, or what. The few Fs there are, those are students who are often absent and they don't make up work.

    Last year I had to tell them constantly that "I can't care more about your education than you do". Now I only have to nudge them by saying "I'm done with school, you're the one who's trying to graduate, so if I were you, I'd write that down".

    So overall I feel that I can't care more about their education than they do. I make every effort to help them make up work if absent (but also tell them they have to come to me, I won't chase after them). Other than that I don't stress.
    I have a lot of absences in first period (a lot of students don't make it until 2nd or 3rd), but only 1 comes to me to make his work. The other few will fail and I feel that none of that is my fault. This P feels the same way, she doesn't expect us to baby to students.
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 23, 2014

     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Adults see the world different than children. I don't know how many talks my parents had with me in my early teens about my not caring enough about my grades and schoolwork. My parents clearly cared more. I am glad they pushed me and never gave up on me despite my immaturity and apathy. I think we shouldn't give up on our students despite their attitudes, immaturity, and often apathy. While those challenges can be frustrating, they can also be really rewarding when some improvement is shown later.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    That's the thing. I am not these children's parents. I shouldn't care more. I can't care more. I can't push, harass and nag every student to the point that they get done what needs to get done. I don't have the time or energy to do it like a mother/father can.

    I didn't say I would 'give up." That's a huge leap. I will set boundaries though.
     
  13. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    Yes, many times I care more than the parents of some of my students...I have had many a meeting where I have told a parent that if you don't get your child to school, help with the little homework assigned, etc than there is nothing I can do to help your child.
    I prefer using my energy on those kids who have a great work ethic and desire to learn...
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Peregrin had the same idea as I, but he beat me to the punch.

    If the staff member feels so strongly that these extra services should be offered, then he should be the one leading by example and setting up daily tutoring sessions at the library for any students interested in attending.

    OH, but let me guess, he has lots of ideas about what everyone ELSE should do to improve the education of the kids. That's called "being part of the problem instead of the solution".

    One does not have to be a certified teacher to offer tutoring. One only needs a working knowledge of the general content and the dedication to actually walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.

    When I had my own classroom, I offered tutoring sessions one day a week. From the time I began pursuing a career in education, I worked in the 21st Century program as a tutor 2-5 days a week, tutoring grades 3-8.

    Do I care about my students education more than they or their parents? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, we're equal.

    I do care very deeply and passionately about the education of every single student I've ever had. Most also cared about their education and at least gave some effort, even if it wasn't their full or best effort.

    However, when I worked at an alternative high school , I definitely DID care about their education far more than most of the students I had. I had a small handful that actually cared about learning, but most did not.

    The only other school I worked at where I felt that way was on a reservation. More of the students there cared than at the alternative school, but only by a very small margin. About halfway through the first grading period, I was going over missing assignments with the class and told one boy "You haven't done anything so far." Of course, he thought I was exaggerating - until I opened the grade book and showed that he had not turned in a SINGLE ASSIGNMENT so far. I met with his mom and even made arrangements for him to take a textbook home (which was not a normal accommodation). The mom did seem genuine in her concern, but it still didn't carry over to the son.

    He did finally turn in a FEW assignments, enough to BARELY get a "D" instead of an "F". The saddest part is that the boy was easily smart enough to make a "C" or "B" with regular effort. He did seem to understand the material, but just refused to actually do any of the work given out.
     
  15. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    We're not the parents. I find it frustrating when we care more then the parent.

    When the parent doesn't seem to care enough that the child does the projects or homework or read.

    We currently have a student who has been diagnosed with ADHD & from what our OT says from her observations that he also has sensory issues. Due to a bad experience she refused to try meds. & didn't want him to miss school to take him to a sensory clinic. She finally told me that after the bad experience with the meds, she did not take him back to his doctor. I *think* she is finally to that point again. Please don't read this as I am saying that she needs to put him on meds, but I know that he needs more then what we can do for him at school. He's a bright young boy who has challenges beyond what can be serviced in the school setting. I have seeing his grades slip because he can't control himself. He's only in 1st grade.[/QUOTE]

    My two youngest boys are both ADHD and I'll be the very first to say that getting them the right medication has made a HUGE difference in their performance at school. Actually, we learned through some brief trial-and-error with the oldest one. His mother worked at the pediatrician's office and their doctor worked very closely with us. For our boys, Concerta worked the best. It doesn't make them zombies or even zoned out. It just gives them enough impulse control to stay focused during the day at school.

    In my first classroom, I had a girl who was obviously ADHD. She was constantly blurting out in class, interrupting me with random questions completely unrelated to the material, and/or talking to her neighbors. The other 6th grade teacher and I met with her mom and, during the meeting, the ADHD did come up. The mom said "Yeah, I give her medicine to her each day. Every morning, I set it on the sink for her before we leave for school." :dizzy:

    Sorry, that is NOT "giving the medicine" to your ADHD child. That is just setting it down in the general vicinity and expecting the ADHD child to take their own medication. I'm sure there are some kids who do take it on their own, but I know from experience that MY boys would NOT take it on their own. I had to physically hand it to them AND give them a glass of water and stand there while they took it.

    The girl in my class was, again, very intelligent..WHEN she was able to actually focus on class. She could be very frustrating at times, but I just kept reminding myself she couldn't help the outbursts and interruptions and tried to keep the class running as smoothly as possible.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 23, 2014

    It's this last part that has me so sad. This parent is completely projecting her own negative attitude about school onto the next generation.
     
  17. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Nov 23, 2014

    I did my first few years, but I got over it. :banghead:

    And...........


    :yeahthat:

    Only our principal expects us to "find" a way to pass them.
     
  18. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Wow. I'm sorry, but it's not my job to stay after school FOR HOURS, and to go to their homes to get them to school. Who then would watch the kids who are at school, and for that matter teach them?

    I have kids of my own, you know to make supper for, help with homework, and drag off to school in the morning.

    It's not in my job description to be their PARENTS, for that is the job of a parent.
     
  19. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nov 23, 2014

    I've found myself saying "not my problem" much more this year than in the past. I work my butt off all day long, and I do my job well. But I'm not spending hours before and after work doing extras like I have in the past. A parent wants to meet off my contract time and won't give me any indication of what the meeting is about? Sorry, not my problem. A parent expects me to send work home for their student, and doesn't tell me until my day has officially ended? Sorry, not my problem. A parent wants/expects an answer tonight? Sorry, not my problem. A parent wants free tutoring on my own time? Sorry, not my problem.

    I have a family. I have a two year old daughter. My students need me during my contract time, and they need me to do my job to the best of my ability. After that, my family needs me. If a parent needs to communicate with me that badly, I'd be happy to do so... on my contract time.
     
  20. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2014

    That's pretty much where I'm at. No one in their right mind would expect doctors, plumbers, IT professionals, or any other job to work for hours off the clock, so I'm not going to either.

    Like other have pointed out, anyone can give an impassioned speech when they're not the ones making the sacrifices.
     
  21. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I put a lot of effort into my students. I welcome them every day to my classroom. I try to make it a positive place for them to thrive. But there's some that are already too far gone by the time they're in my room.
     

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