Has HS really changed?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by JustT, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Mar 24, 2008

    In efforts to help my oldest son in HS become more successful, I'm wondering if HS has really changed from the time I went to HS.

    My HS was run almost like a college. I was given the course objectives and expectations, dates of examinations, dates of projects, list of upcoming literature for the semester. There was very little grades in the gradebook. The bulk of the grades came from exams, essays, and projects, 4 - 6 grades a semester tops.

    My son. His grades show up on parentconnect around the time progress reports or report cards come out. The district has a course book on the generic course description. Due dates for project seem to move around according to the majority of projects that are turned in.... I'm assuming. Participation grade and HW grade in HS:confused:

    When I look at my son, he is a master procrastinator. He needs deadlines. He needs consequences. He needs to fail to learn to take his education responsibly. Maybe it is the nature of the community I am in where both parents are college educated and it intimidates teachers. IDK....

    Do you think some HS enable students for poor performance?
     
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  3. Hamster

    Hamster Comrade

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    I have come to the conclusion that most parents and teachers, now, baby their kids. Most are spoiled and whine until they get what they want. I see this a lot in my daughter's friends. Not all parents do this, but most do. Now, I think the teachers do it too. Whoever whines the most gets their way. I'm not saying all teachers do this, just some.
     
  4. Briana008

    Briana008 Companion

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    Yes, HS has changed. I graduated in 1999 and it was different, though not as college-like as you described your experience. I just finished student teaching and was surprised at the sheer number of grades these students earned (or not, as the case may be). Almost every day there was another grade. Apparently the purpose was to motivate students to participate (which it did for some), but with the sheer volume of daily grades, they quickly learned that they could blow it off and the resulting zero wouldn't affect their overall grade that much.

    The science department at this school makes a great effort to make sure that all of the teachers are doing the same thing. This meant that I did not have the ability to assign projects that were weighted more than the regular daily grade. We were only allowed to have two grade categories, classwork and test. All biology teachers had to have the same number of test grades and these tests were the same for every single student in biology (advanced and regular). It was maddening at times! You can be sure that in my interviews I have been asking if this is the case in the school where I will potentially be hired!

    I have also seen the next step, as I am a graduate teaching assistant at my university as well. My university students as a whole do not seem to be prepared for a university education (though some certainly are, don't get me wrong). They don't seem to understand that if a class has 3 tests and they bomb the first one, it's actually a pretty big problem! I don't know if that is a reflection of the state of high school education or the type of student who chooses to take my class, but it is a scary trend!

    ~Briana~
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Mar 24, 2008

    For me it really has not. I went to a high school in which we got lots of homework, projects, quizzes, and tests. All of which is graded and I do the same in my class.
     
  6. am elisheva

    am elisheva Rookie

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    yep, HS changed a lot for me too. I student taught at my old high school, what a difference!

    Look what NCLB did...
     
  7. jbj913

    jbj913 Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2008

    I believe so academically.
    I graduated high school in 1999 and teach high school today. I remember when I earned my grades.
    It's a litigious society now. If a student does poorly, WE must do everything for him/her not to. If he/she fails, it turns out WE are the bad guys.
    I have had parents e-mail me when they see their child's failure notice and ask, "Can he make up the work?" Make it up? HE DIDN'T DO IT! HE FAILED IT! What does this teach?
    One of the main themes in my classes I stress from day one and mention in the syllabus is RESPONSIBILITY. I don't do extra credit or gimme grades. We have to get back to life fundamentals.
    For example, I'll assign a homework after a lecture on the French Revolution. Next day I'll check the homework. I do a review. Then give the quiz. Who fails? And I ask those who fail. "Honestly, I didn't study. I didn't do the homework. I didn't pay attention to lectures." But some parents/counselors ask me if the student can MAKE IT UP? How many chances do they need?
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    High school was not like college when I was going. I know what you mean about deadlines. I've had the same rant about my son. It is the middle school's (district wide) policy that things aren't actually due until about 2 days before the reporting period. How does that help a child that can't keep track of things, procracinates and what the heck are the original due dates for?
     
  9. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Mar 24, 2008

    Our school requires at least 5 test grades per grading period and at least 15 daily/classwork/homework grades. Fortunately, our administration is supportive and will not allow parents to come up to the school and bully teachers. We don't have to accept late work, and we don't have to give makeup work for students unless they get an excused absence with a note.

    But ultimately, things haven't changed all that much. I teach at the same high school I graduated from (with several of my old teachers), and it's really just the same to me.
     
  10. Enigma_X

    Enigma_X Rookie

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    In my school- yes. It's unbelievable how enabled the poorly-performing kids are. I'll never forget the day an assistant principal had a fit at one of my classes (it's a long story) and the kids got mad and said she had no right to "judge" them.

    I recently had to fill out incredible amounts of paperwork to explain why I failed a SpEd LEP kid who has made it to school 20 days in the past two and a half years.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I didn't blow college off the first time around but I certainly was not as APPLIED as I should have been. I was seen as dedicated in that I did my work but looking back I didn't learn nearly as much as I did the second time and I wasn't nearly as prepared. For example, nowadays I will read my textbook and then type a summary of EACH paragraph and use that to study with. I got by with what I remembered and what I skimmed the first time around and THOUGHT I was a decent student.
     
  12. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Bleauhhhh.... I think most of my fustration is really on my freshman teen. He does have the opportunity to do well and extend himself. Part of me wishes he would mature and grow up a little about his grades...though he knows if teachers give him an inch... he'll try to take a foot.

    He isn't really doing that badly in school... if you average out the year, he did great for an AP & IB courses. As a parent, I feel somewhat powerless with his inconsistency.

    I felt prepared when I went to college. It wasn't like the sink or swim feeling I hear many of my friends' college children are experiencing their first semester.
     
  13. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Mar 25, 2008

    This whole past week, I thought how much I'm glad I'm not a HS teacher. With the criteria for NCLB and the students attitude of doing the least amount possible to get by, I couldn't imagine what you do daily to be effective with a teen crowd.

    :up:
     
  14. am elisheva

    am elisheva Rookie

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    if we could fail those that need to and not have to answer to so many people afterward, I think things could change quickly! I'm a HS teacher and it's rough...you gotta get in their face so to speak to get the point across.
     
  15. MrU82

    MrU82 Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2008

    I graduated high school in 2001 and I think high school has changed since the late 90s-early 00s. Then again we didnt have "MySpace" and "Facebook" back then. ha!

    But yes, HS has changed. Academically, the kids expect EVERYTHING to be handed to them. They love being spoon-fed. They are very numbers oriented, i.e., "Whats my grade..how do I get this grade...etc etc" instead of learning oriented. Kids just want everything easy breezy and ready made. Try making kids take notes for more than 3 days and they complain like hell. Even when you mix it up with projects, movies, acitivities, etc etc..they still manage to complain. The worst is when kids say, "Oh my god all we do is work." I just stare back and dont even say anything because I dont feel like losing my job.

    Socially, HS kids are WAY more sexually active now (some of the notes I have confiscated or found on the floor sound more like X-rated movie scripts than innocent "do you like so-and-so" notes from back in the day). This is the "look at me" generation. The kids will do anything to show off their "unique" personalities even if it affects their academics in an adverse way. And the worst is that a lot of HS kids have absolutely ZERO confidence academically. I hate when other teachers say, "well we have to be nice because they have low self-esteem, etc etc." Thats BS. 99% of my kids that are failing are failing because they simply DO NOT want to do work. They have all the "Self esteem" to pick up on girls and maintain relationships and dress in provocative clothing yet somehow they lose this "self esteem" when they have to turn in a paper? Yeah right. BS.

    On a brighter note: When you do find the focused and motivated students...they say and do some really impressive things. Essentially, the "best" are really the creme of the crop.

    So yes, HS has changed. But thats mostly because American culture has changed too.
     

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