Have you ever given up on a child?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Learner4Life, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Aug 7, 2011

    I agree 100% here. In my high school classes, the amount of time during class I need to spend addressing the behavior problems is probably almost double the time I need to spend dealing with the "good" kids. Granted, I could intentionally ensure I spend more time with the better students too, but there is only so much time in a class-period. If just one or two students in each class period were removed, the amount of time I could spend with all of the other kids would increase quite a bit.

    I'll admit, part of that may stem from the fact that my management system needs some more work. But with some of the kids that abhor school with such a burning passion, I'm not sure how to reach them anymore.... I'm not proud of that, but I'm simply at a loss.
     
  2. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2011

    I have NEVER given up on a child. If you are a teacher who has or plans to, you are in the wrong profession my friend.
     
  3. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Aug 7, 2011

    I am in complete agreement!! And any teacher who can say, "I failed him/her for the year- is simply talking about themselves as a teacher! With an attitude like that, no wonder the child couldn't be reached. If another teacher can work with the kid with no problem - then my conclusion would be you are the problem.

    Now yes I know some students will fail despite our best effort, but Milsey said that like "who cares, yeah I failed her." No teacher should think it's just ok to fail a child.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2011

    As a mom, the premise of this thread breaks my heart.

    I agree with timsterino!!!
     
  5. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Given up on a child? No. Heck, no. I'm the ED teacher. :D

    I'm going to do my best for the years that I have them. I'll pass the torch to the next teacher when they age out, but I'm not going to give up on them.

    Have I given up on admin when trying to help a child? Yes. :(
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2011

    The high school that most of our kids go to is really great about keeping us informed about how our kids are doing. We meet with them in the spring to talk about those students we feel are at risk because of academic, behaviour, or social/emotional reasons. Guidance touches base with the kids early in the year and picks up where we leave off.
     
  7. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Thanks :). It's been a busy summer, and it's also been interesting to see how posts have changed now that school is not in session. Will be interesting to get back into the swing of things!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2011

    It's funny how they tend to run in cycles.

    Summer is all about interviews and planning-- lots of posts about room decor.

    Autumn tends to bring nuts and bolts stuff-- how do I teach this or explain that, how do I deal with classroom management.

    Winter tends to show that the honeymoon is over, as the behavior deteriorates a bit.

    Spring tends to be about teachers looking to relocate-- lots of cover letters and resumes from about March onward.
     
  9. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I just had a two day training on PD in the classroom. I have used bits of it last year, but am really excited to use much more if it this year. Is PD well-known in NJ? Luckily I have a friend that is a trainer, but it's definitely not well-known here, nor do people really want to try to understand it. Hopefully that movement will turn around soon!
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I missed this earlier (must be because it's such an old thread and I didn't read from the beginning). This is fabulous, and so true of so many of the students who are on our "radar" as at-risk or under-performing.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2011

    It's not that the tern 'positive discipline' is used a lot or that training in specifically PD is prevalent, but I truthfully don't see a lot of stop light, punch card, name on the board kinds of management being used. In my building, we actually ask candidates if they could manage behaviors without the stoplight system if they bring it up on an interview. Years ago we had a book study on Linda Albert's book, but it's kind of just 'what we do' at this point.:D
    If we can get to the WHY of a student's misbehavior, we can make better decisions on how to help the child.:love:
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2011

    So very true. One of my grade 8 boys a few years ago shared this bit of wisdom with me, "MrsC, it's much better to be a bada** than it is to be stupid." Whenever one of my students is proving challenging, I hear Andrew's words in my head and look at things a different way.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2011

    :hugs:

    Wonder what Andrew's up to now? He trusted you and that makes a difference... Think about it, how many other teachers took the time to hear Andrew's words and were affected by them?
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The high school is really good at keeping us up to date with our former students. I heard in May that he was on-track to graduate grade 12 on time with all of his requirements. His marks were quite low in some subjects, but quite good in others. He always talked about wanting to go into law enforcement, but not sure if that's still a goal. It was, actually, really encouraging that the guidance department didn't know a lot about him--means he's keeping his nose clean.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 8, 2011

    May I please share a story with you all?

    Here it goes:

    One of the middle school teachers emailed me last year and told me that one of my former 2nd graders wrote an essay about me. The topic was: "Write about someone who has had a positive influence on you." Anyway, this student (who is a current 8th grader) wrote about how I never gave up on him and always told him to "be confident" and "always believe in yourself." (I say those two things all the time to the kids).

    This was one of the toughest students I've ever taught. There were times when I wanted to throw my hands up in the air, walk away, and give up. I didn't, though. After all these years, he still remembers that I worked with him, pushed him, and eventually built up a strong bond with him.

    As I read the email from the teacher, I felt overcome with emotion and I sat there for a second and just cried. Tears of joy, of course.
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 12, 2011

    NOPE! Never gave up on a child. ALL children deserve to be given a chance.

    If I have a tough kid, it means they need some tough love.

    I had a VERY difficult student one year when I taught fifth. He was suspended MANY times in the fourth grade. His reading teacher was aalways having problems writh him and eventually kicked him out (wasn't legal but ex-P allowed it), and so on. But, I was patient with him. Stern and strict, but patient. I spoke with him, listened to him, and even cried with him. He got it that I cared about him and only wanted the best. I ran into him a couple years later at a store and he just stared at me with these big eyes. He shook my hand and was soooo sweet. He was still having problems in school but I hope that he remembers that he at least had me, one teacher, who really rooted for him.

    So, no. And I find it sad that there ARE teachers out there who have given up. I hope I never work with teachers like that.
     
  17. QE1

    QE1 Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2011

    I needed it today. Thank you all.

    I have two boys in my 7/8 grade drama class that on the second day of school(they went to the wrong class on the first) broke every rule they could and almost got themselves kicked out. I talked to a few other teachers and the counselor and was told that they are bullies and vile. That one of them talks about how he's going to be a drug dealer and the other just bullies and intimidates everyone from students to teachers. I was also told that they could ruin a class. During class on Thursday they attempted to bully other students and one poked another student. They also tried to manipulate me into letting them leave class, but I didn't.

    As an elective class and one that requires lots of participation, trust, and communication I'm at a bit of a loss of how to help them without it hindering the class. I'm trying really hard to have an open mind about them and to see them as eighth graders with potential.
     
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  18. JesusIsMyTeach

    JesusIsMyTeach Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2019

    I am currently going through the same thing! How did you deal with it?
     
  19. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Oct 12, 2019

    Not given up as such but over the years I have had more than a few kids in my classes that after months of trying I have just had to sideline because I need to give time to those who want to learn and get good grades. Their needs had to come before the one who refused to co-operate in their own learning.
     
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  20. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Oct 12, 2019

    Over many years, I will admit to throwing the towel in on a couple who stand out to me now. Both constantly disrupted the rest of the class from learning. 1 was very smart, extremely manipulative, had parents who thought the kid walked on sunshine, threatened to sue the school on more than 1 occasion, and he threw himself on the floor in the 4th grade often. He was really mean to other kids too. He enjoyed hurting others. He wouldn't do anything unless he felt like it.
    I tried everything I knew how to do with this kid for a time. The parents were crazier than loons and admin were scared of the parents. There came a point, where for my own sanity sake and the sake of the other kids, he got very little attention from me.
    The other kid I can think of had very similar parents. He did absolutely crazy stuff involving weapons outside of school. He wasn't very bright and had spent his childhood playing violent video games. There came a time when I realized if I let him, he'll take up so much of my time that everyone else was going to suffer.
    Neither 1 of them belonged in a regular ed classroom, but both were because the sped teacher could not handle the one. The other 1 did not have any diagnosis at that time. I never really wished ill will on either of these kids, but got to a point where I would not put the needs of 1 over 20+ others.
     
  21. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 12, 2019

    I can remember many years ago I had a six year old student who was setting fires and killing animals at his home. As a team, we decided that he would not receive the ESE umbrella, even though he qualified. With that umbrella over his head he would receive very little consequences for his actions at school.
    In hindsight, I think that was a good decision. When, 10 years later after he had moved to a different state, he committed murder and was able to be charged appropriately.
     
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  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would if my well being or the well being of other students was affected.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    How was it a good decision? If he received appropriate services he could have received mental health services under ESE. I expected your story to end with he learned his lesson from the constant school punishments and now lives a productive life. Instead, it just shows that nothing changed for this child except he just got punished more along the way with no help.
     
  24. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    He did receive appropriate services and got all the help we could offer him in school, but just did not receive a label. That's how things in my state worked.
     
  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Maybe he needed help that could not be offered in school and his parents didn't step up? :whistle:
     
  26. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I learned when I started teaching over 40 yrs ago you cannot save them all. BUT I never stopped trying. I had a few go on to criminal behavior and even murder. BUT it never seemed to be the ones I figured for it. Case in point. I taught this old country boy 8 yrs ago and he seemed destined for failure. His mom would haul him around to doctors for meds and then she used them. He lived in a bad place. Rarely came to school. His brother killed himself in a car accident soon after the boy went on to middle school (i taught him k-5th). He dropped out like I knew he would. Well, yesterday he drove up in his new (used truck) smiling. Had a good job with a pipe company with benefits making 17 an hour (really good money in our area). I told him how proud I was. I love it when they come back to visit.
    But back to my point. Sometimes school, or church or good parents are not the answer to what a child may end up doing..........some of my BEST kids came from hell holes and vica versa.........
     
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  27. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 16, 2019

    I suppose his parents could have stepped up, I don't know, we only had the child for one year.
    Maybe they could have stepped up...if they had lived.
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Oct 16, 2019

    I've never given up on a student, but I've seen students give up on themselves and on life. Some of the students who have most worried me have ended poorly, as suspected, while others have turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. The uncertainty of outcomes is both the dark or light at the end of the tunnel.
     
  29. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    The power of "YET"!
    I can't do this...yet.
    I don't get it...yet.
     
  30. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Oct 27, 2019

    In all honesty, yes I have. Our job is to teach. We are not pastors. We are not Mother Teresa. If they want unconditional love, they need Jesus. As far as the classroom (and society), there are a general set of norms that children must follow in order to be successful. If a child (or adult) who has been given interventions and help CONSISTENTLY chooses to not follow those norms, there's not a lot we can do to help. Prisons exist for a reason. This may sound harsh, but it's the truth. People have had problems since the beginning of time. It's only recently that schools have been expected to FIX all of them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
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