How much responsibility is the student's? How much is mine?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Caesar753, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 10, 2009

    Hey everyone! I have returned. You may rejoice accordingly. :)

    So the other day I gave a short quiz during our bellringer. Immediately afterwards, we went through the answers and I asked the students to correct their own papers. When we were finished, I asked them to write me one sentence in which they identified one mistake that they made, why they made it, and how they could avoid making it in the future.

    Most students wrote something like, "Oh, I confused 'paro' with 'porto' so I translated it wrong. I'll make sure to study those words a little more when I review my vocab tonight."

    One student wrote something like, "I didn't get it because this isn't that fun. And honestly it seems like all you do is yell at us, if you ask me...."

    Um. Yeah.

    Here's the thing.

    I don't yell at my students, and I never have. I am sure that I get frustrated with them though, and I think that's what this one student meant. I get frustrated when they do not listen, when they refuse to take ownership for their own learning, and when they do something other than what they should be doing.

    It's like, how many times can we talk about how 'familia' means 'family'? If you can't figure that out, we have some pretty big hurdles to overcome. If you can't be bothered to learn something like that, a) how can you possibly learn the hard stuff? and b) how am I supposed to teach you? We have like 200 vocabulary words, and they're not all as easy as familia/family. We have other stuff to learn too--vocab is just the tip of the iceberg.

    When does it switch from me not doing my job and teaching them, to them not doing their job and learning? I feel like I put it all out there, again and again, in a variety of ways...and students like this one ignore that and then blame ME for being boring and frustrated!

    (This girl is a smart girl who seems to be well-behaved and sort of prim and proper. I get the feeling that she hates me, based on her body language and notes like this. I don't mind if she hates me, but I think it's unfair for her to blame me when she's the one who is dropping the ball.)

    Am I out of line for feeling like her note was really snarky?

    And how would you all solve this sort of problem?
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Feb 10, 2009

    Hi, Cassie! Missed you!

    Yes, there definitely seems to be some attitude present. I would speak to her privately and tell her the response she gave is not what you were looking for, and that school is work - not fun. She can have fun on her own time. I tell my kids, "these 55 minutes are MINE." I wouldn't even defend myself as far as the yelling goes, because as you say, you don't yell.
     
  4. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Feb 10, 2009

    Any time students are corrected, they call it yelling. Mrs. K gave you great advice. Welcome back!
     
  5. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I don't know but welcome back!
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 10, 2009

    I said it in another thread, but WELCOME BACK!!!!


    MrsK gave some great advice. Cassie, you are a great teacher. We know that, your admin know that, and you know that. This girl just has an attitude (for some reason). :)
     
  7. kappie

    kappie New Member

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    Feb 10, 2009

    Cassie, I share the same frustration as you expressed a lot. I teach at a virtual charter school - cyber school. This year I have seniors - our first senior class ever. I have been fighting the "taking responsibility for your own learning" battle all year. You would think that students who decide to school online would be on board with this, but this is not the case. Many think that online school is a way to opt out of doing work, when in reality, it requires as much or more than in a traditional classroom.

    Anyway, my seniors aren't doing anything. This is not good because of NCLB and AYP. At one point nearly 2/3 of the senior class were failing. My administrators were frantic and I was spending enormous amounts of time calling, e-mailing, creating extra credit opportunities, and practically begging my students to do their work.

    I was working way harder at getting them to do their work than they were. Very frustrating.

    At some point, students like mine and the girl in your class, need to learn that their actions have consequences. If you don't put the effort in - you don't pass.
     
  8. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Feb 10, 2009

    Cassie - no advice that hasn't already been said, but just had to say WELCOME BACK!
     
  9. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2009

    I feel for you. Just this week my "snarky" student verbally announced that the assignment was "stupid" and "Why do we even have to do this?"

    Never mind the assignment hit half a dozen different standards. Bottom line was it was work and she didn't want to do it. I chose to ignore her. I feel that is better than to give them reason and room to have a debate about what we do in my classroom.
     
  10. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Feb 10, 2009

    It might be good to tell them that this is good training for the workplace. You may be assigned things on the job that you do not like to do and you must take responsibility and do them.
     
  11. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Soooo true! :thumb:
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Feb 10, 2009

    I'm sure my kids would say that I yell too, but they also know it's because I care and want them ready for first grade (I don't yell, but I do I work them hard, but then I give them a big hug and a high five and they get that we just care.)

    Anyhoo, I would also pull this kid aside and talk to her, as it was suggested above.

    Oh, and welcome back!!!!!!
     
  13. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2009

    I just had a student transfer out of my class because I held him accountable for his actions and made him work. He also thought everything we did was "dumb and boring". It seems like more and more students expect to be entertained during class and don't want to put effort or thought into their own learning process.
     
  14. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    Feb 19, 2009

    I'd just make her do the assignment again, in your presence, on her own time. For my school that would mean during lunch or after school. Why?

    My cousin is 19 and he told me that the worst thing is when a teacher makes you do an assignment over. He wouldn't care if the teacher told his parents or gave him a zero.

    If we want the student to learn to that a behavior is unacceptable then we must react in a way that they will respond to. It's been working for me so far this year. Whenever appropriate I make students do work over. I don't have too many repeat offenders. :2cents:
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2009

    If you hadn't asked, I would be in full agreement.

    But you DID ask why they made a mistake. It's possible that this kid does believe that she's constantly being yelled at (not to say that's the reality, but it could be her perception of it.) And that, as a result, she either freezes up or is simply turned off. Myabe she sincerely believes that school is SUPPOSED to be "fun."

    I'm not sure I see the value in asking. Yes, her note was "snarky" (I love that word!) But she may also think it was truthful, and it's hard to punish her for that.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2009

    I'm sure she thought it was truthful. I also know that this is definitely a situation where she and I view the same event very differently.

    What caught me off guard was that I expected students' answers to be more introspective. That's totally my fault for not being prepared for a response like hers where she put the onus on me.

    I never intended to "punish" her for her statement, and I want to make that clear. While I don't appreciate her tone (or at least what I perceived to be her tone), I do agree that she probably feels that her comment is valid, true, and useful.

    I was more interested in figuring out how to handle it when students have wildly different experiences than I do, even though we're in the same classroom, like when they think I scream at them when that never (never) happens.

    (And I ask the question so that students can evaluate and assess their own work, which is usually more meaningful for them than glancing at whatever I write on the top and then promptly forgetting about it. Students seem to learn better once they can figure out what they did wrong and why they did it, without someone having to tell them.)
     
  17. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Feb 20, 2009

    I have never (not one single time) raised my voice this entire school year. Somehow, though, I get accused of "yelling" a few times a week. Go figure.
     
  18. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Feb 20, 2009

    I would have seen that as an opportunity to talk about her
    life a little. She didnt say it in front of the class for effect.
    She percieves you as not caring about her and this is an chance to show you do care. When young kids know you care they are
    respond much better. I know this sound stupid but it works for me.
    oh yeah, I yell all the time but kids are like 50 yards away from me and sometimes not behaving.............
     
  19. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Feb 25, 2009

    I completely agree with all the above, but I also hear a few other details....


    1 - She's smart. I take that to mean she gets good grades in several of her classes.

    2 - She's having to work at getting it in your class and doesn't like it.

    3 - She's blaming your for it not coming easily to her or being interesting/ fun even if she has to work for it.



    My approach to her would be a supportive, but stiff upper lip. I'm new to teaching but I teach math and see what I am hearing you describe in all of my classes. My response is simple, you have to work for it. End of Story.

    Don't wanna work?.... I call the parents and explain to them why their kid is currently failing. I'm also at school by 6AM and all my students are welcome to come early for free tutoring. (I pass that message along to the parents as well.)

    Finally (and most effectively), I post grades by student number in my classroom every week. My kids know where they stand weekly and I call the parents of failing kids every single week.

    Put the pressure on her to learn it. I want my kids to like and enjoy my class, but I'll take them hating it if that is what's required to get them to pass it.
     

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