Kids who've been coddled?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by irishrose, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. irishrose

    irishrose Rookie

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    Jan 19, 2020

    ...Any way to help them get used to being more independent WITHOUT them failing? I teach in a rural county. Many elementary schools are small and kids go to some of them right up through 8th grade. Our large county-wide HS comes as quite a shock by contrast!
    I try to offer every possible way for students to access me if and when they need me. We have gone over and over the fact that they can schedule time with me before and after school. They can email anytime, and we also use the Remind app, which allows them to message like a text.
    I had a student recently fail S1 and a parent I've been in correspondence with telling me, well they are basically a one-on-one type of kid. I tried to tell her the things I just said here (ways to access, appointments, etc) and that the class the student is in has 35 people in it. There is no way I can sit and hold anyone's hand during that class! It would be unfair to the others. I don't get the feeling she is blaming me for the failure, but it does bring out a problem I am noticing. What to do when kids will not take advantage of the opportunities you give and also have been spoon-fed everything learning-wise? All advice appreciated!

    PS - we also have homeroom and a study hall time when they can, and are encouraged, to come get help!
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 19, 2020

    Kids have to be taught how the resources available to them. It is a skill. Simply giving them the resources isn’t enough. At the middle school level we try really hard to teach the kids what resources are available and walk them through the steps of how to use them.
     
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  4. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jan 19, 2020

    Starting a behavior, in this case independent work habits, has to do with motivation or answering for students, “Why should I?” Some students show up with internalized independent work skills. But not all. Making the leap from dependency to self-sufficient will often take some form of incentive to get the ball rolling. In other words, what is a compelling reason students should take advantage of all the offers of assistance ...just because there’s an offer above and beyond? Probably not for a student used to someone else, with best of intentions, interfering with growing up.

    What sort of incentive could be offered to a student like S1 that would compel him/her to choose staying after school or contact you via email or? A homework pass? Preferred activity? Preferred activity for the whole class? You could ask the student. Whatever the incentive it should satisfy two conditions: 1) learning related 2) something you can live with. One teacher found a student liked to read sports magazines. The teacher found a bunch of used ones at a used book store. She gave him one each time for showing up before school. And, no, this is not a bribe. An incentive is something offered in advance that a student will work for. A bribe is something offered in the heat of the moment to change behavior.
     
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  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 20, 2020

    This tells me that the problem is not the resources but the pervasive inability (at this point) to self direct. Maybe get mom on board so that at homework time, if he has a question for you, he can email you with mom's prompting.

    I don't know your teaching style and attitude about homework, but you have to be open to it not be completed if you don't provide an answer for him in a timely fashion.

    Also, have some in-class or homework assignment that require using the resources to get the work done.

    But it does sound like this student's issue is not using resources, but being independent in general.

    That takes a lot of dialogue and guidance. Work on independence in the classroom during in-class work. "Ask him through it". Praise the correct answers and assure him he knows what he is doing. Unless he really is extremely weak academically and very behind the work he is expected to do, encouragement will go a long way to help him. It seems like hand-holding, but depending on how you do it, it is not.
     
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  6. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Jan 25, 2020

    I think the schools are coddling the students as bad as the parents nowadays in many places. Your school offers more than enough resources.
    To become independent, you have to fail at times, and learn to fail gracefully at some things. Then get up, dust yourself off, and try again. Once you have learned you can do it with effort and persistence, you grow as a person. That is part of what independence is about to me. You gain true self confidence as you learn that lesson.
    For some reason, schools have really hurt kids by not allowing them to fail at small things. The kids are not prepared to deal with bigger failures. If kids don't understand this, we will have no future scientists. "Experiment 1 did not work, my hypothesis was wrong, I am a failure. I quit." It is so sad to me what we are doing to kids.
    I know part of it started when they made school report cards and failure rates counted against the schools. Another part was the emergence of helicopter parents. They do not want their kids to feel disappointment, failure, embarrassment, and so on. They want their kids to be happy and winning all of the time. Also A+ students despite their lack of effort, ability, or work ethic.
    Kids who have not learned or been prepared for life's ups and downs, end up with emotional problems once someone is not fixing their problems for them.. It is no wonder so many of our population are prescribed meds to cope. Life is not always or even usually easy for most of us.
    What happened to these sayings? If at 1st you don't succeed, try, try, again!
    We grew up with sayings like this: A man may fall many times, but he is not a failure until he starts claiming someone pushed him. ( blaming others)
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
    “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino
    If you look at almost anyone who is deemed successful, they had big failures in their past. They took risks, learned from their mistakes, tried again, and eventually got it right.

    I know....my ideas no longer "fit in" w/ the actions of most schools and beliefs of overly protective parents nowadays. I used to love to teach kids, but too much has changed, and I don't belief in a lot of what is going on anymore. This is my last yr, and I am not even teaching a class this yr. I am guessing it may be different in different parts of the country. Midwest states may be more grounded...IDK I hope so anyways.
    This may not even seem real to you, but I ran into a parent of a nice kid who grew up this way the other day. The girl graduated 2 yrs ago.. Mom proudly told me about how her daughter spent the year taking care of their puppies at their house. As if this was a job.... That girl had been smart enough to have done well in college or could be working. Instead, she is living at home taking care of puppies while mom supports her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 25, 2020

    I think it is important to learn to come back from failure, but it doesn't have to be a huge failure. Having received instruction and still be confused is a form of failure. These are perfect times for lessons about failure and persistence. I would say it is in these moments that students will learn more skills than having to fail miserably. These small failures if approached appropriately will provide the foundational skills necessary to help combat larger failures.

    I honestly think this is where students are often being let down.
     
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  8. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Jan 25, 2020

    Exactly! Small kids should experience small set backs. As they age, the failures/ set backs can increase in small steps. By the end of HS though, I think kids should have a solid foundation that you get back up and keep trying until you get it.
    When they hit college or the workforce, they are more prepared to succeed. I don't know what it is like everywhere, but I know here, schools are not preparing kids for real life at all.
    Oh, I need to add to this unless the parents have common sense. Their kids are being prepared since they are not expecting everything to be made perfect for their kids. Teachers know by the kid's actions and word of mouth which parents will work w/ you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020

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