Lack of Gratitude from Students

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Mar 23, 2010

    I facilitate for a student book club. There are 2 groups one K-2, one 3rd-5th. We're given a list of 30+ books for each division from our district's library headquarters; we read the books, discuss them in weekly meetings, make/practice questions for a competition against other schools and we also do one on campus with all the participants. We get t-shirts printed and everything.

    The kids who sign up for this really put a lot of work into it (most of them). They've met one day a week after school since the 2nd week of September not to mention-- read a lot of books, basically just for fun. So I wanted to have a little celebration for them. I bought the fixings for mini-pizzas, chips, juice. I made each one of them a gift bag (my students decorated them). Spent time on Amazon/in Barnes and Nobles/in my own library from Scholastic picking out books I really thought they'd like based on their tastes, reading level, a similar series to the ones we read-each book was different. Wrote a little note inside each book (I have a total of just over 50 kids-more time-consuming than it sounds). And also added some trinkets from Oriental Trading which were really cheap-bookworm erasers, bookmarks, pencils with the club and year printed on them.

    Anyway, long story short we had our celebrations this week. Not only did NONE of them even say "thank you" but some of them were even complaining about the book they got and can they get another one! :mad: I felt like I just shelled out all this time and money and was just really surprised by the lack of gratitude. I guess maybe I was just taught differently-my mother would actually make us write thank-you notes for everything :rolleyes: which to this day, even with e-mail I still do.

    Really just venting here. None of them are actually in my classroom, so I can't even use it for a lesson or anything and I really hate to be complaining again-but the lack of any kind of gratitude really offended me. :down:
     
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  3. ginac

    ginac Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2010

    New world

    So many children have been given things and have to do nothing in return. Parents are doing their children wrong by not teaching them manners, doing everything for them and giving them everything. The "entitlement" living needs to stop. I feel for you and understand
     
  4. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Yeah this is my every day. I volunteer for forty hours a week in my elementary school-ERRRRR-I get $150 a week as a stipend. A huge portion of which goes to them. No thank youssss. And lots of complaints about what I put in our treasure chest. But I suppose this is a thankless job anyway. :hugs:
     
  5. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Mar 23, 2010

    I had this happen this year when I gave out books for Christmas. I think I will just stick to other things next year-I never heard complaints before.
     
  6. Grover

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    Mar 24, 2010

    I just bought a couple of books for kids that couldn't afford them from the book fair. They were told they had 'won' them, and were pathetically happy to have a book of their own. I won't get a thank-you, but I'm okay with that.
     
  7. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Mar 24, 2010


    It's weird to me when I don't get a thank you from my kids. They tell me thank you when I hand out their math worksheets, so maybe they're just excited and forget when they get a present!
     
  8. MarieClarie

    MarieClarie Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2010

    So sorry to hear about your experience. I have been through it for many years as well and the only thing I have found to combat it is reminding the children before a special event or activity about gratitude. And then out of 60 or so children I will have 2 or 3 that remember. I think in exciting situations kids do forget to say thanks sometimes -- maybe they will remember what you did later and say something to you then? Sounds like you did a wonderful thing for them by making reading books exciting and providing small prizes for them! I know it will be memorable for them for many years!

    Marie
    www.afterschoolclubideas.com
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 24, 2010

    This drives me crazy, too! I just get angry when they don't even act grateful. It's not like they are just so excited about their book, treat, pencil, etc. that they forget to say thank you. They actually complain about not getting the one they wanted.

    At Christmas time, I gave each child a book, candy cane, and purchased gingerbread cookies to make and things to decorate them. We did this a few days before break. Then, the day before break, a few of them said, "Aren't you going to give us another present?" I know they are only in kindergarten, but I still can't believe how ungrateful they are.

    Actually, last year I gave my class pencils and most of them were whining about which one they received. Having addressed this problem before, I was really frustrated, so I made the kids who complained give me their pencil back!
     
  10. Grover

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    Well, these kids won't thank me because they don't know I did anything for them. I bought the books because I thought it would be good for them to have at least one book of their own, not because I wanted their gratitude.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 24, 2010

    I highly doubt any teacher would buy books for his/her students just to receive gratitude. :rolleyes:
     
  12. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Mar 24, 2010

    I buy beautiful Christmas books every year for my students. I give them a birthday book on their birthday. I will get a thank you now and then, but not often. This year not a single thanks for the Christmas books. But oh well, I will continue to do it because I enjoy doing it, thank you or not. :)
     
  13. Grover

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    Mar 24, 2010

    And I highly doubt I said they would. It does seem to be a significant concern for some, however.

    :rolleyes:
     
  14. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    Mar 24, 2010

    I also agree that "please" and "thank you" are important, yet lacking. Something that helps in my room....the first kid to say "thank you" for something get two of the item (sticker, positive behavior ticket, pencil, bookmark, etc.) It works like a charm!
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Thanks DP! Of course I didn't do it so they would say thank you and that didn't even bother me as much as I wanted a different one or why do I have such a long book and he got a short one. Not being happy with a gift that was personally chosen for you.

    It's just that attitude on entitlement that both surprises and annoys me. I'll still do things like that in future-it just makes me sad that so many kids don't know how to be grateful for what they have. With my own class every once in awhile we'll do an activity with food, make a snack and no one is ever satisfied with it-what no juice, why didn't you buy us this instead? That attitude just really bothers me. I mean I'll get over it, but it just makes me sad for this generation of kids.
     
  16. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Mar 24, 2010

    This annoys with me kids too. It REALLY annoys me when I see ADULTS with this same attitude. :mad:
     
  17. dannyboy

    dannyboy Companion

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    Mar 27, 2010

    Since they are not in your class I would reconvene the group one more time and politely let them have it right between the eyes for their ingratitude. I don't expect thanks every time from my 4ths, but when I think thanks are in order I give them a little lesson that will help them in their future. It is a lesson they need to learn, if not from their parents, then from us.
     
  18. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Mar 27, 2010

    While I completely agree and would be upset too, sometimes I don't think that children realize that the teacher spent his/her own money to buy them a gift. Especially with younger kids I don't think they think about it because it is not a set "present" time, like a birthday or something. Maybe they know to say thank you then, but are not realizing that this is a gift too? Good lesson to learn
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Mar 27, 2010

    There was one time this year that the kids were not in the receptive mode. I noticed it right away. So I decided that I would withhold actually giving it to them. If during the presentation of it, they seemed lackluster then I wasn't going to give them the entire gift I spent Christmas break finding bits and pieces to. So I told them that I understood how after our big break they might still be too tired to be in a good receiving mood so I would hold their gift for another time. I explained how when someone searches for the perfect gift and gives it to someone, how would they feel if they did not like it or say thank you. I told them that I feel the same way but that I was okay with it knowing they just weren't ready to receive it so I am putting off giving it. I kid you not, when I presented it the second time, they jumped overboard to show gratitude and I told them I was so glad I waited another day and that we were respectful to each others' needs. HAHAHAHA!
     
  20. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Mar 27, 2010

    yes, cutnglue, teach gratitude to them!
     
  21. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Mar 28, 2010

    A fellow teacher once told me a plan he had when he gave out gifts to his students. He would not let go of the object until he received a thank you. Most of the students caught on very quickly.
    I find it really depends on the individual child. Some are very appreciative and can not thank you enough,while others are never appreciative and want more and more.
     
  22. Grover

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    Mar 29, 2010

    This teaches good manners, not gratitude. Not that there's anything wrong with good manners.
     

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