Teacher to Parent - A child must be a willing participant in his own education

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherNY, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Feb 14, 2020

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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Feb 14, 2020

    To a certain extent, I agree that teachers are fairly responsible for making sure students learn... again, to an extent.

    But, golly, kids need to agree to the learning.
     
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  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Right. How old is that phrase, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"?
    Old as the hills probably.
    What if a doctor prescribes medicine and the patient won't take it? Then the patient doesn't get better? Or tells them they need surgery but they refuse? Is it the doctor's fault the patient gets sicker?
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    A much overused phrase, in my opinion. I do believe it is a teachers job and obligation to make a classroom environment one such a child wants to learn. They are also obligated to understand the child and give their best effort to try to motivate the student who is unwilling or unable. All to often it is used by those to not put forth the effort to help motivate the student. It certainly is an easy out. All you have to do is present and then you can use the phrase.

    I'm not saying there aren't hard nuts to crack, but I've heard this used as a lazy way out of even trying.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    This is fair, BUT there are some students who refuse to learn. I have one student, in particular, who refuses to do any class work or homework. His parents think I am to blame and I am constantly on him about coming to class prepared and ready to learn and staying on task. Instead, he would rather just talk with his friends, goof off, and play on his iPad, which is absolutely ridiculous.

    He chooses not to participate and doesn’t want to even try. No one can make him do anything and I cannot occupy his mind. HE has to be the one to take charge of his own learning. It’s called personal responsibility. Children can still be culpable and found at fault and your age shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether or not you are found “guilty” of failing.

    Luckily, he gets average test and quiz scores in spite of his unwillingness to participate and so he is at least learning the content to a certain extent. That’s the only reason he has a C-.

    That’s not my fault. It is entirely his own. TeacherNY hit the nail on the head.
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    If the teacher has already jumped through all of those hoops then the ball is in the student's court. Your excuse is also used by parents who do not want to take any responsibility for their child's education.
     
  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Habitué

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    "But there are too many kids in our society whose families don’t value education. They have not been reared with appropriate discipline. And work ethic isn’t even a thing. These children often come to school and spend their days playing or distracting others. " (from the article).
    That isn't the half of it! Also, some come from chaotic homes with absolutely insane behaviors. Some hit, kick, cuss, spit, and throw things too! Many schools no longer have any consequences. That's not my fault.
    Those types of kids aren't learning what they need to and w/out back up from parents or admin, they never will. The kids who are in a class that has to be cleared frequently won't learn as much either.
    I loved teaching academics. Most years, I felt solely responsible for what my kids learned. ( I cut myself a little slack if I had too many kids or unusually tough kids once in awhile, but not often.)
    There are kids though that I would not take any responsibility for how they turned out or what they learned. Their lack of learning goes back on their parents, the school system that allows garbage behavior, and whatever is causing some of our kids to have gotten so messed up.
     
  10. CindyBlue

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    I disagree with you on this. I think you are demeaning almost every teacher I have ever known by saying it. I have known a few hundred teachers in the course of my teaching career, and I can think of only one that might use that phrase as "an easy out." One. I know of only one "lazy" teacher - and that the rest are giving their all, more than they should, and are being beaten down by a system that makes it literally almost impossible to teach. Teachers are not "obligated" to "understand the child" - are you kidding? Many of us have 150+ students a day - there is no way to "understand" all of those who are "unwilling and unable." We keep doing the best we can, but if "the best we can" does not produce a perfectly perfect result for each and every child we teach, that should not be taken by anyone, especially by a teacher, as an "excuse" for not being able to "understand" every child in our classroom.
    There is a limit as to how much effort that any teacher can make to help motivate a student. Teachers need to provide opportunities to learn, and a classroom as conducive to learning as they can. But they can't do it when students are rude, out of control, unmotivated, and enabled by parents and society and admin, and they certainly can't do it if they are being disrespected by people who think that every teacher is responsible for the motivation of every student in his/her classroom. Combine that with out of bound parental expectations and unending blaming the school and especially the teacher for everything their little darling has done wrong, and you have the main reasons teachers are leaving the profession in droves.
     
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  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 16, 2020 at 7:36 AM

    I don't have a problem with you disagreeing. I have a different experience than you. Those that use this phrase are the ones to give up the fastest or the ones who have the attitude that it is the student's job to completely adapt to them.

    And yes, I believe when a student is struggling it is the obligation of the teacher to determine what is going on with the student and try to rectify it, if possible. They may not always achieve. Unless you are a specials teacher in elementary or in MS or HS, you don't have 150 students. Problems we see in upper grades has its basis in earlier grades allowing the problems to grow. So, if you have 60% of your class struggling and you have no support, it isn't a new problem it is an old one and a current one at the same time. But saying "You can lead a horse..." doesn't really address the issue. It just removes responsibility from the teacher or the school having to address what was ignored for many years.
     
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  12. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 16, 2020 at 7:42 AM

    I believe there are times teachers' run out of options on their own. I also believe there are times administrators block options that may help. I also believe the moment the phrase is used means you have given up on the student. At that point, there is no reason for the student to remain in the class and students pick up on this. The situation will never improve. Then if they are disrupting the learning environment, you are also giving up on the other students who want to learn by choosing to give up on the horse.
     
  13. Rabbitt

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    Feb 16, 2020 at 4:40 PM

    VERY well said!
    As I sat here stunned and trying to figure out what to say, you did!
     
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  14. Rabbitt

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    Feb 16, 2020 at 4:43 PM

    I also disagree with you on this. I was stunned when I read it. CindyBlue wrote exactly what I wanted to say.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Feb 18, 2020 at 1:04 PM

    I'm fearing an upcoming conference where the fault of the student's lack of progress will be entirely on me when, if my suspicions are correct, the more basic help this student needs is something that is a parental responsibility.

    I'm a teacher, not a saint.
     
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