Why do students love their elementary teachers?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Budaka, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Jun 5, 2008

    Why do most (not all by any means) students enjoy being in elementary school and love their teachers but by the time they reach high school they despise it and don't care for their teachers? I certainly have some thoughts on the subject and have read a great deal of research about it but I would like to hear some opinions and thoughts on the matter.

    What causes the I hate school switch to be turned on around middle school?
     
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  3. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jun 5, 2008

    I think it really is the hormones and freedom to express themselves or proving independence. ALL adults can be grouped into the same category as 'parents' are at the older school age. Its a blatant defiance while they struggle internally.
    Yet, they dont need their teachers any less- in fact they need them for support and although they dont need the tissue held to blow their nose or tie their shoes, the teachers are like threads to reality- holding the 'teens' to be respectfuf.
     
  4. kdc_7276

    kdc_7276 Rookie

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    Jun 5, 2008

    I think part of it is that memories are always more golden. Kids may remember their 3rd grade teacher as a loving physudo mom who gave them a hug every day, but forget the note she sent home for talking to much. On the other hand, HS teacher's set up rules they have to abide by everyday.

    I remember my freshman year of HS I had an English teacher I hated. She made my favorite subject not fun anymore by not allowing us to use "I" in any of our essays. By senior year she was my favorite teacher. Why? Because I was a better writer by then and she no longer had to be so strict with us.

    Plus, of course, the hormones and overall need to rebel against adults in general.
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    When you're in elementary, school is your world. Your friends are there, much of what you do is almost like play, etc. By the time you get to middle school, you're dying to do other things, like play video games or shop or read magazines or gossip with friends. That's why kids can't WAIT for passing period-it's all about socializing, and the class set-up in middle and high school isn't based on social learning, it's based on rigourous academic learning.

    That's what I think, anyhow. Like me at work right now. I long to roll my eyes in these darn meetings about 'Life Safety Week' and I just want to dump all my stupid data entry forms in the trash, because this is NOT what I want to be doing right now. I want to be 'playing' in my classroom, reading books, eating lunch outside, playing with my bunny..... Same with middle schoolers.
     
  6. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    Jun 6, 2008

    I also think part of it is that students are no longer in a self-contained setting. I feel like I got to know my students much better when I was a primary teacher. Now that I teach midde school science, there isn't time for us to just sit around and talk. I've got less than an hour to get them settled and teach the lesson, then it's out-the-door. Not much time to build relationshps- and the kids miss it. My homeroom often asks if they can just spend the day with me.
     
  7. eCubed

    eCubed Companion

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    Jun 6, 2008

    It's the human development factor, I see, just like everybody said. Plus, high school teachers do tend to be colder because they know they can't be "lubby-dubby" anymore because it's regarded as age-inappropriate.

    Now, from my experience, my male students like to shake my hand withour thumbs interlocking, as in armwrestling, or colliding knuckles with me. I remember there was one who liked those "secret handshake" stuff. I wasn't so sure if I should "fall into" those things. It's the issue of professionalism vs. rapport, and my supervisors strongly advise me to side with the [cold] professionalism. With girls, I know they wanted hugs [sometimes], but I dared NOT touch because ANYTHING these days can be considered as sexual harassment.

    I think that our human touch and vocal inflections must not be eradicated, however, we must change them accordingly to students' age AND to conform to school/district standards. It's a tough battle, at least for me, because I like rapport and at the same time, I have to (and I actually want to) be professional.

    So, can teens still love their [high school] teachers? I think so. That's the time when they want guidance in life [though they would NEVER publicly admit it and deliberately demonstrate the opposite], and a high school teacher plays a significant role in giving direction.
     
  8. Mrs. Q

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    I agree with the others on the human development factor. Little kids bond much more with their teachers - school is their world, they usually stay with one teacher all day, etc. In middle school and high school, their lives are busier and hormones/attitudes are rampant.

    However, I only graduated HS four years ago, and I must say that the teachers I look to as mentors are all HS teachers. I was an A student and very focused on school, so I think that plays a part. But I had a handful of amazingly talented, caring teachers who went above and beyond and they are who I want to emulate as a teacher. I also know that my husband, who was a C student at best and who had quite a few behavioral problems in HS... he fondly remembers a couple of his HS teachers b/c of the way that they reached out to him in his darkest moments. So I certainly think it's possible for HS teachers to be respected - and liked, even though it is maybe more rare than the love for elementary teachers.
     
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jun 8, 2008

    <<high school teachers do tend to be colder because they know they can't be "lubby-dubby" anymore because it's regarded as age-inappropriate.>>

    This is the answer. I'm shocked at the things I hear from our high school teachers in our district when we meet. They always ask me why I think their attrition rate in their AVID program is so high then go on to say things like "They don't want to play games, they just think they are silly." Then why I ask the kids why they aren't staying they always answer "It doesn't feel like a family like middle school did, we never do anything fun."

    If we can have fun doing silly games as adults why do we assume high schoolers can't? It is a huge mistake in my view.
     
  10. Mamacita

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    Jun 8, 2008

    Not all of us remember our elementary teachers fondly, unfortunately.

    Elementary school was horrible for me. I can remember going home and imitating my K and 1st grade teachers for my parents: the little babyish voices they'd use when speaking to us, the assumption that we knew absolutely nothing - and indeed, many of those kids knew absolutely nothing! Shameful! - and the way their eyebrows would kind of come together when I asked if there was anything I could be doing while the rest of the class tried to figure out how to color three balloons with three crayons. Sigh. I wasn't a genius, but I knew how to read at 3 and I wasn't remotely interested in large-print on a flip board, or in the constant waiting, waiting, waiting, while a handful of kids tried to figure out how to circle the right answer on a worksheet with three questions on it. My 1st grade teacher took away my Reader's Digest because she said it would make my classmates feel bad. What about me? I remember all six years of elementary as waiting, waiting, waiting, and sitting out in the hallway tutoring slow kids. I remember nothing whatsoever about middle school except orchestra, where the high school kids walked down to the junior high and played with us every day, and there was no more tedious "instruction," just the introduction of harder and harder music each week and if you couldn't cut it, you were out. I loved it. I wanted to read real books in elementary school, and discuss them, but no such luck. We had to read excerpts and little stupid short stories less than a page long, and then answer four or five pages of stupid questions about them. "What color was Susan's hair?" I know now that the questions were to check off who actually read the stuff and who didn't, but it was horrible for a little kid who read Gone with the Wind in third grade. My parents kept telling me to hang on because it would get better in high school, and it did, a little bit, but there were just so many dumb kids in the school! Kids like me who longed to speed forward and learn as much as possible were just left completely out.

    No, my early school years were not pleasant, and the feelings are still raw enough that I can't look back at those teachers and like them at all. I realize that their hands were probably tied as tightly as ours are now, and that whenever any institution has the word "public" in its title, the "public" that gets all the attention is that lowest common denominator of it, and that bothers me most of all.

    I didn't mind the games as long as they required some schema and didn't rely entirely on dumb luck; I still like really, really hard games that make you think and make connections and I hate games that are nothing but luck. I also hate really easy games, unless I'm playing with a small child and even then my memory of the intense boredom of coloring and waiting in grade school makes me try to jazz most games up to see what kind of child I'm interacting with.

    Good thing I never taught elementary school, huh. I did love my sixth graders, but by sixth grade, most of them are ready for some real action in learning, and those that are not, are sent down the hall to the tutor.

    Ironically, I am a very slow driver. I go the speed limit and no faster, ever. And I believe that everyone who goes over the speed limit should be slapped with massive fines, each and every time.

    Oh, and by the way. . . I wasn't the only little kid in my elementary school classes who felt that way. Not that it mattered, because nobody down there paid the least little bit of attention to us except to tell us to be considerate. Funny, no one was considerate towards us. . . .
     
  11. SSA

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    I agree as well. I didn't really feel any teacher challenged me until HS. I don't think that I was quite as bored as you, but I certainly finished far ahead of my classmates so I had a LOT of freetime where I would read the encyclopedia or what not to keep myself from getting into trouble.

    Several of my HS teachers on the other hand I communicated with after HS. I attended my AP US History teacher's retirement party even though it was nearly 100 miles away from where I was living. I attended the funeral of my HS debate coach a few years back. I can honestly say that several of my HS teachers were pretty important people in my life.

    Not every student walks away from HS hating all their HS teachers. Some with a straight face can say that teacher X or teacher Y was important and influential in their lives. I remember that my HS AP US History teacher brought about $200 on the last day for AP exam registration to loan his students money for AP Exam registration. I didn't need the money, but I knew that there were some smart kids that forgot to bring their money that he loaned money to that day. I have little doubt that some of those students didn't forget that.
     
  12. cutNglue

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    I didn't like having multiple teachers. Do you know how hard it is to get used to lipreading one person and then all of a sudden you have 6 teachers and 6 classes with different students? It's tough. My skills weren't even honed in as well as they are now. My sixth grade year alone was a horrible adjustment period for me. In high school my ability to like my teacher depended on whether the teacher was approachable and how they treated my hearing loss.

    SSA, I have a college professor that had 200 students per class that one day gave me money so that I would take a taxi because he was concerned about me being able to move my neck well enough to drive well after having surgery. I felt honored that he noticed me enough and cared enough to fork over money for my well-being.
     
  13. MissFroggy

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    Jun 9, 2008

    I wonder-- in a smaller environment, set up like a self-contained class would HS students like their teachers and school experience more?

    I went to private schools and had classes of no more than 15. I liked most of my teachers- some more than others.

    I know HS teachers need to be experts in their field, but I wonder if part of the problem is how we have set up the system? If people took classes differently, maybe they would learn better and build better relationships with their teachers.
     
  14. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Several teachers vs. one teacher?

    Elem teacher has 25 students for 7 hours a day; 180 school days? HS teacher has them a fraction of that so they do not have the time to bond the same?

    Just some guesses...
     

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