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mrteacherguy 12-28-2019 03:36 PM

Lack of foundational skills/behaviors
I've started the process of looking for jobs/careers outside of teaching. Even though I love learning and went into teaching with the hopes of passing that on to my students, there are too many things that get in the way of being able to do that successfully.

One of the things that is bugging me, especially this year, is the lack of foundational skills and expectations for students (ie expected behaviors from home/school):

I've been teaching 6th, 7th, or 8th grade for the last 7 years, and not one of those years have I had a group of students (outside of a handful of students) that has been taught note taking skills. I remember being taught how to do outlines in 5th grade; but now we have students that get to 8th grade that can't take notes without going to the extremes of either writing down everything off the board or being given fill-in-the blank notes.

I remember being expected to take responsibility for my own learning, to write down important dates or things we needed to know (like what my homework was or when a test would be), but my current admin is constantly talking about how adolescent brains aren't capable of things like that. We have to write things on the board, remind the students every day, email/phone parents, and then when the students forget the homework or bomb the test, the teacher has to jump through hoops to make sure they make up the work or get to retake the test.

And what about basic respect towards adults? I wouldn't have dreamed of talking back to any of my teachers, even those I didn't like; our roles and expectations were clear - I was the student and they were my teacher/elder and I was to be respectful of them regardless of my personal opinions about them or the class. But now having students point-blank refuse to comply with directions/rules is the norm rather than the exception.

apple annie 12-28-2019 07:25 PM

I agree with you so much!

Especially about taking responsibility for their learning. I think the multiple reminders, DoJo messages, texts, phone calls, newsletters and planner entries teach parents (and students) not to pay attention to any of it, because another reminder will come along shortly. And after they’ve missed all six of my notices, they’ll just send ME a message that they never saw/heard about/read of this homework/test/event/opportunity and that they should have been informed.

But if it makes you feel better, I’m teaching my fifth graders how to outline. ;)

Surly 12-28-2019 07:26 PM

The chickens are coming home to roost
Similar to another thread on this board: in my state, it’s literally almost illegal to do anything other than reward kids for everything and anything they do. Obviously, kids think that if they’re going to be rewarded no matter what, even if they’re acting out (which, let’s be real, is the most immediately gratifying), then that’s what they’re going to do more often than not, especially when they’re encouraged to indulge their most base impulses. It’s human nature. Not surprisingly, I’ve seen kids’ behavior continually getting worse over the years since this has been the zeitgeist.

This system isn’t producing people who are going to be worthwhile in the real world when other people’s money is at stake. But what do I know when “science” says otherwise? I’m just a lowly high school teacher. I’m sure the people with education-specific graduate degrees in social “sciences” know something I don’t.

K12ENLTeacher 12-29-2019 08:37 AM

Words Out of My Mouth
I am not going to repeat what has already been said by other posters. I have only been teaching for 9 years but in these short years I think I have seen enough to want me to quit. In fact, I have tried to quit for some time now. But this is going to be my last year. Even though I am teaching in one of the best elementary schools in the area, where everything is great beginning with the admin and ending with moderately behaved students, the bottom line is: students do not take responsibility for their own learning. If you ask more than half of the students what they are learning that day, the most they will say, "I am learning math." The worst thing they have said was, "I do not know." Needless to say a response such as this is pretty much a nail in the coffin and bye-bye teaching career. Apathy is the disease that I am too exhausted to find cure for anymore. I think I have gained enough skills to transfer into another non-teaching career.

Summerwillcom 01-02-2020 10:42 PM

I relate 100%
I'm leaving education at the end of the yr for good. It is getting progressively worse here. Surly describes it well.
I am so surprised there truly will probably be 100 people waiting for and thankful for my job being open.
Young teachers have no idea what they are signing up for nowadays. I never went to school to be a sped teacher or a teacher of SED kids. Around here, they just toss all the kids in the classroom and say, "punt!"

subasaurus 01-08-2020 04:08 AM

And what about basic respect towards adults?

Sadly, that era is over. We're now in the era of liability and paranoia.

Most schools are "parent pleaser" schools now.

Students can get away with a lot more rude behavior now because Mom and Dad will get angry on Facebook that their child was disciplined.

Schools are afraid of being sued.

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