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It's not teaching anymore.....
Old 08-27-2016, 03:10 PM
 
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It's managing all kinds of rude, disrespectful, or just plain quirky behaviors! I just read a post a few lines down about having a difficult class. I'm in the same boat! Seems like the last several years I've had difficult to manage kids. It's so exhausting having to constantly give quiet signals, wait, repeat myself 5000 times, etc! I keep the pace moving in my classroom, have transition songs, move from the carpet to seats, alternate between independent, partner, and group activities, I'm circulating ALL the time, clipping kids UP, paying class money, etc. WHY can't kids just BE RESPECTFUL and make an effort , for crying out loud!

*sigh*
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest!


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I have a theory about this
Old 08-27-2016, 03:30 PM
 
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I have no idea whether I'm right, but here goes.

A century ago, free education for the masses was a new, shiny thing. Many families were still very close to the generations of illiteracy and lack of opportunity that had gone before - kids did what their parents had done, with little choice in the matter. When the opportunity for education came along, parents and communities grabbed it with both hands and pushed their kids to take advantage of the opportunity and succeed. I was born in 1959 (not quite a century ago) but I was the first in my family to be schooled past the age of twelve and dammit, I knew (and was told regularly) how privileged I was and what the expectations were (hard work and success, basically).

Today, free compulsory education is routine and, like most routine things, just accepted as being "there". It's a thing you have to do. No effort has to be put in, because it's just going to happen. There are no great expectations because education and school is part of the routine, for both parents and children. No effort is needed, no respect is needed

Also, in high schools, we have lots of kids who really aren't suited to academic education to the age of 18 (and even beyond - I have a strong dislike of the "red shirting" that is so popular these days) and who would be much better off in the workforce or learning a practical trade, but can't.

So, education as expectation, not privilege, and over-education for some older kids, is what I'm seeing.
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:45 PM
 
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I've got a crew this year that I'm desperately hoping grows on me. I've never been so challenged to squeeze learning into a day of managing behaviors.

I don't know why it's happening, but it seems to be getting worse.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:07 PM
 
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I often wonder how our teachers or our parents' teachers would do if they were to walk into a classroom today.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:21 PM
 
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They would probably start smacking hands with rulers or taking kids out in the hall to paddle them. I don't believe corporal punishment is the answer for all discipline problems, but I think even the threat of it sure was more effect than sending them to the office for a motivational talk and a sticker!!


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Old 08-27-2016, 06:50 PM
 
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I was complaining about my class of 30 today and an older man told me that his class when he was in school was always 30 or more. I gently reminded him that when he was in school just the threat of calling home would set him on the path of respect. He said, "You're right about that." He laughed and stood corrected.
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This feeling is nothing new
Old 08-27-2016, 07:32 PM
 
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"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

Socrates said this around 399 B.C.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:03 PM
 
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Wow! The quote from Socrates is pretty interesting! I guess that our ideas on what is disrespectful have changed over the years. We would probably love teaching the students of long ago!
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:18 AM
 
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I'm with Tiamat that the attitude toward education has changed, and that there are kids who simply wouldn't have been there before. I'd also add:

Instant gratification - Kids today are living in a world where, most of the time, we get what we want very soon after deciding we want it. They have little practice (or patience with) putting slow effort in for a long-range reward.

Lack of sleep - Kids today are tired; they're at whatever activities in the evenings (even the littlest ones dragged to their older siblings stuff), on screens before going to sleep, up early to get to before-school care. They can't hold it together because they're running on empty.

Change of focus - We used to concentrated on kids' strengths in school. ("Sally's good at math." - "Jimmy's a wiz at history!" - etc.) It was acceptable to not be tops at everything, and kids felt good about what they did do well. Now we spend all our time trying to build up their weaknesses and ignore the things they could actually take pride in.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:57 AM
 
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I agree that children today are most ungrateful and feel entitled. When my students begin these behaviors I take everything away and put them in their desks not allowing them to get up except for breaks (restroom, recess, lunch, etc.). Then I will slowly give privileges back. It's amazing how they appreciate what you allow them to do when it is all taken away. I can teach without all the moving around and games and such. And I can also teach with these activities but only if they are cooperative. The choice is theirs.

This works for me.


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Old 08-28-2016, 06:12 AM
 
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Back in the day, there were different levels of class offered to our kids, with the recognition that some (relatively few) would go on to college, while others would go on to the trades after school. Students could drop out of high school and still find well-paying jobs -- they didn't have to sit through years of classes that were a) uninteresting to them and b) not relevant to their specific career paths.

Thanks to NCLB, Common Core and other such educational "reforms," we have a much more one-size-fits-all approach, which simply DOESN'T fit all kids. Thus, many of today's students are bored, overwhelmed, under-challenged, etc.

Added to that is the current generation's belief that they are all "special snowflakes," deserving of reward and recognition simply for doing what they're expected to.

No wonder there are behavior issues.
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:08 PM
 
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I totally agree with BohemianGal. I taught first grade (retired now) and I think things started to change when we started expected all the kids to be above average in their achievement. That's when we started having a real increase in behavior issues.

When I started teaching in the late 70's it would have been considered ridiculous to expect all kids to be at or above grade level by the end of the year. We figured kids learned things at their own individual pace, that there were developmental differences between kids...and that that was perfectly ok.
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
I think things started to change when we started expected all the kids to be above average in their achievement
I have wondered about this too. In the schools I've worked in there has been a huge focus on getting kids to the 50th percentile in reading fluency (with DIBELS or AIMSweb or whatever the school uses). How does no one realize that this is an impossible goal? If everyone actually reached the 50th percentile, then it wouldn't be the 50th percentile anymore!

I wish we would go back to multiple intelligences and realizing that people just have different skills and talents. Yes, all kids should reach a basic level of academic proficiency that will allow them to be functional adults. Much of what we expect kids to do in school is far, far beyond this. It's great for kids that are skilled in academics but not for those that have other skills and talents.

Of course this isn't the source of all behavior problems, but it is the source for some kids!
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:30 AM
 
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I appreciate every post here. Great thinking.

I'll add that I think we have a societal problem contributing. IMO language is deteriorating, people aren't talking, and kids feel ignored at home. Parents are involved where they shouldn't be (witness the posts in the Lounge about parents meeting with kids' college counselors) and not involved in the daily lives of their children. We need more talk outside school. Maybe we need school to be less and home to be more.
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Thanks to NCLB, Common Core and other such educational "reforms," we have a much more one-size-fits-all approach, which simply DOESN'T fit all kids. Thus, many of today's students are bored, overwhelmed, under-challenged, etc.
Quote:
When I started teaching in the late 70's it would have been considered ridiculous to expect all kids to be at or above grade level by the end of the year. We figured kids learned things at their own individual pace, that there were developmental differences between kids...and that that was perfectly ok.
Quote:
I have wondered about this too. In the schools I've worked in there has been a huge focus on getting kids to the 50th percentile in reading fluency (with DIBELS or AIMSweb or whatever the school uses). How does no one realize that this is an impossible goal? If everyone actually reached the 50th percentile, then it wouldn't be the 50th percentile anymore!
These are really good points, too! Kids act up when the material isn't right for them, and I definitely think setting one bar for all means it's too high for a lot of kids, and short-changing others.
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