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Old 06-23-2011, 01:56 AM   #21
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The biggest differentiator is a good teacher, not necessarily a good school. The next most important is fellow students. In an environment where "cool" is more important than smart, even very bright students will conform to the social mores and fail to achieve anything meaningful. Enough years of that and they will find it difficult to make up for the lost time.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:20 PM   #22
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Spirit - Very interesting point. I spoke to my boss the other day about kid's education b/c he has one in high school and other in middle school. He lives in an affluent suburb (avg home price 1M+) and him and his wife both value education. For his first kid, there was a defining moment where he wasn't done with his project so they could've left it as is and the kid would face the consequence of failing the project. Or parents help/finish the project for him, in which case, consequence wouldn't be felt. Parents chose the 2nd option and his first kid, now in 9th grade, is still relying on his parents. This is not the only incident but this has been the general trend... mom would be next to him hand holding on his homework. For the 2nd kid, they didn't have much time to hand hold him so he's much more independant in his schoolwork.

I look at my childhood and my parents were immigrants so couldn't help much with my homework even if they wanted to. My boss parents were blue collar workers and didn't have much in terms of education so couldn't help. We were pretty much on our own so, if we screwed up, there was an immediate consequence coupled with the fact I was competing with my friends so didn't want to get Bs while they're geting As.
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Insider talk
Old 06-23-2011, 12:37 PM   #23
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Insider talk

Sometimes you really should listen to the perspective of the people involved and so I am letting you guys in on some shop talk Thank you because my husband has had his fill of it and he is definitely not a teacher We used to have a phrase that described helicopter parents... those that hovered around and bailed out their kids and really thought they were helping their kids stand up to teachers!!!! As if we have a vested interest in "punishing your child" just for the sake of it. Believe me we have way more better things to do than listen to angry parents justifying bad behavior. We also have kids and just want to help them grow straight and true the best way we can. Anyway there is a new phrase and we call them snow plow parents who clear the path for these kids and these kids never have to define for themselves what is good or not. I really worry for them because life is not always easy or fair and they are not building any resiliency for their lives ahead. I am not alone in these thoughts for our future generations. They will be in big trouble when they need to stand on their own and do not have the necessary coping skills. If you doubt me ask anyone what type of new employees they have hired recently who are in their 20's and if they are satisfied with them. We teachers have seen this coming in our schools for years and now you will be hiring them and/or working beside them. But that is another thread.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:12 PM   #24
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Well, both my parents were teachers, and my siblings and I got to be their "experiments" for their kids.

One time my mom taught a GED class at the local tech college. She gave me the same spelling test as the kids in the class, 100 words that 12th graders should be able to spell. I got 97 out of 100 right and I was 10 years old at the time. I even took the test in the classroom at the same time as the 18+ year olds and one of them corrected my test after the test was over, so they could see there was no way my mom could make it up. When the resutls were announced, it became the quietest classroom I ever was in. She said she never had any complaints about classwork after that..........
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:15 PM   #25
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Sometimes you really should listen to the perspective of the people involved and so I am letting you guys in on some shop talk Thank you because my husband has had his fill of it and he is definitely not a teacher We used to have a phrase that described helicopter parents... those that hovered around and bailed out their kids and really thought they were helping their kids stand up to teachers!!!! As if we have a vested interested in "punishing your child" just for the sake of it. Believe me we have way more better things to do that listen to angry parents justifying bad behavior. We also have kids and just want to help them grow straight and true the best way we can. Anyway there is a new phrase and we call them snow plow parents who clear the path for these kids and these kids never have to define for themselves what is good or not. I really worry for them because life if not always easy or fair and they are not building any reliency for their lives ahead. I am not alone in these thoughts for our future generations. They will be in big trouble when they need to stand on their own and do not have the necessary coping skills. If you doubt me ask anyone what type of new employees they have hired recently who are in their 20's and if they are satisfied with them. We teachers have seen this coming in our schools for years and now you will be hiring them and/or working beside them. But that is another thread.
I don't own a helicopter, so I guess I'm ok. I do have a snowblower, but I don't use it for parenting.............
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:42 PM   #26
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Concerning schools, there is a new 4 point grading scheme (not referring to 4 pt. GPA) on regular classwork that is emerging. Some schools are using this in replacement of the 90% "A" 80% "B", etc. This being done to assist the failure rate of students. But IMHO it is a grading ruse that lowers the bar. For example if a student had four 100 pt assignments and received a 100 on 2 of them and did not do the other 2 assignments he would have a 50% "F". In the new system he would have two 4 pt grades and 2 zero pts. Average them together and presto, you have a 2 pt. "C" average and are passing! Yes, your failure rate is lower, but I would contend there is no more knowledge being gained. But it has the opposite effect on the brighter students. If he has three 89% grades and a 100%, he has an A. In the new system he has a B! I say this only as a warning that some reform minded schools aren't truly bringing about reform, even if the intent is good. Of course, whether grades even measure knowledge at all is another discussion for another day!
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We have something called outcomes based learning
Old 06-23-2011, 03:39 PM   #27
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We have something called outcomes based learning

Yes, be careful out there Some of our school districts are using "outcomes" as the ONLY measure of learning. Outcomes are test scores. But as a teacher it is the "process" that has come with great effort and that defines how I teach. I know I am a good teacher by how my students meet success in their learning. It took me years to learn the "art" of my profession. It did not come out of a can nor did it come easy. I have a masters degree in education but have learned more from my students and colleagues over the years than anything out of a textbook. Now any beginning teacher can say they are meeting outcomes. It could come from textbooks, films, worksheets, fairy dust. As long as they are meeting outcomes everything is ok. But experienced teachers and wise parents know the difference. The devil is in the details.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:53 PM   #28
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Yes, be careful out there Some of our school districts are using "outcomes" as the ONLY measure of learning. Outcomes are test scores. But as a teacher it is the "process" that has come with great effort and that defines how I teach. I know I am a good teacher by how my students meet success in their learning. It took me years to learn the "art" of my profession. It did not come out of a can nor did it come easy. I have a masters degree in education but have learned more from my students and colleagues over the years than anything out of a textbook. Now any beginning teacher can say they are meeting outcomes. It could come from textbooks, films, worksheets, fairy dust. As long as they are meeting outcomes everything is ok. But experienced teachers and wise parents know the difference. The devil is in the details.
Ok Spirit, you better watch out by saying there is an actual "art" to teaching or you will wind up in the dinosaur club with me Glad to hear that word again even though I never hear it anymore. I always believed the "art" of teaching is what kept the "science" part glued together.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:00 PM   #29
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. If it means smoking dope while listening to The Doors on the iPod, probably not so good for their education.
I don't know that seems like a fun way (experiential education) of learning about the 1960s an important part of American history.

I continue to be impressed with young people knowledge of classic rock.

Also if it is the smart kids sitting around doing this does this make it better?
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:25 PM   #30
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Concerning schools, there is a new 4 point grading scheme (not referring to 4 pt. GPA) on regular classwork that is emerging.
That's interesting to me, since that's the system I used for most of the 40 years I taught college. I thought I invented it. It always made more sense to me than the traditional percent system.
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Of course, whether grades even measure knowledge at all is another discussion for another day!
I never used grades as a measure of knowledge, only as an incentive for students to do the assigned work. The idea, so far as I was concerned, was to get students to learn, not to award credentials.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:07 PM   #31
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That's interesting to me, since that's the system I used for most of the 40 years I taught college. I thought I invented it. It always made more sense to me than the traditional percent system.

I never used grades as a measure of knowledge, only as an incentive for students to do the assigned work. The idea, so far as I was concerned, was to get students to learn, not to award credentials.
Maybe you were the first! Actually at the collegiate level, I see no problem with it at all because the students as a general rule, are there to learn and do their work. In fact, the college class I learned the most from was a professor who told us we would all get A's for the class so let's get down to the serious business of learning (was a very dynamic teacher). HS kids are another matter, though, I believe anyway. Once this was being piloted in a few classes, many students bragged they could do less, and get a better grade! All grading systems are schemes, I certainly don't know the perfect one.
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The Art of what you do
Old 06-23-2011, 08:06 PM   #32
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The Art of what you do

About 20 years ago I was an experienced teacher who accepted an assignment in March to teach a gr 4 class that was in "crisis". I had about 10 years of teaching experience at the time and was considered a good teacher. That class was out of control, stayed out of control and the only thing I learned was that I had absolutely no control in that situation. In 3 months I was in crisis. A vetern teacher came in to observe and help me. I never forgot her kindness and still use her suggestions as part of my teacher's identity. From her I learned a little of the "art" of teaching (her words). She just retired this year from her principal's position. A great educator and a wonderful person. It does not matter what profession you have. If you only do a job you will never know joy and experience the art of what you do. Many years ago my mother who was an immigrant and who lost everything during World War 11 told me to get an education because noone could ever take that way from you. And no matter what the new way of thinking says noone can take the art out ofwhat I do. Thank you everyone for listening to this dinousaur
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:25 PM   #33
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As if we have a vested interest in "punishing your child" just for the sake of it. Believe me we have way more better things to do than listen to angry parents justifying bad behavior. We also have kids and just want to help them grow straight and true the best way we can.
Thinking back on our daughter's years of school, she only had one truly bad teacher. Classic case of burnout. Another teacher wasn't good, but he'd retired on classroom duty and at least he didn't cause trouble.

However over that same timespan I've had many principals, alleged "guidance counselors", and other bureaucrats & administrators who were at best incompetent. One of them even explicitly suggested to our daughter that she come back next week to discuss a problem, only to inform her next week that the deadline was last week.

Once you've been lied to by these professionals people, you no longer give them the benefit of the doubt.

College has been a steep prompt jump in dedication, inspiration, and professionalism.
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You are absolutely right
Old 06-25-2011, 05:54 PM   #34
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You are absolutely right

Yes, there are problem people in all areas of life including my profession. I'm sorry you had to deal with them. The point I was trying to make was that sometimes parents try too hard to help their children and instead enable them to be a victim. It is a fine line and there is no textbook. And I am no expert, just trying to do the best I can with what I have. But sometimes we need to give our children the priviledge to make errors and to learn from them, as difficult as that might be. On another note. Ah yes, college years. I was still living at home then and did not make my mistakes until I was on my own and practicing living like a grownup
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I forgot to give credit
Old 06-25-2011, 06:03 PM   #35
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I forgot to give credit

I must state right now before I forget. I work for a school division that has incredibly fine people living in the community. Mostly farm, acreage, small towns just outside a major city. I live in the city but have commuted an hour each way because of the high standards of the parents, children and teachers in their schools. I would have been proud to send my own children there but I wanted to live near my parents who looked after my children when they were young. I know that I have been blessed to work with such dedicated professionals and have the honor of working with great kids in my classroom. Just my observation (which is becoming a serious topic in our professional development sessions) that our affluent society might not be preparing our children for a very different future than what we have hoped for.
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:28 PM   #36
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We were in Hawaii in the early 80's. Our daughter was in Radford High School (I think that was the name). I became concerned by the type of math class they had her in. They told us. 'We have decided she will not go to college, and therefore she does not need algebra.' It did not take us long to let them know that weather she went to college or not was not there decision and she would take algebra! Needless to say the school administration did not like it, but as we were only going to be there another year they relented.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:19 PM   #37
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We were in Hawaii in the early 80's. Our daughter was in Radford High School (I think that was the name). I became concerned by the type of math class they had her in. They told us. 'We have decided she will not go to college, and therefore she does not need algebra.' It did not take us long to let them know that weather whether she went to college or not was not there their decision and she would take algebra! Needless to say the school administration did not like it, but as we were only going to be there another year they relented.
I like your signature line. Since it's after 5:00 I don't think you'll mind that I "fixed it for ya".
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:32 PM   #38
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Uh oh, the Grammar Police is are raiding the forum...
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:34 PM   #39
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To be exact, my DW is the English major in the house, and there are somethings spell check just won't catch.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:00 AM   #40
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As if we have a vested interest in "punishing your child" just for the sake of it. Believe me we have way more better things to do than listen to angry parents justifying bad behavior.
Absolutely makes sense for good teachers, but in my experience there are plenty of bad ones for whom this is not true. Some of them are merely incompetent and have no business being in a classroom. A few are out right harmful, but so well entrenched that they seem to be impossible to dislodge. No ordinary commercial business would tolerate the levels of incompetence and occasionally worse that are routinely found in most public schools.

I try to stay out of school-pupil interactions as much as possible, but am not reluctant to swoop in when justified. Now that the term "helicopter parent" has become popular, I find educators are quick to label me and dismiss my complaints as unjustified before even listening because "helicopter parents" are assumed to be unreasonable and schools are always right.
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