Schools today - training our kids to be wimps

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by purr1n, May 29, 2019.

  1. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Herein lies the problem. Everyone knows that bullying is evil but any meaningful measures to address it are, in the opinions of people making decisions, too costly from a resources perspective. Ideally bullies just stop being bullies, but that's laughable considering how for the most part they turned out the way they did as a consequence of factors beyond their control.

    What's FOB BTW? Fall Out Boy, i.e. scene kids? Fear of bullying?

    @Kunlun @elmoe
    Y'all can probably tell this is a topic I'm personally really invested in (sorry) so I'm kinda reactive. I'll leave it to others to discuss findings (because APA is biased and those articles are my primary source of information ;)), but I'd like to offer that I don't personally believe it possible to divest this topic of bias or emotion merely due to the fact that the magnitude and nuance of the problem cannot be fully comprehended until you've come to experience it for yourself or engage with someone who has, and that once you've made that first contact your perspective on it will inevitably be skewed one way or the other depending on which end of the dynamic personally impacted you. Social sciences are, much like any other sciences, as much skill and art as they are hard facts and figures; it's a pain in the neck isolating one variable out of organic settings because they're all interrelated to a ridiculous degree, in my experience.

    I'm gonna abstain from getting too deeply into the experiential ramifications of it cuz I don't wanna go full philosophy hole, haha.

    The coarse distinction between abuse and bullying is that the former is generally more between caregiver and ward (or employer and employee, etc) while the latter is between peers-in-name, differences in social, financial, or physical stature notwithstanding. Bullying may involve physical, verbal, and/or psychological abuse, and there really is strong correlation between the two, but I agree the distinguishing between the two is important and that confusing the two (leading to a lack of clarity on how to address the root causes) is dangerous.

    The stuff about guys' bullying v girls' bullying checks out too by the by. I've got three sisters and all I'll say is that while I'm strongly for equal opportunities afforded to all regardless of gender or sexuality, and that I'll stand by that no matter what, I've come around from full-on raging SJW perspective years back to now thinking that, as a summative function of biology and myriad societal factors, girls really do go more for the psyche, while guys normally tend to resort to punching other guys in the dick and then leaving things be.

    Feel compelled to point out that physical altercations invariably leave psychological marks as well, though I'm not extremely well-versed in the mode and manner of perception/experience involved in various traumas. How victims and perpetrators see it matters a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  2. dasman66

    dasman66 Friend

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    TLDR.... Its not "No child left behind"... instead it is "No child gets ahead".

    To be clear... when I took my shots at the K-12 system, I was not taking shots at the individual teachers, or even individual school administrators. My shot was at what the system has evolved into because of state/federal regulations, and the entire "can't hurt somebody's feelings" mindset of America in general.

    I fully understand the teachers are doing what they are told to do. Case in point, when my daughter was in 4th grade, she was reading more than 5 yrs above her level. Her spelling tests (mind you, 4th grade), included words like "CAT", "BAR", "AND", etc. At home, my daughter complained endlessly and was insulted by what she was being asked to do.

    When going to the parent/teacher meetings, we asked what value could there possibly be to include kindergarten/1st grade level spelling in a 4th grade spelling test. The 20yr+ veteran teacher fully expressed her frustration in what she was told she had to teach from a state curriculum standpoint... even to the point of breaking down into tears due to the frustration. She said that she was not allowed to teach beyond the curriculum.

    We eventually came to an agreement with both her and the principal that she could assign my daughter 2 sets of spelling lists a week and that she would be happy to take both tests if it meant she wasn't bored out of her mind (my daughter was ecstatic).

    Anecdotal, yes. But both of my kids have now completed high school and over the last 5-7 years I have seen the fallout of our (state mandated) system failing our public high school graduates as I see my kids friends back from college and working at the local quickie mart. In general, our public schools are sending off students ill-prepared for what awaits them if they enter a challenging major. My job takes me all over the state and I hear similar stories from public school parents state-wide.

    We are teaching to the below average and ignoring the high achievers because they have already met the state requirements.
     
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  3. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Again, it's these broad statements that are going too far and eliminating the nuanced reality of education. I don't doubt that you've run into this (we had the same experience this year with our 3rd grader), but it's not a universal truth.

    This is only true in a poor teacher's classroom.

    Yes, stress is placed on standardized testing and getting those lower students up to "par" (money again...), but a good teacher knows how to differentiate and ensure that all students are challenged, regardless of what higher ups may or may not be demanding.

    Sadly, there are a lot of bad teachers out there. It's almost as if high stress and low pay are degrading the teaching pool....
     
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  4. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    Excuses, excuses, more like the result of everybody's a winner regardless of merit ideology.

    One person's "Bad" teacher very well may be another's "Good" teacher.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  5. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    What is degrading the pool is that no matter how bad a teacher is, getting rid of such a teacher is plain impossible, same in Canada. Not difficult to predict which way the quality of education is going.
     
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  6. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    When did it become a teachers responsibility to instil grit and resilience in our children?

    Most of the troubled kids I come across at work have absent or clearly disinterested parents.
     
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  7. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    As an aside, I think we should crowdfund Jim Aparo to create a graphic novel about JK47s backstory.
     
  8. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    When did it stop? Why can't it be a shared responsibility? Do you use the phrase "molding young minds"?
     
  9. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Bullshit. It is a parent's responsibility to instill an interest in learning in their children. I firmly believe that in most cases, if this doesn't happen by the time a kid is 5-6, for a teacher to create it is very rare thing, and unfair to ask of them. The idea of a "shared responsibility" is actually part of the problem. The desire to learn is not a "mind" characteristic, but one of personality. That is on the parents, not the teachers or the school.
     
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  10. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    I disagree with all the above, but we were talking about resilience and grit, not desire to learn.

    It's the primary responsibility of the parents to instill a desire and curiosity to learn, yes. It's my belief that teachers play a huge role in the development of children, especially at a young age, and to dismiss the shared responsibility they have to interest kids in what they're teaching is what's bullshit. It is absolutely the government/school/teacher's responsibility, after the parents, to teach material that is both interesting and relevant to today's society, and that's in part where the system fails kids.
     
  11. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I was going to stay out of the ongoing conversation. A lot of things are not in a teachers job description. Every day teachers everywhere make a huge difference in kids lives. Most teachers have no idea. I was lucky. I found out these last few months. I’ve received awards and recognition for being an outstanding educator. I’ve also been told I was average. Even been told I was shit. As to bad teachers being difficult to get rid of, that is true and not. In my career I was a department chair for 10 years. Then a Vice Principal for four. If you have guts you can get rid of a truly bad teacher in two years. If you have backup from your school district. Education is a local venture. It varies so much there’s no way to simply make declarative statements about what’s wrong or what works . Or if we have a lot of bad teachers or not. Most of the teachers I have worked with are hard working underpaid caring and talented people. And I have worked at both low income and high income schools. There is no simple answer. Wish there was. I do know this. If I haven’t figured it out in 35 years in education, I doubt the answer will be found on this headphone forum. But do continue. Maybe we might change the world. As to the system failing kids. Yes it does. But mostly it doesn’t. Education is just a great target. Fire when ready. Ringingears out.
     
  12. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Having expectations doesn't mean disagreeing with anything you've just said. I'll leave it at that.
     
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  13. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better gear impressions than you

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    Unfortunately there's no system in place that forces parents to be good role models for their kids. The parents are going to do whatever they do and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

    What can be controlled is the structured learning environment. So yes, responsibility falls on the school, unfair as it may be.

    Poorer areas are worse off, as the child's home and neighborhood life is often so bad, you need much more structure and discipline in the school to compensate. There is a reason more affluent school kids perform better. They have a decent to good home life and the teachers don't have to compensate for bad parents and street gangs. It's really like playing basketball where one team is forced to play with a hand tied behind their back. Obviously the other team has a ridiculous advantage.

    I went to shitty schools in bad neighborhoods until 10th grade. My parents were middle class working 40 hours a week types at decent jobs (dad insurance, mom secretary). So I did better in school than most because I didn't have a fucked home life. Unfortunately the school in that district was still garbage so I was surrounded by drug dealers and social misfits who thought learning was "gay".

    10th grade we moved to another state and the schools were much better (read: white). So it was a totally different experience. Teachers weren't yelling at us, and you could concentrate. The entire tone was different.

    It's amazing the psychological effect little things like clean streets and friendly, encouraging staff can make to a child's psyche. That stuff is major. MAJOR.

    So the lesson is, parents in bad neighborhoods are by and large garbage, can't be relied on and that's not gonna change. So something else has to be done if a child is expected to come out the other side not a complete waste of oxygen.
     
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  14. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Well said @ColtMrFire. Some of the best teachers I have worked with have been ones who can get kids through a rough neighborhood and/or absent parents. Put a lot of them at one school and some amazing things can happen. I was lucky enough to work at a school like that for 17 years. Success is possible, it takes a lot of luck plus hard work.

    Edit: By success I mean getting students into Harvard, Yale, CalTech, Cal and other UC’s. With scholarships. Not just graduating high school, but that was a success in many cases. My favorite moments were when we heard that students had left the gang life.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019

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