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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Good Stuff - Scheiss Weekly

From the Scheiss Weekly blog site:

When students work hard, when parents encourage and require that, and when both say please & thank you.  This is important even YEARS later.
To these parents, teachers all over the sentient universe thank you.
Teachers are not perfect, but then again, neither are parents.  Many teachers ARE parents; we understand.  Really, we do.  We also understand that good parents back off and make the student do the work.  And all the lessons aren’t about the subject.
The job of the student is to show up, work hard, think out of the box, challenge the status quo, behave, be nice, be respectful, and be responsible for his/her own actions and other responsibilities.
The job of the teacher is to help the student understand how to do/be all those things and more.  Good teachers know that the ability to make connections is one of the main keys to learning.
The job of the parent is to stand by the student, support and nurture him/her, and step back. The stepping back is the most important, and the hardest.
A person of pretty much any age who has never been expected to reap the consequences of his/her own actions is not an educated person, or even a person fit or worthy to fulfill his/her own destiny. A parent who holds an umbrella over a child’s head so those consequences don’t hit him/her is not doing a good job of parenting. And the best teacher in the universe, faced with a classroom full of brick walls, bred by brick walls, or full of insulated, over-protected babies hovered over by whirring, interfering helicopters, or populated by kids who expect exceptions, gifts, and unearned privileges, is going to be gridlocked, foiled, and barred from doing his/her best with these kids.  Oh, and evaluated poorly because of it, too.
Learning is not supposed to be easy. It never was supposed to be easy. It requires WORK, and if a student isn’t willing to work, and if his/her parents aren’t willing to require the student to work, stuff ain’t happening.
Now, let us all open our dictionaries and look up “lazy.”
P.S.  I’ve actually had parents tell me to “dumb down” things so their kid won’t have to work hard to learn it.  Did I mention up there that genuine learning isn’t supposed to be easy?  When it is, that’s great!  But not everything important is easy!  In fact, few important things are!
P.P.S.  Do these people annoy me?  Oh, heck, no.  I love idiots.
P.P.P.S.  That last comment up there?  It was a lie.
I once had an 8th grader whose mother was in our building constantly.  She dropped her off in the morning, came inside with her, helped her organize her backpack, and stood in the hall watching for an hour or more.  She came back at lunch and ate with her darling.  She was in the building again a good hour before the end of the day, waiting by her daughter’s locker with a look of almost scary longing on her face.  When the last bell rang, this woman was so glad to see her child that she clapped her hands and jumped up and down.  She helped the child unload her backpack and re-load it for the evening.  Then she and the child went from classroom to classroom, asking the teachers for a recap on the day’s lessons and all the homework assignments.  Y’all really don’t need to know the nickname we gave this mother.
This was a 14-year-old student, of normal intelligence and social skills.  The humiliation kicked in after a couple of months, but Mommy came, anyway.  When the girl started refusing to leave the cafeteria table where she was sitting with her friends, Mommy started eating with the teachers.
The saddest thing of all?  She wasn’t the only parent doing stuff like this.  And when we tried to tell them it was inappropriate, we were told that if we objected, it must be because we didn’t WANT parents to know what was going on.  And it was, yes, said in THAT tone of voice.
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