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#3472 01/12/01 09:53 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
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old hand
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I went to law school at Ohio State. (Hence, the "[Buck]eye" in my nom de keyboard.)

Am I correct in assuming from the other half of your moniker that you also went to Michigan State?


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I am new to this list and in my first year of teaching at the ripe old age of 46 (well I was 45 at the beginning of the school year, but I digress). I am teaching English in a very rural community in Western Arizona. We have very wealthy farmer/rancher children and migrant worker's children. The county I live in has only two high schools. One is in the county seat and only takes children that live in that town and then there is ours. Some of these children bus in from over 90 miles away. We are talking about 1.5 hour bus trips back and forth. This year we have a new superintendent, principal and 7 (out of 12) new teachers (now 8 as the Art teacher quit over Christmas break). I understand that discipline was non-existent before this year. The new principal taught PE here for 14 years and just recently graduated with his masters. The students are unruly, surly, insolent and some are just out and out nasty. You know what??? I am nice to them all. They cannot figure it out. But I learned a long time ago that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Last semester they hated me (I was new and they have a running rule that they have to try to get a teacher to quit the first semester). This semester I have students asking me to please remember them forever. This is a long story for a very short comment. Some of these students just don't care. They have lived a meager existence for so long that they expect to continue living one. They don't care. I have a few that are very intelligent and they just don't care. They hand in no homework and do no assignments in class. I have been told to fail them but not to write a disciplinary referral on them unless they are disrupting the class. I have one senior student who failed junior english with me this year. Was he ever surprised. This kid is a drug user and I believe dealer. He would come to class and sleep. I couldn't write him up because he didn't disrupt the other students (he was too stoned to do that). But you know what. I was the first teacher to fail him. He was taking Junior english his last year because he had other more interesting classes to take and the counselor lets them do this. So this semester I have him twice. I have him for "Vocational English - those students who failed" and since I do not have a senior English class this semester he is doing correspondence work and sitting in another class of mine (Yearbook). Standards in the US are declining. Why??? Because we have lost control over the students. They have way too many "rights". I am not talking about beating them within an inch of their lives, but to be afraid of disciplining them because their parents can sue???????????? Most of these parents do not pay attention to these students or they believe that "little Johnny" wouldn't and couldn't act this way. Example: The "drug dealer's" father is living with one of the other teachers. She has told him over and over that he is doing drugs. He will not listen to her. His son says he isn't>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Get a clue, DAD!!!! Okay, I said a lot and probably said nothing. I have a tendency to ramble. Drives the students crazy. LOL Have a good day.

Thanks,


"What we do in life, echoes an eternity" - Maximus Decimus Meridias.

Thanks,
Joined: Mar 2000
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Carpal Tunnel
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Roibin, how sad. How utterly, utterly sad. Teachers at my children's middle school and now both of their high schools say that the Advanced Program classes are the only ones
that they actually enjoy. These kids tend to talk more, but at least mostly have an interest in learning.

I wish I knew what the, or a, solution would be. A good friend of mine who pinches pennies to send her daughter to a parochial school full of rich kids tells me that most of her child's classmates are virtually unsupervised--both
parents work, or in some cases where the mom doesn't, she is too busy socializing to be with her own child. The parents give the kids rules, then take their word as to whether they've obeyed. The kids do whatever they want to.

So money isn't an infallible guideline to whether a child will do well in school or not. Many poor parents take a great interest in their children's education.

Our society as a whole has let our values get skewed, I think.


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Declining standards in the US----I totally agree. We seem to put all the emphasis on the really gifted child, the unruly and hard-to-control child and the severely disabled child. Those many average or nearly average children are totally lost unless their parents can afford some help in tutoring or they are willing to help their kids. Too many teachers are doing the job because they like the summers off and too many teachers are also burned out because they have to do two jobs--day teaching and evening sports coaching. Both the classroom and the sports are suffering unless the person has no other life beyond school. Parents feel that teachers should teach children morals, discipline, respect, economics, recycling, and kindness----when is there even time to teach the basics-reading, writing, spelling, math and science? And this volunteer bit in the schools----perhaps it would help to pay us volunteers 2.00 or 3.00 per hour up to a set amount of hours per day, unless the person wishes not to be paid. I also think that every classroom should have a teacher's aid at all times, not just for the special needs---and if their are special needs kids--then an additional teacher's aid would also be needed. Our German exchange students know 4 times as much at 17 than our brightest students of the same age-----why???? And this is attending an American school in English---if they could read and listen to the lessons in German, they would get even higher grades!!!!! Soooo sad!!!!!

enthusiast


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Bikermom, I did not get into teaching for the summers off and I know about them (my two older sisters are teachers). However, in the short time I have been a teacher I can assure you that every day off a teacher gets is well deserved. I put in 15+ hours a day (every day including most weekends). My students tell me that I don't have a life. This past semester 1/2 of my students decided to cut and paste from the internet rather than do their own research paper. I caught them. It took me days, but I caught them. One student who had to repeat senior english to graduate told the other students that he was there because "I had too much time on my hands and surfed the net." I caught him because he used a paper written by a college student from Ontario, Canada. Well, guess what the Brit's (including Canada) spell words differently than we do. His downfall "Defence" instead of Defense. I don't have a lot of time on my hands. I just want to do my job right. After I and the other English teacher (who volunteered to help me = she is only 26) determined the papers who were fake, I spent even more hours reading those that were determined to be original. She made me dinner and brought it to school for me. This is the FIRST TIME this has happened at this school (why? because I am the first English teacher to ask for a research paper). To make a long story short, I know why teachers get the summers off. WE DESERVE IT WITH ALL THE HOURS WE PUT IN DURING THE SEMESTER. Plus schools are now going to longer semesters (next year - instead of 3 months off we only get 2). Besides I am paid so little that during those two months off I plan to get a job. Probably at McDonalds or something like that at a town that is 40 miles away. As for sports. Yep, we teachers do that too. Do the sports suffer. Who cares??????????????????? The students aren't there to excel in sports, or am I wrong???????? I am also a volunteer for softball and I tell the students that I don't care. Sports is not an excuse for not having their work done. These kids travel for their games and get home at 3 am. I don't care. They are here to learn, not play basketball. Unless you ARE a teacher you cannot judge a teacher. I know there are bad teacher's. I know that. But most of us go beyond what is expected. Including drying tears from broken relationships and from starting a period (this is stuff they don't tell their parents). During the past semester I have heard it all. These kids write about drinking in the desert and doing drugs. I never would have admitted doing anything like that in high school. This is a new breed. I do not have children of my own and I am glad. They lie to their parents about everything, ditching school, doing drugs and of course if they are given a disciplinary slip to the principal? Well, "the teacher has it in for them" or "the teacher doesn't like them". Can't tell you how many students I have sent to the principal that I truly like and think have a chance. Bottom line:

STOP ASSOCIATING TEACHERS WITH SUMMERS OFF (THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN) AND SPORTS. Okay I will now get off my soapbox. Please forgive any mistakes in this posting. At the beginning I was not happy.

"What we do in life, echoes an eternity" - Maximus Decimus Meridias.

Thanks,


"What we do in life, echoes an eternity" - Maximus Decimus Meridias.

Thanks,
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I agree. I have been a teacher and both my parents were teachers. My mother is still teaching. My Aunt is a teacher. In my last house we stumbled into a cul-de-sac with four teachers. I know a lot of teachers. To think it's possible to be a teacher just for the summers is not to know what it's like to be a teacher. Long hours, little pay, insolent children backed by insolent parents... just so you can get a second job in the summer. I know there are bad teachers out there. But I know a lot of teachers who do the job because they want to teach. Despite the endless paperwork, and the angry parents and everything else, they want to teach. Those who do deserve some respect. It's not an easy job.


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Standards in the US are declining. Why??? Because we have lost control over the students. They have way too many "rights". I am not talking about beating them within an inch of their lives, but to be afraid of disciplining them because their parents can sue???????????? Most of these parents do not pay attention to these students or they believe that "little Johnny" wouldn't and couldn't act this way. Example: The "drug dealer's" father is living with one of the other teachers. She has told him over and over that he is doing drugs. He will not listen to her. His son says he isn't>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Get a clue, DAD!!!! Okay, I said a lot and probably said nothing. I have a tendency to ramble. Drives the students crazy. LOL Have a good day.
THANKS FOR RAMBLING, I LOVE IT AND I DO IT TOO---IT ALSO DRIVES MY FAMILY AND EXCHANGE STUDENTS CRAZY ALSO!!!!!

Hello Roibin, I like your stamina. I am 47 and have been thinking of taking a two year course to get a teaching degree for K thru 3. It requires lots more travel and two more years for anything beyond that. Butthe cost is $3000. or more a semester and I still have a 10 yr old at home. Sorry if I sound like I do not appreciate most teachers. Quite the opposite. I respect them for their long hours putting up with what you describe as a new trend of unruly kids, parents who don't care or who think their Johnny wouldn't or couldn't do that. I have been a volunteer since 1988 and a high school janitor in the year 2000. Yes, I have seen and heard it all too and I still believe that there is tons of potential in today's teens---but adults, parents and teachers have to stick to their morals, not let the kids run them over and enforce the three R's==RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY AND RULES. And yes, this really does not include beating them with a stick, just respecting them as young adults and they will also come to respect you. When a teen opens up their heart to you----you know you have done things right. So I have decided not to go for a teaching degree, but to be home for my kids and all the other kids that seem to come here--on weekends we usually have 5 or 6 boys hanging around, refusing to leave---this makes me feel good and I will be home to tutor more kids in areas of my great love---spelling, reading, writing, talking, listening and cooking. Well I have 7 more years til my 5th grader graduates---and he was born telling me what he wants!!!! Keep up the terrific work, I admire you and what your doing----and it seems as if the Eastern Appalacian hills is not the only poor spot in this great USA Have a great day and hang in there all you teachers



enthusiast


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Hi and my apologies to all those good teachers whom I have offended. I am truly sorry, I guess because of my rambling on and on I fail to get my real point across and the wrong message is heard. So thanks everyone for will to set me straight---I read and understand better than I hear and understand!!!! I am not a lover of sports so I am sorry also. My real feelings are that teachers should NOT be even expected to do the sport thing after school, they have families too and even if they are single--teachers have a life other than school 24 hours a day. I have total empathy for today's teachers and what they are facing when they look at a classroom of 20 to 30 kids who really do not give a darn. And I think by telling teachers what they all do when not in school, just goes to prove that kids really want someone to listen to them and not judge, and even perhaps admit that they too were young and crazy once. Hey it is amazing that I am still alive 30 years after my high school days, and I would have loved to have an open relationship with my parents. What kids today hear is "Let's hurry, we are late" or "Not now I have NO TIME" and big beautiful houses with big dinner tables and NO ONE gathers as a family to eat at them daily!!!!! To much extra evening stuff running here and there. I think that perhaps the internet will make people at least want to stay home rather than run, run, run, etc. Maybe I am wrong again--

enthusiast


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Ladymoon, Perhaps you could answer another question of mine. Have the kids really changed over all these years??? And have the parents of these kids really changed also??? Maybe it is the fact that the media prints more rotten stuff and thrives on it than about printing the good things that some kids, parents and teachers are doing. I think that if the good stuff made the headlines, it would escalate into a steady stream of god things happening. Once again, maybe I am tooooo optimistic and naive!!!!

enthusiast


enthusiast
#3481 01/16/01 02:47 PM
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Pooh-Bah
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You are correct, oh perceptive one. "Sparteye" is probably not the most appropriate name for such a literate board as this, but I established my moniker in the context of sports boards and didn't want to develop another name. I have enough trouble remembering passwords and such without compounding the task with multiple identities. (Perhaps, I should call myself Sybil and be done...)

I've probably missed a prior discussion, but from whence "Jazzoctopus?"


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