Monday, December 27, 2010

School clubs - a safe place to belong

The value of middle and high school children being able to participate in clubs and extra curriculars should not be taken for granted. As a student, the clubs I participated in were: gymnastics, tumbling, dance, cheerleading, pompoms, art, basketball, track, and volleyball. As a result, the years of attentive and continuous coaching through my formative years, have helped me become the disciplined individual I am today.

A high school student’s perspective on the value of clubs…
People, especially around adolescence, feel a strong sense of loneliness. When you're lonely, it's difficult for hope to grow. Some adolescents often believe that there is no reason to really try at anything because the end doesn't vary, regardless of how you got there.

They don't seem to realize that the road to the end is the best part, simply because they have no one close to point it out.

In order to increase the rate of high school graduates, schools should promotes clubs and other school communities. A byproduct of promoting school communities is the formation of bonds. Adolescents spend time with people who they share the same qualities, values, strengths, and weaknesses. People see how many people are like them. They gain friendship and companionship. These friends will provide an unspoken encouragement for success and ambition. They might even inspire competition, the drive for improvement. They will do many things for students, and won't stop at encouraging students, but will continue on to help students realize that the journey is meant to be enjoyed.

The best part about this plan is that it is budget friendly. Clubs can hold their own fundraisers if the need of funds should ever arise. Students can manage themselves; responsibility is another welcome side effect. The members of the club will learn to depend on others; a skill valuable if they should ever find themselves in a position where interactions are involved.

We're all lonely people. It'll do us all a great deal if we knew that sometimes life isn't as lonely as we make it out to be. Humans are social creatures. Would it be so wrong for me to infer that people would do much better if there's someone doing it with them, no matter what they want to accomplish? Source

Related: After school clubs for middle schoolers


Sharon Crews said...

Emerge, I totally agree. I was so involved in church activities when I was in high school that I didn't do much at school--I think it would have been better if I had.

Of course, I have a complaint about the transplanted Woodruff students. At the last board meeting Dr. Lathan responded to Terry's complaint that there were no activity buses to take kids home to the Woodruff area. She disagreed--said that the buses were available. However, I know for sure that buses were not available for the members of the PHS boys' swim team (those who were former Woodruff students). I don't know if anything has changed.

There are so many after-school activities and events to which buses just couldn't possibly be available with so many differing time schedules. Not all these kids have cars or families who have cars available for all this transporting. My guess is that many kids just plain cannot participate because of transportation. During vacation the PHS swim team practices twice a day--probably no buses at all.

Of course, I have to admit that the overall number of students who participate in extra-curricular activities (even sports) is way, way down.

Anonymous said...

There is also after school tutoring at all the schools in D150 that did not make AYP.(almost every school). Those tutoring companies are getting somewhere around $1500.00 PER STUDENT for after schoo tutoring. I think I am in the wrong business. Think I'll start a sorrya-s tutoring business, call it BRAINGAIN and pad my wallet. So far, I haven't seen ANY results at my school, other than students running around the building for an hour two afternoons a week. Appears to be an extended babysitting session, since everyone gets a "snack" before tutoring (10 minutes) and then another ten minutes to take attendance and pass out materials. That leaves 15 minutes to TUTOR, then everything has to be packed up and students have to get ready to go home. This tutoring is a JOKE. WASTE of taxpayer money of which we can thank NCLB. It is sad that this district has to "provide" additional instruction for students who make it almost impossible for everyone else in the classroom to learn DURING THE SCHOOL DAY. I will step off my soapbox now. Thank you.

Sharon Crews said...

I hope taxpayers wake up to the reality of the NCLB gravy train. There are so many fly-by-night companies that are getting rich. I am amazed how everyone wants to hold teachers accountable but nobody is making these companies accountable. They are just making money while they can--until someday everyone wakes up and ends NCLB.

By the way, I believe, the tutors get paid even if the kids don't show up.

Anonymous said...

The tutors are being paid between $45 and $65 an hour. Some of the tutors are teachers AIDES. I personally have strongly urged first year teachers to focus on their JOB in the classroom instead of being after school tutors....but the money is too enticing, especially when you have a mountain of student loans to repay. Many teachers laugh at how "easy" the money is. I guess what they aren't getting, is that it is their own tax dollars they are being paid.....

Anonymous said...

so the gravy train Sharon mentions includes teachers gaming the system through NCLB too....hhmmm.

Sharon Crews said...

Anonymous, I am not sure what you mean. If you mean that teachers are, also, acting as after school tutors, then I don't have a sure answer. I know that Jim Stowell brought that up one night at a BOE meeting. For all I know (and it is my guess) that this Anonymous is probably Jim.

Here are some thoughts: First of all, the government should not be paying for these tutors in the first place. Secondly, if the tutors are paid for, then they should be highly qualified--especially at the rates being paid. How many highly qualified teachers aren't working already?

Certainly, if current teachers are tutoring after school it should be a paid duty just as coaches are paid, etc. Secondly, if anyone thinks that teachers have time to provide one-on-one attention to students in classes of 27 to 31+, then you've never been in a classroom. And most of the English classes in 150 high schools are that large.

It is my understanding that the tutors get paid even when the kids don't show up--that would be an interesting study. How many kids actually show up?

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with your more, Emerge. When I was in Jr. High and High School it seemed the norm to stay after school for "this, that, and the other". I didn't live close to my school (I was a bus rider) but if I chose to stay after school and couldn't hope a ride with a peer, I walked home.

What I've noticed with my own kids is that in order to be a part of "extras" my kids have to be to school BEFORE SCHOOL! That almost always means getting them to school before 7 A.M.!!! What is up with THAT? Oh, wait, I take that back. It's the non-athletic stuff that seems to always happen before school. Which, really, is a crock. Because my kids aren't athletes, it's assumed that they must be chipper and ready to roll at 6:45 AM.