Saturday, February 5, 2011

There are certain things EVERY child must know before leaving the house...

and it's a lot more than "don't take candy from strangers".

When you put together large groups of children, many of whom lack “home schooling” you get chaos.

Home schooling—I’m not talking about teaching reading writing and arithmetic (although that’s part of it), I'm talking about the basics—things every child needs to know before leaving the house..

Manners. Civility. Kindness.

Since we appear to have so many students who lack these basics, how about doing a little “home schooling” at school. Sure, that’s not the school’s job—that’s the parent's job. But I think we can all agree—a lot of parents ain’t doin' their job...

25 comments:

Emerge Peoria said...

The class could be given a pc name like "life skills" and it should be taught by a person with a MSW.

Anonymous said...

D150 has taught 2nd Step, a social skills program for many years. If children do not practice this at home or are not encouraged to behave civilly at home....then this is a moot point Emerge.

Emerge Peoria said...

2nd Step? Never heard of it. Where do they teach it; what grade level? Tell me about 2nd Step and why it has failed (since you say they have had it for many years and teaching civility is a "moot point").

Anonymous said...

Parents seek out private and charter schools because at those schools, students are expected to behave. If they don't, the parents have to fix the problem or the kids are put out (and sent back to public schools). What's great about the public school system in America is that we DO desire to educate EVERYONE. The problem is that the right to an education has been horribly misconstrued to mean students have the right go to school and behave however they want whether they desire an education or not. With private and charter schools you have to earn your way in. With our public schools you're automatically in
- you have to earn your way out.

Ironically, all our district would have to do is raise behavior standards and students would live up to those standards. More parents would send their kids to our schools if behavior standards were raised and maintained. Unfortunately, we have far many people in decision-making positions who (when it comes to children) mistake permissiveness for love, justice, and understanding.

For the few kids who have trouble living up. To the higher standards, after-school classes could be held for parents to attend - some of the classes to be held with parents and students alike. Carl Cannon would be a good one to lead these classes.

Incorporating behavior instruction into the schools can be done and teaches can spend the amount of time necessary carryg out this instruction; however, it would be at the expense of reading, writing, math, history, etc., instruction. And . . . how many parents want to send their kids to a school where an inordinate amount of time is beings spent on many teachers spending much time trying to teach a few students how to behave (when the students would behave anyway if required to do so in the first place.

When I was growing up, a lifeguarded and coached at one of the local country clubs. Let me tell you, thtose little knuckle-heads could behave just as badly (if not worse) than the many youngsters we have living in poverty. The main difference seems to be that grown knuckle-heads think rich kids can behave but poor ones can't.

I know if one of my children we misbehaving, I'd expect the school to expect ME to get the problem under control and if I couldn't then I'd have no right complaining about having to attend a behavior class with my child if i wanted him to remain in school.

A-D

Anonymous said...

Wow. Still trying to get used to typing on this iPad screen. It's like in between typing and texting. I'll have to practice finger agility and finess so I quit making all of these typos.

A-D

Sharon Crews said...

And I can attest to the fact that the A-D children are well-behaved. Well, the two-year-old is not ready to come to my house without a parent or teenage sister--too curious and busy. And I'm too uptight when a small person moves at the speed of light from one thing to another. The other three even come close to mastering the "put your toys" away command.

Because I'm not used to working with little kids, I am always amazed at how easily they catch on to what is expected of them with the right approach. The trick that works right now is that if I go into hiding in the bathroom, when I come out the toys are all put away. And they are very proud of their accomplishment.

The A-D family saw to it that their children were taught social schools very early on--giving them plenty of opportunities to go out in public and to homes where they had to behave. Actually, I have marveled at how well they have mastered the art of preparing their kids for school. Maybe Carl Cannon and the A'Ds could teach the parenting classes.

I do agree that the district may have to take on some of the obligation to help parents with the socialization process. For those who object, I know that it seems as though the school is taking on too much responsibility, but things can't continue as they are--if they do we won't have a viable public school.

Also, A-D, when at Manual, pushed hard for the school to open up a daycare for the MHS students who had young children so that they could come to school without worrying about who was taking care of their children. He has offered up so many ideas that the decision-makers have just ignored.

First and foremost, District 150 has the responsibility of letting parents know (through meaningful and consistent consequences) that the parents are responsible for their children's behavior. That message just has not been sent effectively. when I started teaching in 1962 it was a clear message.

Also, I do believe that consequences and compassion are not mutually exclusive. In fact, real compassion demands that children be sent into the world knowing that there are standards of behavior that must be taken into public places and to the work environment. That training doesn't start in high school.

Frustrated said...

I enjoy reading the posts from teachers discussing the realities of the classroom. It is no surprise to me that urban schools, like District 150, are having difficulty narrowing the learning gap.

It is parenting, or lack there of, and not necessarily poverty alone that creates the biggest divide.

Anonymous said...

Emerge: All the D150 elementary schools, at least the Title I schools have it. I have taught it from Kindergarten to Sixth grade. I spent a good amount of time teaching 2nd Step, or Character Ed. I do not think teaching it is a moot point. I think when parents don't "follow" the same expectations as far as manners and respect at home, this is where the problem is. How can we, as educators be entrusted to teach character ed. to children when once they reach their own front doors, their parents are modeling the opposite. It is a catch 22. Please do tell all the teachers in Peoria how to teach children that they should act better than the way their parents act. I, for one am dying to hear.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think it's an extreme lack of high expectations (or reasonable expectations, even) that causes the biggest gap. Even students who have a horrible parent or parents have had instilled in them a decent sense of right / wrong . . . acceptable / unacceptable somewhere along the way. If no one else, the teachers in those early grades instill it in 'em (or at least plant the seeds). My hat goes off to those teachers. I have NEVER run across a high school student who couldn't / wouldn't behave if truly expected to. It's when expectations are LOW, students live up (or is it down?) to those expectations. And it's not just "urban" kids - it's the nature of ALL kids - mine, yours, etc. If 150 would step up its expectations, there would be no gap.

A-D

Anonymous said...

I attended part of the speech tournament today at PHS. The PHS students who were charged with helping run the tournament were well dressed, very respectful, and very mature. Expectations for how they were to dress and behave were high and the students had no problem
reaching that bar. Very, very proud of them.

A-D

Emerge Peoria said...

Anonymous said:

"Please do tell all the teachers in Peoria how to teach children that they should act better than the way their parents act. I, for one am dying to hear."

One condescending, sarcastic comment after another – that’s all you got? You just don't seem to be able to help yourself. It is "teachers" like you that remind me of the negativity our children potentially face each day when they walk into a classroom.

Thanks for keeping it real.

Sharon Crews said...

Emerge, why do you thank her/him for keeping it real instead of thanking the others who have written with more positive attitudes about young people and their parents. Why does the negative have to be "real." Does that mean that you think the others are being phoney (not real)?

Just being a devil's advocate--I know that I read too much into your comment. :) Or maybe not--I hope you do not believe that all kids in District 150 have to be on guard whenever they walk into a classroom?

Also, this Anonymous separates herself/himself from Peoria teachers--not one of ours!

Fancyannfree said...

I taught Second Step to my class. It is a program that comes in a large box/w cards for different behaviors and a dog (Impulsive Puppy) and a snail(Slow Down Snail). It teaches children about how to react to certain problems that they face,such as,wanting to play with a toy another child is playing with. The children are allowed to act out the different parts. My children were younger so I am no sure if the got the full meaning,but they did enjoy the class.

average teacher said...

Emerge, was that the best way to "teach" the so called "teacher" a lesson? You were sarcastic right back to him/her.

Anonymous said...

Emerge: you keep insisting that since the parents aren't teaching social skills at home, that their teachers should be doing it on their behalf. Have you looked at the ISAT scores for D150 lately? They are in the toilet. Now, do I teach social skills that mom and dad fail to teach ON TOP of reading, math, science, social studies? Give me a break. Yes, I do believe that I am an excellent teacher, but NO ONE is SUPER TEACHER.....

average teacher said...

Anon...Can't you see the coorelation b/w the poor social skills and the ISAT scores. If a student does not have respect for you, than they can not be taught by you. Regardless of how excellent you see yourself, you need to have a deep introspective look. Have you given up on the kids?

average teacher said...

Emerge, I was not scolding, merely asking if your tone was not the same as Anon. I know I can be sarcastic as well. I actually think your idea has some merit. Maybe have a class instead of detention.

Emerge Peoria said...

Oh snap...

I guess that's the third teacher that scolded me. What's next, the Principal's office, Saturday detention?

Sarcasm aside:

I know some wonderful teachers and I value the work that they do. It was wrong to hit back at Anonymous.

I was uncomfortable with the degree of resignation in the post. Anonymous came across as a teacher that had already checked out. I took offense.

Anonymous: Thanks for posting - I value all opinions and really do try to learn from the dialogue. Admittedly the threshold for sarcasm is low on this blog, however, I always appreciate your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

In no way have I "checked out". I am only stating the truth. We do amazing things with the children that come to us, but come on, we NEED the parents to reinforce high expectations, not call us names in front of their children. If the parents would show one ounce of respect for the person who spends ALL DAY with their child, I wouldn't feel so fed up. I have worked in D150 for more than 10 years and YES it does become burdensome at times. I have high expectations of all my students and only want their parents to support that at home.....by helping with homework, not using filthy language, taking time to converse with their child instead of planting them in front of a video game...you know, being a good parent....I don't think it's a lot to ask for...do you?

Anonymous said...

Well, Emerge, I do enjoy your blog. I'm soooooo caught up with school work (after all of see snow days) that I can watch this year's Super Bowl without having to grade papers. :). Generally, I don't have the time to blog with my own five kids and the many wonderful youngsters I teach at PHS. I'll miss this. You know, even with all of the stress that comes from teaching in the "inner city," I spend more time laughing in the classroom (by far) than I spend with discipline issues. Just the other day, I wore a pink shirt and tie to work. A student announced to the class, "Mr. Adkins, you look like a half gallon of Pepto Bismol." baaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I laughed about that all day. God bless!!!

Emerge Peoria said...

Mr. Adkins said...

"A student announced to the class, "Mr. Adkins, you look like a half gallon of Pepto Bismol." "

See, having heard how out of line our students are, I would have thought somebody would have said something like "that's so gay" or "no homo". But instead they said "Pepto". I think there is hope after all.

Steady on the grind Mr. Adkins. Take care,

Sharon Crews said...

The story Adkins-Dutro told about the Pepto--those are the kinds of interactions that make teaching fun at the high school level. These barbs aren't made with any kind of malice or disrespect--they indicate a kind of rapport with teachers that puts kids at ease. Jeff is just really good at that.

Anonymous said...

Yes, my students get creative with their cases. They SLAY me! :)

A-D

Sharon Crews said...

Emerge, I believe Jeff is hooked on your blog now.

Jennifer said...

I totally agree. I see a lot of people in my social set (middle class white folks, for the most part) that worry that their children know the alphabet, know how to read, count, etc, before they even attend school, thinking it'll help their child "get ahead" and are very caught up in that. I'm not anti-education at all, but I think teachers would be more pleased if Little Johny had good manners and a good attitude, had some sense of appropriate classroom behavior, than if the child has mastered x, y, z.