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Old 03-11-2010, 10:52 PM   #16
ZeldaGilroy
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I have gone back and forth over whether or not I wanted to reply to this thread and finally decided to just do it.

As an elementary school teacher my thought is that everyone (schools, parents, and society) have gradually lowered expectations to the point that there are no standards for kids to live up to anymore.

1. In schools we have eliminated almost all special education programs, thrown severely disturbed kids in with "general education" kids and tried to convince everyone that there is no negative impact on the students. Because everyone is all together anyway, we have widened the gap between what is considered "special needs" and what is considered "average" to the point that some kids with serious issues are labeled average and recieve nothing in the way of extra help, emotional support, or modifications. We push them until they are so overwhelmed that they act out in disruptive and often dangerous ways.

2. Many parents (not all so please no one take offense) no longer accept their role in their child's life. Many of these parents are so focused on their own wants and needs that they have no time left to care about their kids. These parents look at their childrens' time in school as free time when they do not have to worry because the kid is the teacher's problem. They do not return phone calls from school, refuse to come to conferences, and even refuse to pick their kid up in the event of an emergency. They change their phone numbers and give phony addresses so the school cannot contact them. If their child has a problem at school, they blame the teacher or other kids in the classroom.

3. As a society we have created laws that make it difficult to discipline children at school and there are no expectations for parents. Your child's teacher yelled at her...you may have a lawsuit. Your child's teacher keeps calling you at home...hang up and call the school board claiming she is harrassing you. Parents have the right to expect and demand anything from the school and if they refuse to accomodate, they can be reprimanded. Yet parents really do not have to do anything. Don't come to PTO meetings, conferences, school programs...no problem because this is public school and we can't force you. Don't pay for that field trip to the zoo...the teacher will be required to pay it for you because she can't leave one kid out of the trip, that would be an unfair exclusion. Don't buy school supplies (or go get the free ones the community shelter passes out every year) because when your child's teacher tries to teach the first day of school and realizes your kid doesn't have a pencil or paper...she will provide it. Society as a whole has a great disrespect for teachers, portraying them as stupid or comical on television or in films; blaming them for any and every problem with American education, and in many ways encouraging parents to do less and less for their children because it is the "teacher's job."

I am actually surprised by the 10 day suspension this kid was given. In my school, it would have been in-school suspension for the rest of the day. I have been bitten, spit on, kicked, had chairs thrown at me, and currently have a child who pulls down his pants and urinates on the floor when he is mad at me. I was once stabbed with a pair of scissors by a third grader, and that was the only time I saw an out of school suspension. It was for two days. Last year an autistic kindergartener got mad at his very pregnant teacher because he wanted a drink from her water bottle (he had his own) and he kicked her in the stomach yelling "I'm gonna kill your baby" and spent the rest of the day in the principal's office because his parents would not come and get him until school let out.
Why is it like this? Because no one knows it's this bad...or no one wants to admit it's this bad...or no one cares anymore? Who knows. It's disheartening. I have many wonderful, beautiful, creative, caring, hardworking students. They don't deserve to be educated in this kind of environment. Sadly, I know many public school teachers in schools all over the country, and it seems to be this way everywhere.

When I read this article, I was surprised it even made the news.

Last edited by ZeldaGilroy; 03-11-2010 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FactsFan
1. In schools we have eliminated almost all special education programs, thrown severely disturbed kids in with "general education" kids and tried to convince everyone that there is no negative impact on the students. Because everyone is all together anyway, we have widened the gap between what is considered "special needs" and what is considered "average" to the point that some kids with serious issues are labeled average and recieve nothing in the way of extra help, emotional support, or modifications. We push them until they are so overwhelmed that they act out in disruptive and often dangerous ways.
My old high school has done this... I get letters and mail from the alumni association and they mentioned that their special ed program has decreased and that they are "mainstreaming" more students.



I know that it is hard for parents of kids with a disability (be it physical, mental, learning, what have you..) to admit that their child has a problem. I would like things to be different, but that is not the reality.

Pretending they are "normal" or downplaying it is doing the children no favors, as well as doing the teachers no good.




It sets unrealistic expectations for the children of what being normal is (meaning average, smart... whatever word gets you through the night) as they will never be able to keep up with the class.

Something that a student does with ease may be extremely hard for another student to understand. Some students need the extra aid to be able to grasp something and if they finally get it that is an achievement for them.

They won't see the achievement among students "with no problems" who are able to understand more.




The disabled students then act up because they don't understand what's going on and get bored which causes the teacher to do more disciplining and less teaching.



Another point is that these students are often targets in the classroom.

Whether people like to admit it or not, students that are deemed weak or slow are often easy targets, especially if they do not grasp things easily and realize how easy they are being taken advantage of.



In theory having all students take "normal, mainstream" classes sounds great but it simply is not practical.

This is political correctness for you.
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