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 Qusestionable message from a guest speaker 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:01 pm
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We had a speaker visit our school the other day and he said some things that I didn't like. He was there to encourage the students to read. He presented a program for all the students, another one for parents, and after school he talked to our staff. During the student program he asked the kids if they would like to live in a big house, drive a nice car, and have lots of money when they grow up. He claimed that in order to have all these things you have to be able to read. I agree that reading is very important. But I don't like the message he was sending the students. The message that I got from this is that your worth and the amount of success you achieve are measured in dollars and material possessions. I probably wouldn't have thought about this before taking this class. But I have really been trying to be more open minded about different lifestyles. Who is to say that these material items are things that we should strive for? Many of our students live in mobile home and perhaps they are very happy doing so. But maybe now they are questioning why their parents don't have a so called "nice, big house." This may have never entered their minds before, but the power of suggestion can be very strong. I think the speaker meant well and I know that he was just trying to encourage the boys and girls to read, but he should have encouraged the students to strive to be their personal best and leave it up to them to determine what their goals for the future should be.


Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:21 pm
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Location: Startown School
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I know what you mean Melissa. Yes, we need to teach children to read, and yes, in order to do many things in life, children will need to read, but it is not the magic potion for having all the nice things in life. He was definitely do the children a disservice by telling them what he did. What was his message like to you as teachers? Did you hear any comments from parents? I was just curious as to what he said to adults.

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Kathy


Sun Apr 13, 2003 6:40 pm
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Kathy, I don't know what he said during the parent program, but I talked to some parents who went and they seemed to have enjoyed it. I think the program he presented for paretns was similar to the one he had for the staff at the end of the day. During our program, he talked about ways to bring humor into the classroom. He showed us some magic tricks and how to make a spoon stick on the end of your nose. He also used a lot of props like a red clown nose, a sqeaker, and a big sponge hand like you see at ball games. Pretty silly stuff. After the program he had a table set up to sale the props he had used during his presentation. Overall, I was not impressed. I'm all for having fun in the classroom, but I was not able to get past the message he gave the boys and girls.


Sun Apr 13, 2003 10:08 pm
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i agree the message that material wealth will make you successful is wrong. it is most definitely not the reason to learn to read either. as for the props, i think about what dr. kucan said last semester," you sing and dance and at the end of the day you are exhausted and the children are well entertained. something is wrong with this picture". she said we need to let kids know in a positive pleasant way that their job is WORK.... and ours is definitely NOT entertainment. work is a good and honorable thing. amusement has its place but how well are we preparing children for life if they sit back and expect to be entertained.
i have also been turning and turning over a notion we are taught and often continue to teach. "do it right and you will be rewarded" ( usually with wealth, fame, and fortune). africans seem to grasp another reality. you do the best you can and life happens. there is no guarantee of reward and recognition. it is difficult for a western mind to grapple with the notion that right action is a path to be chosen but not for the response it will generate.


Mon Apr 14, 2003 11:59 am
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Airlie, I like your African reality, "You do the best you can and life happens." :lol: I need to remember that myself, especially when I'm stressed out about work or ASU classes.
Cindy


Mon Apr 14, 2003 2:10 pm
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I like that too! I'll have to remember it. :D

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kristi


Tue Apr 15, 2003 2:34 pm
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Airlie, your statement about doing the right thing not for the response it will bring, makes me think of the children in my classroom. They want a reward or prize for everything. It's expected. I try to teach my students to pat themselves on their back or kiss their brain when they do something well. I want them to learn to do things because it makes them feel good and become smart and not to expect a reward from me or someone else. Now they automatically kiss their brain or pat their back when they do something well. I don't have to tell them anymore and they don't ask me what do I get. But, their parents pay them for good grades!


Wed Apr 16, 2003 8:45 am
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Cathy & Airlie, you're messages were so true. I try hard to teach my kids to perform or do the right thing 'just because'. In my classroom I have a Rules/Consequences/Rewards board. Of course, the Rules & Consequences sections runneth over. All I have in the Consequences section is the quote "Life is it's own reward." Needless to say, that doesn't go over very well on the first day of school. But after they see that I'm serious (no candy, stickers, checks, cards, etc) they slowly catch on. I guess that's more of the "manipulation' we discussed earlier in the semester - but it works. That is until the parents (like Cathy's) take them home and lavish way too much money and toys on them for simply doing the right thing!


Wed Apr 16, 2003 9:40 am
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I agree that kids get caught up with the "GIMMES". During the orientation with parents at the beginning of the year, several parents asked me what my reward system was-"The Dreaded Question" I explained to the parents that I was not going to give them candy, stickers, toys, etc... for good work or behavior. I believed in praise or the ever promising :) on their paper or a stamp in their folder for good behavior. The parents seemed very happy about this. Thank goodness!! Kids need to learn to pick up trash, keep the room clean, do their best work, and be kind to each other because that is what makes a good citizen.

DANA


Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:30 pm
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Dana I agree with you whole heartedly. Sometimes we get caught up in the tangibles. Many times children's self-esteem is raised by a few positive affirmations.


Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:14 am
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I agree with you guys. Kids get caught in the "What will you give me?" I always tell them that if they ask the answer is nothing. I would like to say that I don't give out treats for good behavior or helping me around the room but I can't. My kids know they are expected to be good or get their daily classroom job finished without being "payed." I do give them something at times for going above and beyond that though. Sometimes it is a pat on the back, a hug, or a thank you but I also give those all day every day to the "good" and the "bad." Other times it is a treat.

I wish I could get beyond the treat and only give the pat and the thank you. This would work for the kids that are always good. But then there are the ones that have to have something more to work for. When you offer something more for them to work for I feel you have to do it for everyone. If not, you may end up with some kids acting up just so they too can have a behavior contract with someting special at the end.

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kristi


Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:19 pm
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