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Tuning into Jon Stewart

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Feb 14, 2005
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Southern SD
With all of that said, PARENTS AND TEACHERS are bitching to no end about the testing and standards placed on their kids in NCLB! So what's it going to be, whine and fall behind, or get our butts in gear??
The education system makes me boil :mad: I have one son who needs special ed. And one who is very smart. In talking to my youngest son's teachers I was under the influence he would get to go to summer school along with his speech class. They say no he is doing well enough he doesn't need summer school. He is at the bottom of his class. Why not teach the bottom kids to excell next year? Why do they teach just enough to get by? These teachers have an oppertunity to give these children a leg up and don't do it. Mediocre is NOT okay... My son is bright, he just needs some guidence. I am not a teacher... Boy do I feel inadequete as a parent.
Our oldest son is going into high school into town. He went to buddy day. That's where he follows another freshman around to learn the ropes of how high school goes. We then went in to orintation. The guidence councelor knew my son's name. Which was really nice. But in orintation I get the feeling that they are afraid to challenge these students. Maybe they will.. But I just don't get that impression. Ask me four years later and I may have changed my mind.

Thanks for being a parent who cares and whose "give a crapper" isn't broken! I am a long ways from having kids (we'll see how we do on our Corgi first!) but I work with kids a lot----

It would be my advice that you'd better challenge your son because it likely won't happen in school. If it does, please support the teacher!!!! I have several friends who are teachers and they say by far and away that parents don't care, and when they do it's typically because of their students disclipine (? spelling) problem, and then it's always the teachers fault! It's amazing---I haven't been out of school all that long (13 years) but the teacher was never wrong, and if I were in trouble, the teacher/school was always right! I wasn't in trouble much because if I were in trouble in school, there would be hell to pay at home. Apparently this isn't the case anymore.

I have the opportunity to work with a lot of 4-H youth (I know you're not a huge fan of the program) and my observation has been the above. And, that challenge needs to occur with all stuff just not school. I am always delighted to interview judge record books, and even more delighted when youth do well, and put forth some "effort". I can always tell which club those who excel are from, because they are so professional and well put together. They pretty much give a presentation of their project in the interview judging rather than me having to "pry" information out of them. Without a doubt credit needs to be given to the parents too! I am a beleiver that if you challenge kids and demand excellence that's what you'll get. Otherwise, they will just do the minimum. For the most part that is human nature.

Just my two cents worth, and it might not be worth that much!

I grew up in a small town in NW SD. I wasn't much of a student, but I got by, and my teachers made sure of it. More importantly, so did my parents.

I am now a teacher in the "Projects" of Omaha. As a teacher who has 100 or more students a day who don't give a damn, it is quite easy to see where the problems originate, HOME. In my time here I have found that the only parents that I see or have contact with are the one's whos students are doing well. If their students are in the lower end, I can't even get ahold of the parents at home.

For the above reason I agree with TTB to challenge you kids at home. If parents are not involved with their child's education, all that makes me is a glorified babysitter, with no authority to discipline the student (an unchallenged students is generally a discipline problem).

Stay in contact with you child's teachers. For the most part teachers are there to make a difference in young people's lives and will do their best to help your kids.

Parents bitch about teachers and teachers about all the testing that needs to be done. Why not come together and chat about it and try to get thing done instead of chasing our tails.
WoW!!! Thanks for the imput...koj Omaha as in Nebraska? I went to college in omaha!!!!
Turkey Track: Yup with being on the rez I know what you are talking about.
We have quarterly meetings with his speech teacher, special ed and his home school teacher. His home school teacher does encourage her children, but she doesn't have the time to do the one on one with our son. That's where the special ed should come in right? He is testing 85-95%. Why not teach above, so next year isn't so hard. I do work with him at home. Which is a challenge because of our personalities. These kids have to get an education. There is no exception. I wish I had the opportunities these kids have nowdays. Most don't give a crap..... Where is the negative attitudes coming from??? I would think these kids would be smart enough to know what effort has to be done to make a better life for themselves. Who would want to marry a man or women who doesn't have a future with a job and a chance to better ones self. What is it I'm not seeing??????
After having been connected with education for nearly 45 years: 17 in school, parent for 20, school board member for 15. My favorite saying about school, "It's not the students that will cause the problems, it's those "mature" individuals you have to deal with that think they have the best interests of the students in mind that will."

Unfortunately, most parents these days think of school as a five-day-a-week babysitting service. But yet, try some discipline that is lacking in the home and they come running.

I have observed that educators for the most lot are a good bunch, and left alone can and will dispense knowledge to their students. It's too bad that their Union leaders have the opinion that all should be treated equal. Heck, I would gladly pay a "good" teacher more to keep them and less to a "poor" one to get them to move on. But, in most states you must bargain with the Union representatives and not the individual.

Teaching is really a thankless job, the only good thing is you get 90 days off during the year. But then, maybe that much time is needed to keep a person's sanity from those "mature individuals".
Hey koj - did you get my message I posted in the Coffee Shop? Sounds like your little brother appreciates the education you helped him with!
When does school get out for you guys? The Buffalo kids are done on the 18th but we are probably a little ahead of the larger school districts.
My children, too, are as different as night and day....hell, I will be happy just to see the oldest graduate from high school next year....we have talked til we are blue in the face, the teachers have done all they can do AND THEN SOME..now, it is simply up to him to decide his future and his fate....he is under the mistaken impression that you do not need an education to succeed in this life and that he will make "tons of money working the pipelines in Alaska" :roll: :roll: ...Then there is my 15 year old who is bound and determined to be a pediatric oncologist (a doctor who specializes in childhood cancers and cures for them)...heck, she is already looking into schools, scholarships and grants since she knows there is not much of a chance that this nurse and rancher will be able to afford 12 years of med school....yes, i agree that teachers and parents must work together....i have met good and bad on both sides of the issue...i have met teachers who honestly felt it was their calling to teach the child and to guide them and to give them 100% all the time...i have also met teachers who were simply in it for the paycheck, the tenure and counting the days until summer vacation!! fortunately, i have met more of the honest, hard working type than the others...i have also met parents who did not give a hoot where their kids end up or about their education, parents who have never gone to a parent/teacher conference, parents who see the F's on the report card and simply shrug and blame the child for being "stupid"...breaks my heart!! Here, in ennis, we have been blessed with and excellent teaching staff and with parents who band together and work with the kids, most of volunteer for many school functions and after school projects! REALLY makes a difference....we simply must remember that today's kids are TOMORROW'S FUTURE! :D
When our daughter was 3, her older brother and sister left for the first day of school. She cried, wanted to go to school, too. I said, well, we'll home school you until 1st grade. I discovered the kid was like a sponge, I gave her all she could take. When she started 1st grade, the school has an open house each year shortly after school starts, for parents to meet the teachers, principal, etc. I made sure to talk to her teacher and asked her to challenge our daughter, I didn't want her falling through the cracks. I continued to do this for 2nd grade, however her 3rd grade teacher (bless her heart) not only challenged her, but taught 4th, 5th, 6th so I could have our daughter in her class. This woman will celebrate 20 yr teaching, our daughter has a nice surprise for her teacher on the last day of school. Her surpise is a blown up picture of our daughter looking down at some baby ducks she hatched out because her dad brought some duck eggs home. These ducks are swimming in the bird bath and the writing underneath says, PRIORITIES, "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." The picture is 18 X 24, we hope her teacher likes it.
It seems when the government took away discipline from the schools, ADD came into being. Parents who don't care, that attitude shows up in their kids. I feel so darn sorry sometimes for the teachers because their thumbs are tied behind their back. When I was in grade school, we had misbehavers, went to visit the principal and got whacked with the legendary "paddle". Straightened them right out.

I also know about tenure (wish they would do away with that) - seems the day they get tenure, some teachers start slacking and are just putting in their time. We'll see how Jr. High School is for our daughter, if they let her fall through the cracks, I'll just home school her. I think, however, that won't happen. I'll do what I did in grade school, talk to the teachers. BTW, it helps being involved somehow with your child's school. I'm on the Title V committee and get to have a voice on how our tax dollars are spent!!!
Liberty Bell

I hadn't head that. Kinda makes a guy feel good. I know your boys showed me a lot about bull dogging.

We don't get out of school until the 27th of May. Sure makes for a long year.
Seems to be a female only chat here, so I'll put in my male perspective.

We have three sons and a nephew we helped my parents to raise.

All the boys are out in the world and on their own now. Not that we don't have to help them out a little once in awhile.

I can not stress enough the importance of being involved with your children.

I was too involved with the ranch and the work on it while luckily enough my wife saw that the kids all had someone there to encourage and help them. My wife read to all of the kids and made me and I am so glad. If they can read they can learn.

Our youngest was checked and said to have ADHD. Looking back, all the male members of my family seem to have had this. All used it in different ways. I was always distracted and struggled with any form of math or arithmetic and as those who have read my posts probably figured out, I can't spell woth a darn. I think spelling and numbers go together. You've either got it or you don't. If you've got it, it comes easy and if you don't you need to work hard at it. Unfortunatley, I am the laziest person I know and the world's greatest "put offer". I can put off stuff for years! :lol:

Our youngest was put on Ritalin and now as a young adult tells us that he would never do that to any child of his. He was easier to be around and seemed to be able to concentrate better when he was taking his "meds", but he said that he was always in a fog and felt like a zombie. That makes me so sad as we thought we were doing the best for him. Unfortuanatley his mind goes about 4 times faster than most, so therefore "he" had a learning disablitity.

To watch over his shoulder when he read aloud as a child was a marvel! He would take out and replace words and still get the same meaning.

I read all the time and read very fast, but retain very little. I have a poor memory so have trouble with any skills that require memory. If it is a subject that I am interested in, I will put forth the effort to what is required. If not, I seem to remember very little. Might be why I don't make any more money at ranching than I do, and keep making the same mistakes. Sure makes it hard to keep up with all of the pros and cons expressed here on Ranchers.net. :lol:

Our nephew had trouble in school and never got his diploma untill he was out in the harsh cold world and had to live on a street corner selling oranges. Now he works his tail off and has more guts than I do, when it comes to taking chances and going into debt for his business! :lol:

Our oldest son has always been in the tops of his classes. He graduated 2nd or 3rd in his class at college, at a tough school. Now he is in post graduate school and will have three master classes next fall. He seems to love to learn and is quite the talker, thinker and writer.

Our middle son could do anything physically that he tried, and school was the same, but he would quit whenever he was challenged. Used to make me so mad, when things that came so easy to him and he didn't appreciate or care. He still sets a horse prettier than most and doesn't really care! I could just beat him, except he's way bigger than me and has given me my first grandchilkd, so I guess I won't! :lol:

Anyway, after all of this babbling, my point is, "be there for your children"! Work and life will go on and always be there. The children will grow up and before you know it they are gone and all you can do is hope you gave them your best. They deserve no less. Parents are the first and best teachers.
Hey Katrina:

I've been thinking about this since I read this part of your post......

In talking to my youngest son's teachers I was under the influence he would get to go to summer school along with his speech class. They say no he is doing well enough he doesn't need summer school.

Does the school make the determination of who gets to go to summer school and why? This just doesn't make sense to me---I always thought that was a choice of the parent/student (in some cases with the influence of the educator). I guess since you'd probably be paying the bill for summer school, I would press the issue if you think your child needs to go.

Also, somewhat related, and this is just a crazy thought I've had for a long time, and please tell me if I'm out of line---

Do you think schools try to hold poorer students (especially readers) back rather than get them to really improve? I ask because so much money that goes into schools for programs like Title I reading, and other programs that deal with kids that are having learning challenges in school.

So, to be a "conspiracy theorist" why would they want kids to succeed if they would lose all of that funding. :(

Cheers for a great day,

Hi Turkey Track Bar. I think it's the teachers who are satisfied with standard teaching and do not want to make the effort or time to push these kids ahead. It's a real big thing hear on the rez to except mediocre work.Our son is very bright, just needs the one-on-one teaching. And I not being a teacher can not do it. Three years ago our son could not speak. It was mostly gibberish. And we had alot of discepline problems. Luckily our speech teacher assigned to us was a lower grade teacher. And had seen alot of kids. What a God send she has been to us. But she needs to have both her knees replaced this summer. She has to take care of her self first.
Very few parents here, take interest in there kids and I am viewed as a meddleing mother. My goal is to get our son off the bottom of the kindegarden class, now first grade. I'm going to try and do what I can this year. But if Dean struggles next year the sh** is going to hit the fan.
I agree with you, katrina that most teachers today want just a standard average one method to teach by. My mom was a rural school teacher way back when she had playground duty as well as the responsibility of meeting the different learning needs of the children and teaching music to the "upper" room kids. In her classroom, in the 60s, there were no "Chapter" or "title" kids, kids just learned at different paces or differently, period. So in a class of 27 first graders through fourth graders, she dealt with ALL the learning levels. There were no average kids that curriculum was based on. There were no "aides" for playground duty or for helping with a special needs child, she did it. And she knew who the troublemakers were, who the very shy kids that needed to be helped along, who the bullies were (they did not last long, they were supervised and their actions were nipped in the bud), and she knew who the gifted were and who needed help with reading. Today's school system, much smaller than when she taught, makes her want to puke. Teachers are too busy for playground duty, teachers get to dismiss school early one day a week so they can work on lesson plans, and they are too busy to deal with a kid who doesn't excel at replicated worksheets from the same old workbook of some type.
I was exasperated with my son's lackluster grades and wanted to choke him. I looked through a box of school papers from kindegarten through 7th grade, and what do you know? Maybe the work changed, but the worksheets looked the same! I got bored looking through them. I can't imagine having to do that for the next 5 years, too. So, I try to challenge him (he goes kicking and screaming), by giving him assignments here at home. When we retiled our bathroom counter top, I gave him the measurements and told him calculate how many tile we needed to buy. When I decided to use some grass around my in-laws for the ponies, I gave him the measurements and told him to figure how many rolls of electric fence and posts we needed.
As a mother, I have tried to work with and volunteer at the school, and believe me, I have gotten the feeling that I am not welcome in the inner sanctum.
My sister in law has worked for 15 years at the USDA's FSA office. Cushy government job, right? Her daughter is going into her 2nd year of teaching and is now making as much as her mother. Teachers aren't paid enough compared to whose wages?
You are all soooo right. I have work for our son, it's just that I teach the wrong way. Our oldest son I taught to print and when he went to school he had to relearn. And I am very rusty on phonics. I feel so inadequate when it comes to teaching school.
Studies have been shown that most students learn best by hands on, real life learning. Tell me why then do parents and administrators (especially in rural areas) allow those programs that actually do this to be cut. Yes, I know funding is always a problem (then sit down and find a way). But the core curriculum educators are extremely limited as to being able to teach to different types of learners. That is where agriculture, construction, welding, and engineering classes come into play.

How can any school in their right mind not have even one of these programs instituted (especially my old high school). Any study would show that students in these rural areas do not go on to art colleges and institutes. In fact a very large percent go to agricultural colleges, trade schools, and technical institutes.

Don't try to pin the "teachers don't try hard enough" on all teachers. As I mentioned before, go talk to your student's teacher(s), it could only help. If nothing happens, then take different measures. When you mention teachers on the Rez, you hit a very special demographic. I have never taught there, but I have heard first hand, that what the teacher does, does not matter a whole lot. I do teach in what is probably the most diverse and dangerous school in the upper mid-west (think that's funny, come on down to Omaha and visit). If you don't teach to different learning styles here, you lose control.

No, I don't have kids, but I personally know, teach, and care for over 150 of my own students. So I guess I have experience in raising them.
Koj:Studies have been shown that most students learn best by hands on, real life learning. Tell me why then do parents and administrators (especially in rural areas) allow those programs that actually do this to be cut. Yes, I know funding is always a problem (then sit down and find a way). But the core curriculum educators are extremely limited as to being able to teach to different types of learners. That is where agriculture, construction, welding, and engineering classes come into play.

That is all good and well, but I want more of an education for my kids that welding, construction and agriculture. I might consider engineering. The bottom line is, if these kids do not get it in the K-5 grades they are in big trouble. I can't get it through my head why these teachers have a wonderful oppertunity to really make a differance in these kids education and don't do it. :???: IN your situation KOJ it is not the same... And I understand that.
Do to the fact that our school is going through some growing pains, we got another teacher from another rez school. She demanded respect and confronted it. The parents didn't like the fact that she didn't like being called nasty names, so she transfered to our school. We love her. She is not used to having so much parent support.
In our school district the school pays the parents money to come to parent-teachers conferance. They use to have door-prizes and food but that soon didn't work. The school district will haul the athletes to hell and gone, but the science fair only a hand full of kids participate.
I will not except a mediocre education for my kids simply because one is not as able to learn as fast as the others. I as a parent will do what ever I can if that means teaching at home I will do it. I just want the teachers to step up and push all these kids to their very potential.
I know what it is like to be on the honor roll, honor society and 5th in my class and score low on my sats. I know what it is like to be excepted into a technical school. NO 4 YEAR SCHOOL WOULD TAKE ME... And I refuse to let it happen to my kids simply because I didn't make an effort as a parent. My kids will not be labeled as tech school material. Yeah tech schools are great, but I want them to have the oppertunity to choose.
And as of right now the fat lady hasn't sang.. I will keep you posted :D

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