Post # 17
AB Bride I completely agree. This is my first year at this school so I don;t have alot of eperience on how they counter those types of scenerios. But when we are speaking in general, most kids don’t have to worry about their health getting in the way of their education. It’s a K-8 and most of my 8th graders have been there since kinder. These values have been drilled into their head for 9 years now. Like I said, I’m new there so I’m still not sure how valuable the values are to them.
Also, agreeing to the values is a condition of enrollment. It’s a choice school, meaning you can choose to enroll, not forced enrollment due to address. If parents or students don’t agree with the values then they cannot enroll or will have to dis-enroll.
Post # 18
I teach high school and the “rules” that I’ve adopted, with the help of my students, have evolved over time into these, which are more like guidelines for success:
1. Be there. [Be in class, be on time, be attentive and on task]
2. Be prepared. [Bring your supplies, do your homework, get enough sleep, etc]
3. Be respectful. [To others and yourself- respect given = respect earned]
4. Be responsible for yourself. [Don’t worry about what other people are doing, take responsibility for your own actions, keep track of your assignments, be academically honest]
5. Communicate. [Ask questions, request help, let your teacher know if you need something]
They pretty much cover about every situation, and after discussing what each of them mean in detail (with the ideas in brackets), I generally don’t have any problems since the students are old enough to know what is meant and I just have to have the shortened version posted as a reminder. I teach in a low-income school and half the battle with classroom management is keeping kids engaged and making sure that they know you value them and their time. It also helps that I teach something that they find interesting too 🙂 And thankfully, by the time they get to high school, they’ve learned about the general rules of respect and behavior in the classroom from the rules in earlier grades- thanks to all the grade and middle-school teachers who do a great job with that! 🙂
Post # 19
@HeMadeMeWantTo: I guess it’s different when it isn’t a public school. It still sounds like a bad policy though!
I’m curious how they even handle kids with the flu, chickenpox, etc. Don’t they want them to stay home and not infect others?
Post # 20
I know you’re looking at this situation from your point of view as a kiddo with health issues- but with it being said that it is a “choice school”—- I’m going to guess that a large percentage of the kids are “at-risk”. I’m sorry if my assumption is wrong.
Sometimes kids come from homes where school is no more than a babysitting service. In these cases, getting an education is THE most important thing that they can do. It’s their ticket out of their crappy current situation… I’m sure the school doesn’t drill this at kiddos that have legit health issues- but some kids have to learn from a very early age that they need to be their own advocate.
Mom’s passed out b/c she pulled an all nighter partying and is now basically in a coma (sadly,multiple of my sweet- babies deal with this)—- I gotta learn how to set that alarm and get to the bus b/c Being at school is the most important thing for me today… Not to mention might be my only 2 meals for the day.
Post # 21
I didn’t read the posts further down when I responded to this thread, so I wanted to add this…
I think that being told that the most important thing a student can do is be at school needs to be seen as a the most important thing with regards to a student’s success in taking ownership in their education- at least that’s what I have in mind when I discuss it with my students. I work at a low-income, high-risk school. Yes, things happen when students can’t come to school, because of health issues, family issues, and even legal issues. But the idea that encouraging kids to make school a priority is a way of trying to make a child feel guilty for things beyond their control is insane. I don’t believe that is any teacher or school’s intentions at all. Unfortunately, life does happen, and a lot of kids go through things that we have no idea about. Getting an education IS important, because it can help them in the real world. No one’s trying to penalize someone with a chronic illness, or with an emotional crisis. There are things in place at schools to help teachers help students with those kinds of things.
In a perfect world, a 16 year old should have nothing to worry about in life except for family, school and having fun being a teenager. In reality, teenagers are having to deal with a lot more- like working to support their families because one or more parents are unemployed, broken homes, alcohol and drugs, no food, etc.. there’s worse. So aside from sitting back helplessly and watching them, the best we (or I, as a teacher) can do for them is arm them with tools for success, one of which is an education.
Post # 22
@ErisInChaos: I think this depends on the students and the neighbourhood you are in as well. My students last year— man did we have attendence problems. One of the students in the school backed onto the property and he used to play in his backyard every day after his family called him in “sick”. The priority was to keep him home (even though he regularly talked about how he was bored at home, only played video games and watched tv, etc).
In that neighbourhood, with my kindergartens, I very much stressed to parents and students that coming to school was important for so many reasons. Out of 170 days of school, my students with the highest number of absences was 80, my student with the highest number of lates was 100. We only had three students who were single digits in absences, out of 30.
In the neighbourhood I now teach in, if I were to stress that coming to school is important I would either have parents say, “Um… well, yeah. We know.” Or I would have parents take it like @AB Bride: where they over analyse it to mean, “I don’t care if the roads are super icy, the sky is falling down or you have pneumonia, we have to go to school!” In my old area, I would NEVER hear anyone say that.
Post # 23
I want to state that I do think education is important, I don’t want to give the wrong idea there! I just don’t like the idea of telling kids it’s the most important thing they can do. For me the #1 should be getting/staying reasonably healthy and safe. If a child dies, does it matter how many days of school they did or didn’t miss? Number 2 is emotional health (which you could throw in with #1 as well). Education is a priority, it’s just not #1, and doesn’t always require being at school.
I know it sounds nit-picky, but to an adult hearing something like that when they’re already down about being sick sucks. It does add on to the stress knowing you’re already missing things. For a young child, it can be much worse.
Post # 24
When I taught in New Zealand (in Japan I team-teach, so don’t set them myself) I had the students write them (with a hint from me if need be XD). They would then sign them, and agree to uphold them. They were 11-13 year olds. I found it really useful, because it mean’t I wasn’t imposing my rules on them, but they were expected to abide by the rules they had set themselves.
Post # 25
@takemyhand: Sadly, there are always going to be parents who are going to enable their kids, for whatever reason. I see that at my school as well. I’ve also had kids who have come to school despite the hardships that they’ve faced because they’ve been driven to succeed. There are always going to be people at both ends of the spectrum.
@AB Bride: I think that the “rules” apply to the general population of students, and obviously there will be exceptions on occasion because life happens. If you have a communicable disease, if you are chronically ill, if you have had a family emergency or a mental breakdown…etc. Most people can realize that when something like this happens that priorities shift, and most teachers I know are compassionate and flexible if they are aware that something is going on, they don’t even have to know the details. It’s about advocating for your education, not about being at school- there’s a difference.
Post # 26
@ErisInChaos: I totally agree! I was thinking more like my students, who are 3, 4, and 5. Generally they have little to no control over coming to school 🙂 I have also met many of the higher grades at that school (9/10 year olds) and some of them were beating adversity at every twist and turn.