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Life Skills Support Teacher

Well done, Mario, you've done

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Well done, Mario, you've done an excellent job at summarizing the trendy nouveau philosophy of the Daniel Pinks and the Seth Godins of the world. I'm still puzzled over why people continue to bow at the altar of those pop culture hucksters, who have never taught in K-12 classrooms. I believe if people are going to publish critiques about K-12 education, they should be at least licensed, formally educated, or extensively experienced in teaching at the K-12 level.

You, like Dr. Curwin, obviously prefer the egalitarian approach to education that, to this practitioner, favors the "dumbing down" of regular education curricula by lowering the bar for under-achievers so they appear to be on a equitable plane with those who possess superior skills. Egalitarians in my view reason like immature children. They don't want to be told what to do, when to do it, or how to do it. They do not show enough respect for authority or those who have lived longer and have acquired more life knowledge. They believe they should exist on the same plane as their elders despite not having paid their dues.

"Paying your dues" was an over-riding principle growing up in an immigrant working class world that embraced and overcame harsh realities without so-called "progressive" socio/economic engineering.

You want to stand with your elders and be respected? Earn it! Prove to them that you can!

Apparently, the same egalitarian approach is being applied to behavior management in schools. Let's punish those who respond to rewards, because it doesn't work for ALL students, despite the reality that we live in a rewards based society where inequities exist and will continue to exist, no matter how much progressive social engineering is attempted.

Hierarchies, rules, regulations, and structure are what most human beings need and best respond to. Without them, there is anarchy. We do not (or can not) live in fantasy egalitarian constructs devised by members of academe. They sound good in the university classroom but that's where it ends.

Remember, Mario, that the 1960s model that you deride worked very well in America when it was the undisputed number one world superpower. Now so-called "progressives" are doing everything they can to degrade American exceptionalism using the same "dumbed down" approach mentioned previously.

This is not the America that my forefathers fought and died for. That's not the America my relatives risked their lives to escape to during times of war, either.

Your approach only weakens and softens the minds and bodies of youth, invariably killing the spirit that made America, its citizens, and its culture, exceptional.

Director, Graduate program in behavior disorder, David Yellin College

It is true that "love" and

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It is true that "love" and "caring" are different and that there are lines that teachers cannot cross. We can never be "friends" no matter how friendly we are. There must be some judgment in teaching, the less the better. But judgment is a part of the job, and true friends don't judge. Believing in students is different from both and a part of each. Believing in students does not mean or imply that inappropriate love is involved. The analogy is false and in some cases dangerous.

The reward issue has been debated many times from different points of view both in education in general and in my postings specifically. Educators can debate whether rewards work or not, but the debate only has meaning if the argument is fact and logic based. Overheated rhetoric helps the speaker get something off his chest but does little to add to expanding knowledge and more importantly, helping children.

No one needs to reward a child for doing something they love. The only time we reward is to get a child to do something that they don't want to do. Children learn that we do not believe in them if we are forced to give rewards, because it implicitly implies that we believe they won't do a task without getting something in return. This is insulting and ineffective.

I have heard the belief that salary and rewards in school are the same for over 30 years. Careful analysis shows they have nothing in common and it is a false comparison. Without writing a new book on the subject, I'll briefly give two reasons why the comparison fails. The most important is choice. All people have a choice where to work and what they do. Economics plays an important part of the decision, but it is still a decision. No one is forced by law to work at something they don't want or believe in. In school children are forced to work at things they do not want to and do not believe in. They have no choice, and must compete with others with different skill levels whether they want to or not. In the world of work doctors do not compete with salespeople, accountants or construction workers. In school they do.

The second difference is that salary is a fee for service. Employers pay and get something in return. The end helps the one who pays. In school, children do not work for teachers. They receive no material gain from student work. It is not a fee for service arrangement in any way. Let's stop comparing salary and reward once and for all.

NBCT, science educator

Quote: Educators that do not

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Educators that do not believe in rewards based systems make me laugh, because they fail to acknowledge a fundamental aspect of every advanced society on this planet.

I would have to disagree with you hear Mr. Hauck. There was a time when I also "believed" that "dangling carrots" in front of a student would change behavior. After reading Daniels Pink's book Drive and several other resources on intrinsic motivation, metacognition, and the demonstration of 21st. Life Skills; I have come to the conclusion that "carrot dangling" is ineffective and unreliable. The model you address is known as Motivation 2.0. This ineffective business model was adopted by many educators/and institutions in the 1960's as a way to change student behavior. This model was not always associated with mastery of learning goals but grounded in value systems that the teacher felt were important to learn. These values are mostly grounded in authoritative rhetoric which Paulo Freire addressed in Pedagogy of the Oppressed as tools of conformity and not of freedom. Most of these "values" were not centered on the students interests or specific needs; the values were more teacher centered and highly subjective. Studies by McRegor and Douglass at MIT address the fact that humans have higher innate drives which promote behavior. Do you think a student really gets motivated to learn when they are penalized for thinking "out-of-the-box?" Or when their grade is determined by non-academic factors such as behavior or attendance? Pink gives vivid examples on how many open source products [e.g. Wikipedia, Firefox, Linux, etc] were produced outside of the Motivation 2.0 Model. You want to change student behavior? Give them respect, compassion, and many opportunities to create, innovate, and demonstrate their understanding. Allow them [your students] to take intellectual risks and become a student of their thinking.

Life Skills Support Teacher

Have you considered the long

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Have you considered the long term effects of such expressions on young needy individuals who may continue to seek solace in your affections long after they have passed through your class and onto high school (and even beyond)?

That seems like a potentially unusually large responsibility to have to carry. It could very easily subsume one's personal family life. A line must be drawn somewhere. For example, what if they show up at your door five years hence and make demands on you because they interpreted your expressions as a permanent compact between the two of you?

6, 7 and 8th SEL teacher

You, dear sir, have your

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You, dear sir, have your opinion and I have mine. I cannot count the number so students who appreciate those three little words spoken from the heart and revealed through sincerity.

Life Skills Support Teacher

Educators that do not believe

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Educators that do not believe in rewards based systems make me laugh, because they fail to acknowledge a fundamental aspect of every advanced society on this planet.

They all function on rewarding achievement. I will safely assume that any one of you who teaches, lectures, writes, etc., receives compensation for your efforts. Otherwise, you would not be able to live and function in modern society. Unless you are a member of a religious order who has taken a vow of poverty, then any protest against reward based systems rings false. You are essentially communicating "do as I say, not as I do." Any smart kid is going to realize your hypocritical stance.

This stuff about building intrinsic motivation simply flies in the face of the "real world." I've already written elsewhere about two of the most vocal anti-rewards advocates in America and the very comfortable lives they lead as a result of receiving ample compensation for their work.

This should be sufficient reason to discredit the entire notion of eliminating rewards. If you don't think so, then the next time someone hands you a check for work you've done, refuse to accept it. Let me know how that works out for you.

Life Skills Support Teacher

"IF YOU DON'T LOVE YOUR

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"IF YOU DON'T LOVE YOUR STUDENTS THEN WHY ARE YOU TEACHING?"

I believe you are confusing "caring" with "love."

The biggest mistake many teachers make is believing they are social workers or mommy substitutes as well as teachers. You cross a professional and ethical boundary by expressing an emotion like "love" that should be reserved for your own flesh and blood or for those with whom you have an intimate or deeply meaningful connection in your PRIVATE life.

It is highly unprofessional to blur the boundary between your personal and business obligations. Your job is to model appropriate behavior, attitudes, and values while transferring skills and maintaining proper professional detachment. Why would you want to confuse a kid with an excessive level of emotional expression and have them possibly misinterpret the intended message? it's just not very wise and invites potential problems for yourself or your school in this highly litigious society we live in.

I don't think I need to cite the number of foolish teachers who get caught facebooking or texting their students and suffer the consequences, which is why I despise the push for more social media in schools. Too many teachers, especially the younger ones, have a more difficult time regulating their on-line activities. Why? Because too much of their lives is devoted to social media.

Early primary (pre-K to 3) is one thing, but from the onset of adolescence onward, it's smart to keep a lid on the "I love you" schtick.

6, 7 and 8th SEL teacher

LOVE PREVAILS. SO MAY

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LOVE PREVAILS. SO MAY EDUCATORS ARE AFRAID TO SAY, "I LOVE YOU" TO THEIR STUDENTS. I AM NOT SAYING FAKE IT BUT I DO ASK, "IF YOU DON'T LOVE YOUR STUDENTS THEN WHY ARE YOU TEACHING?"

International Educator, Certified by the NBPTS | Educational Leader, Licens

Classroom Management with Tough Students

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Your comments remind me of those written by Michael Linsin fo http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/. He also argues that putting tough students on a special plan or giving rewards signals that your expectations for them are lower than for others.

Your approach to the students disarms them because you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. I wonder how long it has been since an adult sat down with those tough students to truly listen to them.

Janet | expateducator.com

NBCT, science educator

One needs to consider....

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Rewards: Not using "rewards" is a great idea yet most teachers "reward" to compensate the statistical disparity of the 100 point grading scale that many educators still use. Most of these rewards are not linked to established learning goals and most reflect non-academic criteria.
Effort: Students will put more effort in achieving learning goals when they see that their efforts are being supported by effective interventions. For instance, would a student put much effort into re-doing an assignment when a teacher will average the old score with the new? Or not allow them to get any grade higher than a C?

Multiple Chances- giving students multiple opportunities to demonstrate understanding is effective yet when grades are due by the end of the quarter you can only provide so many opportunities. Why can't a school year be more fluid?

Failure-Don't like the word much but it is a reality of life. We cannot succeed in all these we do right? In relation to our students we need to reflect deeper and determine if the assessment tool and are practices were effective.

More opportunities to learn goes hand in hand with more opportunities to demonstrate what was learned. Using multifaceted assessments provides students many opportunities to demonstrate understanding.

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