November 20, 2017

What Would You Do: Verbal Abuse

Have you watched Primetime: What Would You Do?  It’s a show where actors act out certain unethical situations and hidden cameras capture unsuspecting people to see what they would do.

The most recent episode (at minute 38) shows three teenage girls verbally bullying another girl in a park.  Most people took notice of the situation and kept walking.

When one man was questioned, he said if there had been punches thrown, he would have intervened but they were just teasing– picking on her.  He was insinuating that physical abuse was worse than verbal abuse.  Is that true?

Look at the Columbine incident . . . the boys that committed the hideous acts of violence were verbally abused – picked on – by other students.  How did that turn out?

It is believed by some therapists that verbal abuse is the root to physical violence.   

verbal abuse

Although we cannot control everything that happens outside of our homes, we as parents and teachers influence children on a daily basis.  As you read the following poem by Dorothy Nolte, keep in mind the influence we have over others . . .

 

 

 If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty,
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship,
They learn to find love in the world.

What would you do . . . to positively affect the life of a child?

  

Find a tutor – what to consider when hiring an academic tutor

I have found that there are many reasons that a person looks for a tutor.  Some common ones are as follows:

Reactive situations: hiring a tutor as a result of something that has happened

  • Doing poor in class and wants to raise grade
  • Did poor in class and wants to do well on final exam
  • Parent thinks child and do better with more effort and makes him/her see a tutor

Proactive situations – hiring a tutor before there is a problem

  • Wants to get a head and learn material before beginning class
  • Wants to make sure someone is there in case they need help
  • Wants to extend their knowledge of the subject material

There are important factors you should consider when you want to find a tutor.  Consider the following questions to help you make your choice:

  • Is it important your tutor is/has been a classroom teacher?
  • Are you looking for someone with an advanced degree in education or will a college or high school student suffice?
  • Does the tutor have prior tutoring experience?
  • Does the tutor have past clients?  Can you get testimonials from them?
  • What is the rate of success for the tutor?
  • Is a criminal background check important – will the tutor be alone with the child?
  • What is the format of the tutoring session?  Is it flexible to address the student’s current needs or is there a structure that is followed?
  • Where are the sessions held?  Are they one-on-one or small group?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • What is the cost of the session?

These are just some of the questions to think about when you want to find a tutor for your child.  I hope this helps!

Just work out the next step and see what happens

A math tutor was working with a student on a math problem in algebra.  The student quietly looked at the question for a minute or two then turned to the tutor in silence.  She asked him if he needed help and he said yes.

The tutor told him what he needed to do to begin the problem and he said, “I thought of that, but then I didn’t know what to do after that.” 

The student stopped short because he didn’t know how it was going to turn out in the end.  Instead of just taking it one step further, and doing a little bit more math he quit because he didn’t know how he’d get to the final answer.

Do any of us know all the answers to every problem that will face us?  How many of will stop short in our tracks because of fear that we won’t know what to do next?

Do you over-analyze things trying to come up with all the answers and potential road blocks or do you just do a little bit at a time and see where it takes you?

It’s not until you commit to something and step outside of the fear of the unknown that you will figure things out one step at a time.

Just work out the next step . . . and see what happens!

Use it or lose it – how is your child’s brain wired?

Babies’ brains are wired for sending and receiving information at astonishing rates.  This is what allows them to learn so much so early in life. 

According to the National Institute of Health, another surge in synapses has been found to occur just before adolescence.  During this time, the brain is pruning away the skills that are not being used.  This means if you want a skill to be “kept around”, you better use it or you’ll lose it!

Pre-teen years are a crucial time to have good habits in place so they remain on your brain’s hard drive.  

For example, many children may have been involved in different sports when they were younger.  If they do not continue to develop those skills, they lose effectiveness – even if they were once very good.   Trying many different sports when kids are younger is a good idea.  Then they can decide what they like most and choose to concentrate on those as they enter adolescence. 

Academically, establishing good habits, like time management and organizational skills is essential at the middle school age so those skills are reinforced not lost during the pruning phase.

Developing a consistent routine, managing time effectively and learning how to plan for projects are all crucial skills needed for students to be successful not only in school but in the real world of life!

What will be pruned from your child’s brain? 

What do you need to build and reinforce so they stay around for the long run?

Remember – use it or lose it!

Does getting a D ruin everything?

Too many students define themselves by their academic success  . . . or lack thereof. 

Think about it, in high school, how does a student get graded?  They are tested on material that they have learned in class.  This test allows them to demonstrate whether or not they have mastered the concepts taught.

But wait a minute, some tests are subjective.  Based on the teacher’s interpretation of the student’s response.

Not all tests are the same for every student – even if they are in the same course. 

Many times, the tests are created at the discretion of the teacher.  In other words, two different teachers are both testing the same content but can do it in very different ways. 

If it is my belief that a student in Class X should show not only mastery of the content, but be able to apply and use previous knowledge to extend their learning, how does that compare to the student in Class Y who’s teacher does not go above and beyond the minimum standards?

If that student were in Class X, he may have an 80% average.  If he were in Class Y, he may have 98%. 

What does this mean?

As an adult, it’s much easier to make sense of this.  All teachers are inherently different and hold kids to different standards.  That’s just the way it is.

But, to a student in Class X, she may feel that she is not a good student because her grade does not reflect that of her peer in Class Y.  

Students begin to define themselves by the grades they receive without understand this discrepancy.   

It is important that students remember that each day is just another day along the continuum of life. 

No one day . . .  one test . . .  one quiz  . . .  one comment from a teacher . . . should define who you are. 

Be aware of the importance you are allowing these isolated incidents to affect how you feel about yourself and your abilities.

Don’t lose sight of where you are heading in life.  If you allow too many of these events define you, before long you will be on a different path – one you may not have chosen for yourself.

Does getting a D ruin everything?

Too many students define themselves by their academic success  . . . or lack thereof. 

Think about it, in high school, how does a student get graded?  They are tested on material that they have learned in class.  This test allows them to demonstrate whether or not they have mastered the concepts taught.

But wait a minute, some tests are subjective.  Based on the teacher’s interpretation of the student’s response.

Not all tests are the same for every student – even if they are in the same course. 

Many times, the tests are created at the discretion of the teacher.  In other words, two different teachers are both testing the same content but can do it in very different ways. 

If it is my belief that a student in Class X should show not only mastery of the content, but be able to apply and use previous knowledge to extend their learning, how does that compare to the student in Class Y who’s teacher does not go above and beyond the minimum standards?

If that student were in Class X, he may have an 80% average.  If he were in Class Y, he may have 98%. 

What does this mean?

As an adult, it’s much easier to make sense of this.  All teachers are inherently different and hold kids to different standards.  That’s just the way it is.

But, to a student in Class X, she may feel that she is not a good student because her grade does not reflect that of her peer in Class Y.  

Students begin to define themselves by the grades they receive without understand this discrepancy.   

It is important that students remember that each day is just another day along the continuum of life. 

No one day . . .  one test . . .  one quiz  . . .  one comment from a teacher . . . should define who you are. 

Be aware of the importance you are allowing these isolated incidents to affect how you feel about yourself and your abilities.

Don’t lose sight of where you are heading in life.  If you allow too many of these events define you, before long you will be on a different path – one you may not have chosen for yourself.