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 Post subject: Too Much Self-Esteem Can Be Bad for Your Child
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:40 am 
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Parts of this article really exemplify the problems we develop here in the west as opposed to eastern philosophy and teaching.
http://www.alternet.org/story/56230/

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American schools stress self-esteem as the stepping stone to academic achievement. But students from Asian cultures, which place little stock in self-esteem, seem to do better than their American counterparts in school...... <snip>.... a comprehensive new study released last February from San Diego State University maintains that too much self-regard has resulted in college campuses full of narcissists. In 2006, researchers said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory evaluation, 30 percent more than when the test was first administered in 1982.
We have had and all know examples of said people, these brash youth that think they already know what experience really means. They hang around boards and comment sections of articles spreading their self aggrandized vitriol constantly.

Good article with some wonderful illustrations of attitude differences between us and them.

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....the French tune "Frere Jacques" in preschool, for example. French children may still sing it as "Brother Jack! You're sleeping! Ring the bells!" But in America the once innocuous song has been converted to: "I am special! I am special! Look at me! " No surprise that the little train that could is exhausted: It's been laden with super-sized American egos.
I guess this is true although I never heard that version. But swollen head-itis seems to be a major problem with attitude development.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:30 pm 
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It might be all relative.

I can say that for my one grade schooler, she did better at the class participation exercises when she felt more self-assured.

I don't think there's anything wrong with praise whether they do good or bad. A lot of times you get this, "I can't do this shit!" (Well, maybe not the shit part.) And if you don't overreact, you can help them do it, and help them do it with confidence that they can.

Of course, that goes for my own personal, little, social science lab project, there. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:56 pm 
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Aw that's sweet. B or G? Your little pet science project. :)

Yes well there is good self esteem and there is false self esteem and it is up to parents to know and teach the difference to their kids. False self esteem may be exemplified by the movie Mean Girls, how that girl changed due to peer pressure and sense of clique power. High school, so immature- but what are ya gonna do. It's all relative and we all gotta go through it- like a black hole- sucked in!

Here's an article I was reading today about the public education system. This book is free and online. I know you're probably busy but if you have the time, read over the parts before Chapter 1 and get an outline of what she says about the dumbing down of our education system.

http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

Go to where her name is in yellow and just above that press the free book item. After you read the intro/preface, tell me what you think? There was one part where she claims that the brainwashing of children is what makes the public system cost so much. If they would only concentrate on relevant subjects and not prgramming robots to enter the workfoce willingly, we'd be a better more informed citizenry. This was in 1997 and she said it was ~$1000 per student in private school, home grade 12 but public funded is ~$6300 per student and the only difference is the 'programming' costs added on. :D I think those are th figures.

Sometimes I marvel at how two subjects that seem to be different but are connected by some kind of synthesis. This is another article I was reading today-

http://www.journalof911studies.com/

Go down to the one about "faulty towers of belief"- and check out what it takes to program people to react and also what is pre-programmed and can't be switched off later in life. Read to p 12 and report back.

Then make sure you home school your kids, and teach the relevant self-esteem that people need; like honesty and truth, even if you have to warn them about people taking advantage of them- it matters not, for truth and honesty seldom let one down. Most important teach them the true value in honest love, and how that compliments sharing and caring. Most important teach patience and understanding for all humanity as we are all brothers and sisters here- the lost herd is what we search for in our fear and loneliness. I don't think you can go wrong with that kind of self esteem- real morals and values not the American Idolizing in their eyes. All that glitters......

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:15 am 
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Very interesting. Very long. 700+ pages. 8)

I second that notion that if we're supposedly pouring so much in to public education per child, and you add all that up, where's the results?

We definitely need to make public school schools more accountable, but not just the schools, the districts and the states that run them, on up.

I'm not too sure I believe in all the good that "home schooling" does. I'm reading a book that puts home schooling right, smack dab in the heart of the religious right movement as a way to keep evangelical christian kids out of the public schools for an evangelical form of brainwashing.

One thing that I don't like is the punitive approach to public education for lesser performing schools. Maybe they need to look at the environment more and consider pumping more money to make them better performing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:32 am 
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I'm not too sure I believe in all the good that "home schooling" does....as a way to keep evangelical christian kids out of the public schools for an evangelical form of brainwashing.


You're absolutely correct on that one, CZ.

Quote:
the punitive approach to public education for lesser performing schools. Maybe they need to look at the environment more and consider pumping more money to make them better performing
.

Let me tell you all something...teachers and school systems aren't all the problem. Teachers and school systems can't change the students' home environments. Teachers and school systems can't change students' genetic inheritance. They can't change the way the kids are being raised. They can't decide whether or not education is considered an important facet of the students' home lives.

AND teachers must be allowed to TEACH. Consider the school day in most systems. Arrival time is around 8 am and closing time is around 3 pm. That's seven hours for the American elementary school student to be instructed in Reading, Writing, Math, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, and PE. (One of the most neglected subjects in our schools (in my opinion) is the history of our own country. I believe that neglect is one of the reasons too many Americans today are so accepting of the attacks on the Constitution by the Bushies.)

Woven within the school day is also breakfast and lunch (30 minutes for each usually), bathroom and recess breaks, speech classes, special reading classes, special math classes, classes for the academically gifted and for the academically challenged, guidance classes, library classes, and interruptions such as fire drills, tornado drills, school intruder drills, and intercom announcements. Factor in time for students to get from one classroom to another if changing of classrooms is a part of the schedule, as it is in most middle and high schools. Do the math...how much time is actually allotted to real instruction with uninterrupted time? If a good educational foundation isn't rooted within the student's elementary school years, he or she isn't going to find it in middle school or high school. By then, it's too late. A love for learning has to begin at home and it has to cemented in elementary school.

Then factor in whether or not the student has any time at all to do homework. Factor in the sports element...practice, practice, and then practice some more all the football, basketball, softball, baseball, soccor, etc.

While we're expecting more and more from both student and teacher, we're still expecting it all to be accomplished within the same time frame as it has been for the last 50 years, at least! It seems impossible...yet teachers and school systems continue to turn out a hell of a lot of good students and high achievers. When I read my local paper each May, I'm always astounded at the academic achievements of so many of the students.

Cheers and jeers are always warrented for the school systems and their personnel. But, if school systems functioned like, say...the justice system or the political system in our country, then there'd really be something to complain about. Ever been in the courthouse on a typical day when court is in session? Talk about a waste of time! :roll: Look at our own governmental procedures...look at how Congress does business. Look at the present administration and how it does business! Look at the Supreme Court and how it does business. Look at other businesses and organizations and you might realize that the school system isn't broken...it just needs to give its workers time to actually do their jobs. I guarantee that if teachers were given smaller groups of students to teach and more time to actually do it, you'd see a change in the educational quality of the product being turned out of public schools.

By the way, most teachers are also required to prepare lesson plans, keep their rooms neat and tidy with up to the minute educational material readily available to their students, (most of it they've bought with their own money), serve on a variety of school committees, do tons of paper work such as PEPs (Personal Education Plans), attend PTA meetings, sports events, schedule parent-teacher conferences monthly or more frequently if there's a need, attend faculty meetings, plan and carry out field trips, organize school celebrations for specific holidays and other events, and participate in school fund raisers, which usually take place on Saturdays. Sometime in there, they also have the right to a semblance of a personal life...believe it or not.

Time to TEACH? A precious commodity, believe me, but teaching is the one profession that makes all others possible.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Blueberry Story: The teacher gives the businessman a lesson
by Jamie Robert Vollmer

If I ran my business the way you people operate your schools, I wouldn't be in business very long!"

I stood before an auditorium filled with outraged teachers who were becoming angrier by the minute. My speech had entirely consumed their precious 90 minutes of inservice. Their initial icy glares had turned to restless agitation. You could cut the hostility with a knife.

I represented a group of business people dedicated to improving public schools. I was an executive at an ice cream company that became famous in the middle1980s when People Magazine chose our blueberry as the "Best Ice Cream in America."

I was convinced of two things. First, public schools needed to change; they were archaic selecting and sorting mechanisms designed for the industrial age and out of step with the needs of our emerging "knowledge society". Second, educators were a major part of the problem: they resisted change, hunkered down in their feathered nests, protected by tenure and shielded by a bureaucratic monopoly. They needed to look to business. We knew how to produce quality. Zero defects! TQM! Continuous improvement!

In retrospect, the speech was perfectly balanced - equal parts ignorance and arrogance.

As soon as I finished, a woman's hand shot up. She appeared polite, pleasant -- she was, in fact, a razor-edged, veteran, high school English teacher who had been waiting to unload.

She began quietly, "We are told, sir, that you manage a company that makes good ice cream."

I smugly replied, "Best ice cream in America, Ma'am."

"How nice," she said. "Is it rich and smooth?"

"Sixteen percent butterfat," I crowed.

"Premium ingredients?" she inquired.

"Super-premium! Nothing but triple A." I was on a roll. I never saw the next line coming.

"Mr. Vollmer," she said, leaning forward with a wicked eyebrow raised to the sky, "when you are standing on your receiving dock and you see an inferior shipment of blueberries arrive, what do you do?"

In the silence of that room, I could hear the trap snap…. I was dead meat, but I wasn't going to lie.

"I send them back."

"That's right!" she barked, "and we can never send back our blueberries. We take them big, small, rich, poor, gifted, exceptional, abused, frightened, confident, homeless, rude, and brilliant. We take them with ADHD, junior rheumatoid arthritis, and English as their second language. We take them all! Every one! And that, Mr. Vollmer, is why it's not a business. It's school!"

In an explosion, all 290 teachers, principals, bus drivers, aides, custodians and secretaries jumped to their feet and yelled, "Yeah! Blueberries! Blueberries!"

And so began my long transformation.

Since then, I have visited hundreds of schools. I have learned that a school is not a business. Schools are unable to control the quality of their raw material, they are dependent upon the vagaries of politics for a reliable revenue stream, and they are constantly mauled by a howling horde of disparate, competing customer groups that would send the best CEO screaming into the night.

None of this negates the need for change. We must change what, when, and how we teach to give all children maximum opportunity to thrive in a post-industrial society. But educators cannot do this alone; these changes can occur only with the understanding, trust, permission and active support of the surrounding community. For the most important thing I have learned is that schools reflect the attitudes, beliefs and health of the communities they serve, and therefore, to improve public education means more than changing our schools, it means changing America!


Reprinted with permission from the March 6, 2002 issue of Education Week



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:44 am 
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You said a lot, there, Catherine. It's nice reading stuff from the heart rather than from something cut and pasted from an article. (Which I do a lot.)

Don't know what to say about the school hours being what they are. I do know that kids seem to get real antsy at the end of the school day, so maybe its good that they are let out at that time.

Having time for homework: I know parents that just cram too much stuff into their kids life after school Ballet. Language schooling. Sports. Some families I know, get home around 8 or 9 with after school schedules like that. And then the kids have to do the homework.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:10 pm 
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You said a lot, there, Catherine. It's nice reading stuff from the heart rather than from something cut and pasted from an article. (Which I do a lot.)

Don't know what to say about the school hours being what they are. I do know that kids seem to get real antsy at the end of the school day, so maybe its good that they are let out at that time.

Having time for homework: I know parents that just cram too much stuff into their kids life after school Ballet. Language schooling. Sports. Some families I know, get home around 8 or 9 with after school schedules like that. And then the kids have to do the homework.


Thank you, CZ, for taking the time to read it!

There's not much that can be done with/about the school hours, really. Night school might be one alternative for those in high school...some places have been experimenting with that idea. As more and more attention is paid to learning styles, it's accepted that some students just aren't morning people...some teachers aren't good morning teachers, but they might be better nighttime teachers teaching more attentive nighttime students....maybe that's one answer...who knows?

At my school, the teachers were required to be in their classrooms by 7:30 and they could leave at 3 pm. I told my students to follow this procedure as far as homework went:

1. At home, their homework time was not to go over one hour...preferably 45 minutes.

2. If homework hadn't been completed within the allotted time, they were to put it away. Next morning, they were to come to the classroom between 7:30 and 8 am to complete it. In reality, I offered a supervised, morning study hall for my students.

3. In the afternoon, the last thirty minutes of class time were devoted to study. The students had a choice: Read silently OR work on their homework assignments. I was there to help them if they needed it, and the room was quiet and comfortable....most of the time, the majority of the students finished their written homework and only had to read silently for 20 minutes at home.

4. I NEVER gave homework on the weekends. But the students were promised homework four nights a week...they knew that I was giving them the weekends for family time, unencumbered by school responsibilities. They also knew that if they shirked their homework the other four nights, that weekend courtesy could possibly change. It was their choice...not mine. They accepted that, and it worked. NOt once did I ever have to make a change in that policy.

My students helped me make up the class rules, they helped me set up the room. In all things academic, the students and I worked together as a team...yes, I was the leader, but they were my right arms. They liked taking some responsibility for themselves and their education. Parents liked it, too. It worked for me...it might not work for others, but I found the way to make my students achieve while I enjoyed my job...for all of 31 years!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:37 pm 
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The issue here isn't about teachers really. They are victims like the children, of a system that is being forced on them or they may lose their jobs. Thank heavens for good teachers because they are the only thing preventing this system from taking over and numbing our children to reality. I'm sure there is a hiring practice to get the types of teachers that follow orders and will do what they are told to do, much like the bingo callers at CNN and elsewhere in politics, like Bush's hiring practices- promote obedience, not competance. New teachers must be like tellers at a bank- changing constantly and very young , bright eyed and sooooo naiive. Teachers have to depend on the fact that some offended child won't report them to a fundamentalist who reports them to their superiors if they wish to try and teach their students to think. Horrors! :shock: .

When the Dumbing down article/book was written, NCLB wasn't even out yet, but it seems to be the very thing she was talking about, to introduce the final stages of mind control in schools. Teachers on this site have been complaining about it for years but it seems to have been fully adopted.

As for home schooling, of course things can be abused but so is the risk in most things the government can't control, but wish they could. There's always extremes and fringes that will skew the facts or stats but generally it means that one adult, preferrably a parent is at home with the child. If this is so difficult to do it is because it is so hard to survive witout working. So perhaps since people are willing to homeschool their children, they should be considered a teacher and be paid a wage less than a public school teacher, and so the schools will have more money to add better schooling and all the things Catherine listed as duties outside the required realm of the teacher.

Thank the creator for teachers like Catherine who were more than willing to go beyond the restraints this system forces in its attempts to corporatize schooling and making it an official factory style industry. Perhaps if more parents started home schooling, no one would really care if parents were fundies. Their children would be the damaged goods, not those who teach properly. As it is now we have to trust teachers to do the right thing, while we go about our daily duties, ignoring exactly what our children are being taught.

SHOES FOR INDUSTRY- shoes for the dead! Firesign theatre- Don't crush that dwarf- hand me the pliers. Presenting stories of honest working people as told by rich hollywood stars.
http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Crush-That-D ... B00005T7IS

There is also the issue of success. There may be pleanty of success in students, but if you're poor, it may go no further than High school. Unless you're exceptional at studies, sports or just hard working enough to be lucky enough, you're not going to get the job that those who have financial advantages. The poor can only hope to land a scholorship to get into University, and so are second to the elites stranglehold on owning the store. Another argument for free post-secondary schooling for everyone, which of course will never happen because intelligence is not going up, if we look at the last 100 years of literacy and they don't want smaryt people, unless they're part of their CLIQUE.

Even at the time of our forefathers, people were much more aware of the state of life and knew things like "Ignorance of the law is no excuse", because they knew the law and they knew politics. Something has happened since the first world war and we have gotten really dumbed down to the point where illiteracy went from less than 10% to almost 30% today. I read that at John Taylor Gatto's site.

Dumbing down is working. Look at the rift we have between youth and adults even here on this site, and no amount of truth telling will make any difference on these freepers. Of course there's always smart kids but they will become targeted, much like the herd does to those that don't fit in.

Here in Canada they are playing with the idea of keeping children in school year round. I don't know if you're systems are considering that, but more taxes of course will be required and it seems they don't want to let up on their teaching our children what they need to know.

Just don't stop the brainwashing until everyone is a robot.

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An ability to see both sides of a question
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:38 pm 
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Catherine wrote:
There's not much that can be done with/about the school hours, really. Night school might be one alternative for those in high school...some places have been experimenting with that idea. As more and more attention is paid to learning styles, it's accepted that some students just aren't morning people...some teachers aren't good morning teachers, but they might be better nighttime teachers teaching more attentive nighttime students....maybe that's one answer...who knows?
...

Wow. I guess I need to pay attention to school politics and issues a bit more.

The night school thing for high school made me go, "Hm! What an interesting idea."

Maybe, there's a separate thread in this sort of discussion -- alternate educational ideas.

DO.g's wrote:
So perhaps since people are willing to homeschool their children, they should be considered a teacher and be paid a wage less than a public school teacher, and so the schools will have more money to add better schooling and all the things Catherine listed as duties outside the required realm of the teacher.

Well, okay, IF, they can agree to comply with the education guidelines of their particular state. But if they want to teach creationism over evolution, then I think they shouldn't even be considered "teachers".

DO.g's wrote:
Here in Canada they are playing with the idea of keeping children in school year round. I don't know if you're systems are considering that, but more taxes of course will be required and it seems they don't want to let up on their teaching our children what they need to know.

I believe that there are some year round schools in the US. I know I've heard of the 45 on 15 off plan being somewhere.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Back to the self-esteem issue, though.

I'm hoping that "early intervention" in a child's life and then constant reinforcements of some kind will hope with their esteem in the long run, you know, leading up to those difficult high school years.

I guess I'm equating self esteem with self confidence issues, and the ability to stand alone from a "loser" crowd, and to do so with such self esteem that a kid realizes that what the loser crowd is about is bullcrap, and if means the kid goes it alone, then so be it.

You hear about teen pregnancy stuff. You hear about this teen drug use stuff. I'm thinking that there are self esteem issues connected to it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:11 pm 
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I'm convinced that low self-esteem will contribute to many negative things in a child's life, especially as he or she heads into that "white water" called their teen years. But, it's next to impossible for a parent (in my opinion) to try to establish a really close relationship with a teenager IF that parent hasn't already established a heck of a lot of groundwork during the early childhood and pre-teen years. Credibility is important to a child, and believe me, they know whether they're getting real qualilty attention or not. Don't underestimate those little kids. They know how we feel about them. They know whether or not their teachers like them. They know whether or not their parents like or love them, and also their siblings! They know when they're being palmed off to the built-in babysitter, the TV, just so they won't be bothering their mama or their daddy...or whoever it is they live with. They know if the parent really wants to spend time with them...or not. They KNOW!

As they get older, they seem to either accept whatever they've experienced as small children, or they'll rebel against it. Both of those elements can take many negative forms. As a teacher, I was much more concerned about quiet little Susie sitting back in the corner than I was about the class clown. But, most of the time, they both had some esteem issues that needed addressing...postively.

I presently work part time with students 16 and over who are studying for their GED. What an eye opener for me! These kids are high school dropouts who have realized they made a mistake and are coming back to school to try to rectify that mistake. They tell me many stories about their reasons for dropping out. The one reason that seems to be the most common is that they didn't "feel like they could ask questions and still be considered smart or worthy of a respectful answer." I found that deplorable because, if their stories are true and I have no reason to doubt them, it means our educational system should include some sensitivity training for teachers who don't see their students as worthy of asking questions! In my opinion, it's up to the administrators of schools to note whether or not there are such teachers on his or her faculty. If so, then that administrator should do something about it. I mentored many teachers who had not passed the "instructional feedback" part of their annual evaluations. It was interesting work!

My GED students' most feared subjects are math and....(big drum roll)....writing!

Geez...wonder why!

As to the night high school thing, Channel Zero, here are a few sites offering info:

http://www.pps.k12.or.us/schools-c/pages/pnhs/

http://www.nwrel.org/nwedu/summer_98/article5.html

http://www.bcnhs.org/about_us.jsp?rn=5469858

Think about it! There sit the school buildings, silent and dark, until the next day when the bustle will start up again. Wouldn't it make more sense to utilize that "plant" for evening classes that are just like the day time classes? Students and teachers could keep those state institutions of higher learning humming from 4 pm to 10 pm. No, there probably wouldn't be bus service and there probably wouldn't be a "supper-room," but those things could be managed with simply offering the night classes to students who had their own transportation and could furnish themselves their own evening meal, eaten on the campus in 30 minutes. There probably wouldn't be any sports curriculum, but English, Math, Science, History, Art, Music, and LIFE SKILLS could be learned by those who wouldn't otherwise do it. There could be a Second Shift Faculty, with both teachers and administrators. They'd be working under the same kind of contract as the daytime staff. Just an innovative idea...that makes pretty good sense in our changing world.

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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That's all there is to it."

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