Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thoughts Without Words: Tutoring?

So I was on Math Teacher Mambo and read a post that caught my eye. Seems that she had a student who was late a lot and came in late and gave the overall impression that she didn't care much about the class. Then before a test the girl comes in and asks for help after school. You can read more about it here, but it got me thinking.

At what point do we as teachers just basically tel these kids you're on your own now? You have burned your bridges, made you bed now lay in it, or whatever saying you want to use. I feel that there is a sense of entitlement in this generation that they can do whatever they want and they will still get "bailed out". Responsibility seems to be optional now.

Anyway, back to tutoring. In our contract, there is nothing about tutoring or for that matter an end to our day. We have a start time, but no end time. Yet, last year I was asked to submit my hours to help kids after school. I had a hard time dealing with this. I give ample time in class for my students to start their work and ask questions one on one. However the parents and administrators want more. Should we have to give up our lunch or after school time to help kids out who don't try during class? I personally think we shouldn't. How are we teaching responsibility? Don't get me wrong, if a student asks for help in class and still doesn't get it, I have no problem meeting with them later.

And what about the whole concept of tutoring hours? When I went to school, I never went to tutoring or needed to...and some of my teachers still teach at the high school (I'm not that old). When did tutoring become expected and mandatory?

My wife summed it up great when she told me to tell the administrators that "I didn't go to school for 4 years to get a degree and another 3 to get my credential and masters to tutor. If I wanted to tutor, I could have got a job at Silvan."

I know this is kind of a bunch of random thoughts, but am I over-reacting? I am being insensitive? Or am I being practical?


Ricochet said...

I have a senior who will not come to my class, but he will leave another class and come to my room during my planning period. I finally told him bluntly that I will help in class. Period.

Mr. W said...

see how did that attitude get started? What happened to make him think that that behavior was ok? i don't get it.

Maddy said...

Thanks for making me feel less alone. I resent being forced to tutor someone who made no effort during the school day and, even more, I resent that I am seen as uncaring if I balk at tutoring until dinnertime after a full school day of children who ignore me.

Reindeeralyn said...

i think it's that students get used to getting tutoring at the last minute and getting an acceptable grade after it. there's no punishment for slacking off. path of least resistance and all that rot. plus it could be parents backing up the students no matter what stupid thing they do, hence the feeling of entitlement.

Mr. W said...

Reindeerlayn: agree on the parents part. You can tell the students with a solid parental foundation by their work ethic versus those who don't.

Maddy; no problem. Actually, I was beginning to think I was outside the norm on this one. All the teachers at our school bend over backwards for the students. There was even a teacher in our department that said when students give up and fail, he takes it personally like he did something wrong. Why do teachers blame themselves before looking at the obvious problem first?