Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Please Help me!

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Jul 05, 2002 at 7:20:14 AM
Subject: Please Help me!

About for the sake of improving education:
Should we encourage students to evaluate and criticize teachers?
Or will it result to students' unrespectable for teachers and the
disappearence of order for the class?

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Posted:Jul 13, 2002 2:01:48 PM

As with all criticism, there are questions of how, who, what, when, where, and why.

Why: Are you honestly trying to get an improvement in the situation? Or are you playing power games (I can disrupt this class and show who's boss)? or time-wasting games (If I find enough things to criticize, the teacher can never make me work)? or self-destructive games (This class is a waste of time and this teacher is a loser and I'm not going to sit here and take it.)?

When: Are you criticizing at a time when people can actually discuss reasons and think about problems? Or are you making sure to disrupt class as much as possible?

Where and who: Are you discussing things with a person who can actually solve the problem, in the first case the teacher and only after that has failed moving up one step to the principal? Or are you showing off your "power" and going down in flames by going immediately to the top, to the principal or school board or lawyers, and making as much trouble as you can before the teacher even knows what hit her?

What: Are you discussing things that are important and central? Or are you making as much trouble as possible about details in a self-defeating proof that you're the boss? (Examples: Important -- that you have a quiet atmosphere to read and time to write, in whatever way it can be organized. Waste of time and power trip -- you don't like the way the teacher has lined up the desks in the room and you want to demand that she do it the same as last year's teacher whom you liked.)
Are you focusing on learning? Or are you playing games? (Examples: focusing on learning -- I can't hear and follow the lesson. Playing games -- I don't like to write my work that way, I've always done it this way and I'm happy with it [this attitude is a way to guarantee that you stay at kindergarten level for life; the teacher MUST demand that you change methods and habits to do her job of moving you to a higher level]}

How: Are you starting a polite and reasoned discussion? Or are you aggressively giving orders and making non-negotiable demands? There does come a time for the non-negotiable demands *after* all other routes have failed, but you try the reasoned discussion first, second, and third and maybe further.

For a start, what do you do if a teacher makes an error on the board?
Useful and *most* good teachers will thank you for this: Excuse me, I think that should be a five; excuse me, I think you left out a t.
Nasty, mean, and counterproductive: Hey, you did that wrong! Boy this teacher is stupid, she shouldn't have that job, she's a **^^%$

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Posted:Aug 02, 2002 6:06:24 PM

Interesting question. I have been teaching for 20 years and have often thought it ironic that my evaluations are done by an administrator who comes in at an appointed time to see a well rehearsed lesson when it is the students who really have the insight into what is going on and know if I am performing my job to their satisfaction. I would like to see an age appropiate evaluation instrument that teachers could use or not use given their comfort level. The student evaluation would not have to be shared with anyone other than the classroom teacher. I teach eighth graders and think that they would appreciate being asked for their input. There would be those that will use it as an opportunity to dis the teacher, but a professional teacher should be able to handle that.

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Posted:Aug 03, 2002 1:04:24 PM

On a day-to-day basis, my students are eager to point out my miscues.......
and as their teacher, I like that! I tell them all the time that they never have to
feel bad about making mistakes, because I make enough for all of them!

If a student has a problem with me concerning a larger issue, I have a policy of
asking to talk to me in the hall. I do the same if I have an issue with them, as I
encourage and insist upon an atmosphere of mutual respect in my classroom.
Sometimes they make a good argument against what I did/said, sometimes
they don't; but they understand I respect them enough to hear them out.

As far as a total evaluation of a teacher, in my opinion, it really depends upon the type of class. If it is a class of Beta Club honor students taking Physics,
chances are the evaluations will be more reasonable, even if they are not
flattering. If it is a class of, say, emotionally disturbed sp. ed. students, the
evaluations are more likely to be tainted by personal issues. I'm not saying
that the latter are incapable of objective, reasonable opinions........I'm saying
there is a greater liklihood of emotion being brought into the equation.

Evaluating teaching is a difficult thing. Robin Williams' character in "Dead Poets
Society" was an example, I think, of an outstanding teacher. Yet in many
districts, he would evaluated negatively for his unorthodox methodology.
(Having students stand on a desk and recite a poem would furrow many an
administrator's eyebrow) Even the students in that mythical class were divided
over him.

I personally think evaluation should be a process involving several groups.....
principal, students, parents, colleagues. There will still be personal issues involved, but so long as the principal makes the final recommendations/
commendations/condemnations, I think it would ultimately be fair.

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