Watch the YouTube video titled “What Students Really Need to Hear” (H/T JacksNewswatch). It’s very powerful!
The presenter is Chase Mielke, a Michigan teacher who is currently involved in a “positive psych” program for 10th grade at-risk students. Originally posted at www.affectiveliving.wordpress.com, it is just over 6 minutes long and has been watched by nearly 350,000 people on YouTube.
So, what is it about? It is about what happens when students quit the little things, like:
- skipping school,
- showing up late for class, and
- not doing or finishing assignments.
As Mielke says, that kind of incremental quitting can become a pattern which leads to a life of quitting and, in my opinion, contributes to adults blaming everyone else for their failures.
Towards the end of the video, Mielke asks students to get their “crap together” and find the courage to deal with life as it comes — saying that it is up to the students themselves to change their quitting pattern of failure.
Of that type of teacher/student partnership approach, I entirely agree.
While it is true that teachers should do everything possible to motivate and inspire, in the end they are not dealing with automatons that are programmable. At some level, students have to buy into what a teacher is trying to teach them and become a partner in their own learning.
Quitting and giving up is especially true in inner city schools. I know there are some educational researchers who believe it is their socio-economic status that causes them to want to give up. I don’t agree. In fact, in my experience, it is the opposite — that most children and teens who live in poverty want to do better in life than their parent(s).
No, in my opinion, the problem in such schools can be caused by hearing only negative things about school at home and/or with their peers. I mean, no matter what kind of school a student attends, students don’t want to be seen as a teacher’s pet or a suck-up.
Yet, for those students who can overcome those kinds of pressures, the lifelong reward can be knowing how to get and keep a job.
In my opinion, then, Mielke speaks for many teachers who are frustrated when kids give up. While I have not taught in an inner city school, I have supervised prospective teachers who have and I know that it takes every ounce of a teacher’s energy to get students to want to learn.
And, so, to all those teachers who are frustrated that so many of their students are totally not interested in the positive habits they need to succeed in school (which translates into the same habits they will need to succeed in life), I would recommend watching this video. Those same teachers might also want to show it to their students.
Without a doubt, it represents a very powerful approach to helping those high school students who need to stop quitting!