Our children are the future. Children deserve the best foundation to begin their lives.
Here you will discover:
- What is “The Great Divide?" - Is anyone to blame? - Can we stop it?
What is "The Great Divide?"
While I taught high school biology, I observed some very interesting behavior among the students in the school. The children were extremely divided. I call it “The Great Divide.” I was astonished to see the extreme differences in behaviors, respect, grades, attention span, responsibility, morals, interest, and focus. The division that I saw occurred daily. The students who exhibited the favored end of the scale worked hard to maintain their obligations. The students who exhibited the unfavored end of the scale also worked hard to do as little as possible. There is one main factor contributing to "The Great Divide," among our children and it is not dependent upon race, household income, gender or any other type of demographics. This division intrigued me to begin authoring a book called "The Great Divide."
I'm a teacher by nature, and I was fascinated by the students who accelerated in all areas vs. the students who could care less. I was able to determine the cause of this great divide fairly easily as the semester went on because the students were physically divided into separate class hours. I taught accelerated biology and regular biology.
Accelerated vs. Regular Biology Classes
The students in accelerated biology were very different from their peers in regular biology. They were respectful. They paid attention in class, without interruption. They took notes without complaining. They came to class with all of their homework ready to hand in and all of their supplies to begin working. The children were ready to learn without being told. They couldn't wait to see how they performed and were upset if they had a silly mistake.
These students didn't have the latest iPhone, Nikes or trendiest clothes. But, among their peers, they were respected and considered cool.
The students in regular biology were the complete opposite of the accelerated biology students. They were very disrespectful to each other and at times to their teachers. They started fights and pulled the chain to the chemical shower located in the classroom. These children had no fear of consequences. They never came prepared to class, most came without a writing utensil. If they came to class with their fill in the blank notes, it was folded up like a grocery note in their pocket. Most would try to put their head down to go to sleep for the hour or play games on their iPhone.
There is Hope
I saw hope in the children that were in my regular biology classes. I wasn't just their teacher for the hour, I played the part as their parent, life coach, inspirational leader and confidence booster. I turned the “sleepers” into students who were ready to learn. All I did was give them attention and I believed in them more than they believed in themselves. I showed that I cared, day in and day out, no matter what. I raised my voice when I had to and gave them consequences for their actions. They knew I was serious, but just as any kid does, they liked to test me. I stood firm because I desperately wanted to show them that they can succeed and that it feels great to accomplish goals. My efforts paid off. I turned consistent “F” students into students who were getting “A”s on their quizzes and tests. They were so very proud of what they accomplished.
Many students often came up to me and told me that they wished that I taught their other classes also. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, all I did was care about each individual student and their future. Children need to be loved and given quality attention. They don't need things bought for them to make them happy, they just need to know that they matter, because they do. Buying things to make them happy, just pacifies them.
The parent teacher conferences for the accelerated students were the same each time. The parents of the accelerated students would faithfully show up on time to hear about how good their child was doing. My students face would shine with pride during conferences, because of their accomplishments. Out of an entire class of 32 accelerated students, there might have been one parent who couldn't make it. The parents that were able to make it, didn't just attend to hear that their child is doing good because they already know that they're doing good. They support their child every evening and weekend with homework. They quiz their children until they know that their child understands the material.
Is anyone to blame?
The regular biology parent-teacher conferences were very different. Out of an entire class of 32 students, 2 parents might show up to the parent-teacher conferences. This told me a lot. I know that there are working parents and conflicting schedules, the parents of the accelerated students work also. The few parents that did show up asked many questions about how to help their child to improve their grades.
Preachy Teacher - The Great Divide
The regular biology students often told me that their parent won't quiz them, this broke my heart, so I offered free tutoring services before and after school. This idea didn't work because it conflicted with the bus schedule or their parents' schedule.
I'm aware of learning disabilities. That is not what this topic is about. It is about parenting and lack of parenting. So, is anyone to blame for what's going on? Of course, there is. We need to be adults and accept our faults and stop slacking in the most important role we have, which is being a parent. The parents who seem to get offended the most are the ones who are doing the least.
It starts at home. It does take a village to raise a child, but it is not the full responsibility of the teachers or schools to parent our children. If children were given proper love and guidance daily, then our classrooms would be a great place to learn and teach in every neighborhood and grade.
Can we stop "The Great Divide?"
The way we parent is literally creating who our children are now and who they become in the future. Parenting is more important than paying for their college education. Being there for them with love and guidance helps to transform them into the human being that they are intended to be.
Parenting is exhausting when done right. It's an emotional roller coaster, one minute everyone is happy and the next minute consequences are being given. When parented, children can accelerate into their futures instead of just getting by. The foundation that children require is built upon love and guidance.
The Great Divide
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