Teacher: What I can’t do for students

Nov 8, 2013 by

school-police-apBy Shakespeare’s Sister –

When I started at my new school, my friend warned me that the students lacked skills than the struggling students in my previous school. I didn’t believe her. The school I came from ranked near the bottom of all the schools in the state; how could any students be lower?

Then I started teaching here. I know all students in poverty have a range of deficits in learning, especially when it comes to language arts – fluency in reading and/or writing, comprehension vocabulary, critical thinking, etc. I know many students in poverty struggle with motivation, most often because they already feel defeated and have experienced the cycle of poverty their whole lives. What I struggle with understanding, though, is where they develop the condition known as “learned helplessness,” and how I can help them break that cycle.

Learned helplessness is pretty simple to define, and is in fact defined everywhere: over time, a human — or even an animal — learns to act completely helpless, even if there is a chance for success or rewards. Usually the condition occurs when someone feels like they have no control over a situation.

via Teacher: What I can’t do for students.

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