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  #41  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

It seems like everyone here is at least in the same chapter, if not on the same page, as am I.

Somebody must feel differently, I mean there is an overwhelming acceptance/prevalence of the "award them all" attitude in our society, and I'd really like to know what the merits of this school of thought are supposed to be...
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  #42  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
Wow...I had no idea the mount of Conservative people on this forum. Actually, kind of surprising for musicians.
I don't think of it in terms of political views, but in terms of work ethic. However it does remind me of a political experiment where college students were asked to donate a portion of their grades so that those who were failing could pass. I believe everyone said no. The common response was, "I put in the work for this. I earned my grades."

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Old 06-10-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

Stickit, I guess when you pressure people and schools to display at least the illusion of success, under threat of career failure and cuts in funding, you're going to get this kind of inflation of grades/awards/recognition. I don't believe it actually exists today as a school of thought-- some right wingers latched onto a momentary trend in education in the 70's, and have been bitching about it ever since, enough so that you also get normal people complaining about it like it's a real thing, too.
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  #44  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

I get the bureaucratic nonsense. It exists. And I guess that is what is ultimately aggravating...but there must be someone who thinks that the positive-only reinforcement model of instruction has some merit. Or, maybe not. I guess I just felt like arguing the point ;)
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  #45  
Old 06-10-2013, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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...but there must be someone who thinks that the positive-only reinforcement model of instruction has some merit.
I believe that was what Anthony was talking about. Teachers can be positive all day long. But for students that don't do any work, those positive vibes only go so far.

I had a student like Anthony was talking about - left his books in the car all week long. I found out about that when his mom took the other car (although his lack of progress was a giveaway long before that). So his solution was to go out and buy a set of books for the other car!!! I talked to him about practicing (and actually taking the books inside), but how much will positive reinforcement go with a student who does not take the books into the house? What are teachers supposed to say, "Great job considering you didn't practice."?

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Old 06-10-2013, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by jeffwj View Post
I believe that was what Anthony was talking about. Teachers can be positive all day long. But for students that don't do any work, those positive vibes only go so far.

I had a student like Anthony was talking about - left his books in the car all week long. I found out about that when his mom took the other car. So his solution was to go out and buy a set of books for the other car!!! I talked to him about practicing (and actually taking the books inside), but how much will positive reinforcement go with a student who does not take the books into the house? What are teachers supposed to say, "Great job considering you didn't practice."?

Jeff

exactly Jeff

I live and breathe positive reinforcement on a daily basis......sometimes it comes out of my mouth when I know it is falling on deaf ears ....yet I still do it because I believe in these kids

but when absolutely no effort is given over an extended period of time I refuse to keep nurturing.

at some point a student needs to show me at least a flash of passion if not just a remote interest .

I have had a student tell me .......I took up drums because I played violin and it was too hard. I thought drums would be easy .

I have also had students stop lessons......then come back 2 years later apologizing for their lack of effort the first time around....this time they were ready and made amazing progress.

one of those students is now at Berklee on scholarship
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  #47  
Old 06-10-2013, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
Wow...I had no idea the mount of Conservative people on this forum. Actually, kind of surprising for musicians.
I don't get it. What does this thread have to do with politics?
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  #48  
Old 06-10-2013, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
exactly Jeff

I live and breathe positive reinforcement on a daily basis......sometimes it comes out of my mouth when I know it is falling on deaf ears ....yet I still do it because I believe in these kids

but when absolutely no effort is given over an extended period of time I refuse to keep nurturing.

at some point a student needs to show me at least a flash of passion if not just a remote interest .

I have had a student tell me .......I took up drums because I played violin and it was too hard. I thought drums would be easy .

I have also had students stop lessons......then come back 2 years later apologizing for their lack of effort the first time around....this time they were ready and made amazing progress.

one of those students is now at Berklee on scholarship
- I've had students tell me they took up drums because girls were attracted to drummers.

- I've had parents of the students tell me he has to do this because I'm a drummer or was a drummer who should never have quit.

- I've also had the student where the book was left in the car, had no drumsticks for a few weeks to practice with, had no clue what book we were working out of, kept mysteriously "losing or forgetting" the books, etc..... it's endless.....

I can so relate to - and - agree with everything you've said in this thread....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffwj View Post
........I had a student like Anthony was talking about - left his books in the car all week long. I found out about that when his mom took the other car (although his lack of progress was a giveaway long before that). So his solution was to go out and buy a set of books for the other car!!! I talked to him about practicing (and actually taking the books inside), but how much will positive reinforcement go with a student who does not take the books into the house? What are teachers supposed to say, "Great job considering you didn't practice."?
Jeff
Buying another set of books... Priceless... I also agree with everything you and Anthony have posted.
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  #49  
Old 06-10-2013, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

So how many of these "students" are being pressured by their parents to take lessons? And more likely, how many kids are enrolled in three different soccer/baseball/etc teams because their parents want to live their lives through them? And how many of those parents come to those games and are objective about their kids, especially when a penalty is called on them? And how many of those parents control themselves so they don't scream at the refs or umpires? And how many parents think their kids are the best on the team, and argue with the coach when their kids are sat on the bench?

The behavior of some parents at sporting events, recitals, school graduations, etc makes me sick to my stomach.
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  #50  
Old 06-10-2013, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
So how many of these "students" are being pressured by their parents to take lessons? And more likely, how many kids are enrolled in three different soccer/baseball/etc teams because their parents want to live their lives through them? And how many of those parents come to those games and are objective about their kids, especially when a penalty is called on them? And how many of those parents control themselves so they don't scream at the refs or umpires? And how many parents think their kids are the best on the team, and argue with the coach when their kids are sat on the bench?

The behavior of some parents at sporting events, recitals, school graduations, etc makes me sick to my stomach.
Sounds like high school show choir ;)
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  #51  
Old 06-10-2013, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

When I was younger, you got a trophy because you were 1st, 2nd or 3rd, not because you participated.
That was fuel to my fire to work harder and become better at whatever I was competing for. Granted not everyone is the same but I feel that if you want a prize you have to earn it.

I just don't understand when we as a society started to lower our standards for this new generation....
You work for what you want nothing is handed to you... "Earn your keep!!!". I blame it all on the Parents. No matter what excuse people say, like its social media, its the internet, its the text messaging etc etc, No its the damn parents!! Teach your kids morals and values like your parents taught you.

Dont expect anything, go out there and take what you want by practice, repetition and sweat. The rule of thumb is 10,000 hours to master anything you want to be good at........ Not to learn how to play with Fruity Loops or Garage Band and make some tracks or beats that sounds like every other song on MTV.

I encourage everyone to learn an instrument that are from ages 0-100.. Teaches you self discipline and you feel self accomplishment because you did it not a computer program, you didn't buy it you earned it....
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  #52  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

Some asked for examples of this in real life. I'm sure there's many (such as the theme seen over that past few weeks of having multiple valedictorians) but here's one that came to mind.

After honors night was cancelled at Ipswich Middle School, the principal commented,
Quote:
“The honors night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients’ families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade point average,”
He also added that although the students would not have their special night, they would be recognized at an in-school assembly.

While parents said:

Quote:
I think the school should be committed to excellence and not mediocrity. I was shocked because to get on the honor roll, you have to work hard. They shouldn’t cancel (honors night) because somebody’s feelings could be hurt. Life is a competition, and they should start competing.”

and

“They have had honors night here for years, and there is no reason not to continue it. It is like having a sports banquet for those who play sports. Not everyone makes honors. You can’t be politically correct about everything.”

and

“It gives my daughter a chance to shine. She is not good at sports. She is an exceptionally academic student, and it makes her proud.”

and

“My sixth-grader used the honors night as a goal to be onstage like his brother in years past,” he said. “But he won’t have that opportunity.”
The quotes were from the article
http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1688...-Middle-School


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Last edited by jeffwj; 06-10-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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  #53  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
So how many of these "students" are being pressured by their parents to take lessons? And more likely, how many kids are enrolled in three different soccer/baseball/etc teams because their parents want to live their lives through them? .
I don't know about the "because their parents" but I did find for many kids taking lessons, they were indeed involved with different teams/sports/activities and drum lessons were just one of many things they were trying.

When the average kid joins the soccer team at school, most have zero intention of going to be a serious soccer player, or join a professional league. It's generally accepted that the average kid playing school sports is just going to play on the school level, and maybe for fun later on, with only very few taking it beyond the college level.

Yet in music, the expectations seems to be different. A kid taking music lessons is somehow implied that said kid is preparing for a future in music.

(granted, this has nothing to do with the "trophy" discussion).
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  #54  
Old 06-10-2013, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
Wow...I had no idea the amount of Conservative people on this forum. Actually, kind of surprising for musicians.
I wouldn't say that I'm conservative. Quite the opposite.

I genuinely believe that everyone can make a societal contribution but that is best accomplished by encouraging everybody to work hard, no matter what their skill set or levels of attainment. I said in an earlier post that when I was a teacher in a school, I wasn't particularly interested in overall attainment but more into the effort the individuals put into their work. I stand by that.
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  #55  
Old 06-10-2013, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

Qoute.....I just don't understand when we as a society started to lower our standards for this new generation....
You work for what you want nothing is handed to you... "Earn your keep!!!". I blame it all on the Parents. No matter what excuse people say, like its social media, its the internet, its the text messaging etc etc, No its the damn parents!! Teach your kids morals and values like your parents taught you.

It all started when they banned dodge ball. Little Johnny's parents got tired of their overweight son coming home complaing that he was being picked on because the other kids would single him out as the first target. Or he was just not athletic and tripped over his own feet.Spelling Bees, the likes of such was just on ESPN will be banned because Suzy doesn't like to read and there is no way to read the entire dictionary to prepare. As I said in my previous post, our country is being wussified or dumbed down so that everyone is equal, or treated equal and this is wrong. Everyone should be treated fairly but not the same. We are all different and should be treated differently. My Grandson was given a ribbon as soon as he stepped out of the pool last summer for particpating in the event, ribbons were given out later all the way down to 12th place, and a great looking plaque just for being on the team. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd should suffice. If you want an award earn it. It the world where people wear big boy pants, if you want a raise or promotion, you earn it.
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  #56  
Old 06-10-2013, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
If you want an award earn it. It the world where people wear big boy pants, if you want a raise or promotion, you earn it.
Otherwise you end up like Will Ferrel in Stepbrothers.

Recently I found a box of my stuff when I cleaned out my parents house. It had a few dozen of my trophies and ribbons from my high school sports days, mostly in track and field. None of these trophies or ribbons were for general participation. They were all for either 1st or 2nd place finishes, or MVP awards. Maybe I had some ribbons for 3rd place, but I probably tossed them. As others have said, I used the 2nd and 3rd place finishes to motivate myself to do better. I can't count the hundreds of miles I ran in practices and meets over the years to get to the point where my team and I could earn 1st place finishes.

It may sound conceited, but I hung up a bunch of these ribbons in my man cave, because I am proud of my accomplishments. If they were participation ribbons, they would have been thrown away. I can go out and buy that stuff at a party store.....
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

As a young gun, I hear this stuff all the time and frankly, agree with most of it. I'm a capable worker, average student and I'm getting hit with reality that is today's job economy. Although not as hard as I feel some of my more ignorant friends. However, my problem is that no matter how many times I hear that the new generation is lacking real world skills and preparation, be it from politicians or family members, I can only help but feel annoyed that people will complain about it but not fight for a more effective educational system (in the US, at least). If we're so bad, why doesn't anyone try and do something about it? Heck, our schools are so inefficient it's like they're being run by my peers. That is a joke.

Sorry for getting political guys. On another note: I had a fantastic teacher who never spoon fed me anything. I wish he didn't move.
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  #58  
Old 06-10-2013, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CreeplyTuna View Post
I can only help but feel annoyed that people will complain about it but not fight for a more effective educational system (in the US, at least). If we're so bad, why doesn't anyone try and do something about it? Heck, our schools are so inefficient it's like they're being run by my peers. That is a joke.

Sorry for getting political guys. On another note: I had a fantastic teacher who never spoon fed me anything. I wish he didn't move.
I would comment on the school system and what needs to be changed, but it would definitely cross the line into the political realm. So I'll refrain myself....

And by the way, the younger generation does have some "stars" that want to work hard to get ahead. Their parents obviously have not planted a silver spoon firmly in the kid's mouths.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I don't get it. What does this thread have to do with politics?
I wasn't referring to politics per se, more towards the social philosophy that has been expressed in the posts of this thread. Specifically to the comment that was made earlier blaming political-correctness for this, which in fact is a hallmark of "Conservatism." At least in the USA anyway.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

Unfortuantely, it's just the way our world is becoming (or has become).

I blame it all on "Instant Gratification." Kids get what they want all the time without having to work for it or having to wait for it.

Remember seeing a movie that you really liked when you were a kid - I'm talking pre-80's here. You had to wait something like 4 or 5 years for it to be broadcast on TV. Or mailing away for that stupid whatever-it-is you saw advertised... 4 to 6 weeks, baby, that's of it ever even came.

Everything is at our children's finger tips today.

I teach 6th grade Science and every year I have the kids "write" a series of reports on various subjects like volcanoes, dinosaurs, planets, etc.

"Hey kid, ever hear of a library? It's a place, you know, a building that has thousands upon thousands of books on any subject imaginable. You ought to go there."

Ah, hell no!! Wikipedia is on their stupid phones. They can just sit on their soon-to-be-in-the-future fat asses and get what ever they need (not want) without breaking a sweat.

All of my students are taught about plagiarism, but copy and paste (you know, Ctrl V, Ctrl P) are their best friend.

What really burns me, is when a student turns in a beautiful report that's been plagiarized and they get an F, they have the nerve to question me as to "why" they failed that assignment. I don't answer them, I let them figure it out. a lot of the time, I get parents calling me up to ask why their little precious failed. Hey, FIGURE IT OUT.

Every year at the end of the 2nd semester, we have a grade level awards assembly. Students are given a bunch of silly innocuous certificates. Anyway, the school likes to use a basic template for each "award" and the teacher simply writes in the student's name. I thought this was too much work and thought I could be more efficient so I designed my own template (I used to work a as graphic artist). Everything went very well and the certificates looked really nice and very professional - if i do say so myself . Not like the cheesy templates the other teachers used.

All this work took quite a while, and I was proud of myself for what I accomplished for my students.

I passed out the award certificates, smiled and gave praise.

..... Most of the students threw them in the trash as they left the classroom.

I tried being that teacher who was supposed to give every kid something to bolster their self esteem and what I got in return was a royal F**k you!

Consequently, I haven't done this since. When the kids get their "awards" from their other teachers, they always ask me when I'm going to pass out mine.

I tell them I don't do that.
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  #61  
Old 06-10-2013, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
I wasn't referring to politics per se, more towards the social philosophy that has been expressed in the posts of this thread. Specifically to the comment that was made earlier blaming political-correctness for this, which in fact is a hallmark of "Conservatism." At least in the USA anyway.
Sorry. That would be me. I was using the term "political-correctness" for lack of a better term because that's the exact name of what it is. No one wants to offend anyone, and you don't want to leave anybody out.....that whole paradigm shift in how society works. I believe it's gotten in the way of raising our future generations.

No political rant here.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I don't know about the "because their parents" but I did find for many kids taking lessons, they were indeed involved with different teams/sports/activities and drum lessons were just one of many things they were trying.

When the average kid joins the soccer team at school, most have zero intention of going to be a serious soccer player, or join a professional league. It's generally accepted that the average kid playing school sports is just going to play on the school level, and maybe for fun later on, with only very few taking it beyond the college level.

Yet in music, the expectations seems to be different. A kid taking music lessons is somehow implied that said kid is preparing for a future in music.

(granted, this has nothing to do with the "trophy" discussion).
I'm not sure about your town but any sports league is usually payed for and included in either the residents taxes such as police athletic leagues or funded by a local businesses sponsor

private music lessons are separate and always out of pocket

I for one refuse to take on a student who has no intention of putting in work.
that way the parents are not paying for a baby sitter and I dont have to deal with nonsense

if they choose to go pay someone else to baby sit then more power to them and I don't have to hold anyones hand .
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by jeffwj View Post
"Just give them what they want and your schedule will be full."
I think Jeff about highlighted it all.....

Making a living at education is one of the odd cases where quality does not always lead to success.

If your consumer base has a low value for quality due to diminishing attention span(e.g.) then making a profit must follow the consumer base.

i do not teach...so I am not aware of the trends over the last 20 or so years...and i bet the indications I have experienced that show reduced intellectual discipline of the young is based on limited exposure to them....comments from active teachers would be great!
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  #64  
Old 06-11-2013, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
I'm not sure about your town but any sports league is usually payed for and included in either the residents taxes such as police athletic leagues or funded by a local businesses sponsor

private music lessons are separate and always out of pocket

I for one refuse to take on a student who has no intention of putting in work.
that way the parents are not paying for a baby sitter and I dont have to deal with nonsense

if they choose to go pay someone else to baby sit then more power to them and I don't have to hold anyones hand .
Parents are still often have to pay for uniforms, shoes, protective gear. And wait until your kids are in school and you get hit up with some school fundraiser of one sort or another darn near every week!

Either way, I doubt source of payment factors into the decision making process of the average small child when it comes to which after school activities they engage in will be their primary focus.

Take karate lessons. This is paid for out of pocket and not through other means. The average karate teacher isn't expecting his students to grow into professional fighters. The lessons are for the students to have personal fulfillment. knowledge and skill.

I just find it interesting that so many things a kid might enroll in we (i.e. average person in society) does not expect the average student to do much more with that activity other than participate in it on the school level. Yet, the average music teacher does expect their average student to take music career-worthy seriously. For many kids, music lessons are one of many things they engage in on the journey through childhood.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:34 AM
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Parents are still often have to pay for uniforms, shoes, protective gear. And wait until your kids are in school and you get hit up with some school fundraiser of one sort or another darn near every week!

Either way, I doubt source of payment factors into the decision making process of the average small child when it comes to which after school activities they engage in will be their primary focus.

Take karate lessons. This is paid for out of pocket and not through other means. The average karate teacher isn't expecting his students to grow into professional fighters. The lessons are for the students to have personal fulfillment. knowledge and skill.

I just find it interesting that so many things a kid might enroll in we (i.e. average person in society) does not expect the average student to do much more with that activity other than participate in it on the school level. Yet, the average music teacher does expect their average student to take music career-worthy seriously. For many kids, music lessons are one of many things they engage in on the journey through childhood.
I hear you bro...you are dead on with all of this

I don't teach karate or anything .....but I do teach drums / percussion and I expect full effort form my students at all times .

if I didn't I would be a half ass teacher .......and why add to the pool of the half ass music teacher epidemic that is rampant
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  #66  
Old 06-11-2013, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rz2jRHA9fo
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:56 AM
Anthony Amodeo
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I rest my case
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

Good call Jeff A, and unfortunately society and culture are going that direction. As competition decreases, so does excellence. Here's possibly the worst example: At So-Cal band competitions 1st place is actually 2nd place as they've named the winner "Sweepstakes." Everyone with a placement number one higher can feel better about themselves and impress people. It's like women's dress sizes, my wife was telling me that now a size 0 is actually a size 4 so that everyone can feel better about themselves. Anyway...

After reading a bunch of responses I'm really glad that I don't have to deal with students who aren't in it to win it. I'm very blessed that I can say all of my students search me out and know what they're and are ready to drink the kool-aid. I get to dish out the reality and then show them the fix and take it one logical step at a time to get them where they want to go. There are other teachers who are better suited to teach Johnny the Green Day song (and I'm not knocking that, everyone plays an important role).
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:41 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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I rest my case
....................
+1000 ^ This is so dead on.Minimum effort,maximum praise.

This is why I stepped down from my scoutmaster position into more of a back seat role.

I was getting WAY too much pressure from the troop commitee to make everybody a winner.That's not how life works.We're not giving our kids the tools to deal with real world situations.

Not everybody's a winner.Positive reinforcement should go hand in hand with constructive/negative criticism.

These kids need to learn how to take a negative,and turn it into a positive.........as should their PARENTS.

Steve B
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:15 PM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

I just had the strangest flashback. I was thinking that my parents' generation said almost exactly the same things - same words at times, even - about my generation back in the 70s.

Spoiled. Expect everything on a platter. Lazy. Not prepared to work. Fishing for compliments and expecting praise for mediocrity. Pretty well the same.

Which begs the question, has there really been a steady decline in the western work ethic and character since WWII? Were we really worse people than our parents and now our kids are worse than us? Or do we forget what it's like to be young?

I can't speak for Dad's generation but maybe motivations are probably different today. When I was starting out the stars were people not unlike our own bands, just much better at it. Now the stars are singers with machines. I wonder how many of us would have taken up drums if we were young today?

So I give kudos to any young person taking up an instrument today, delusional or not, for keeping the flame alive a little longer.

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Old 06-11-2013, 03:25 PM
dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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Magnificent!

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+1000 ^ This is so dead on.Minimum effort,maximum praise.

This is why I stepped down from my scoutmaster position into more of a back seat role.

I was getting WAY too much pressure from the troop commitee to make everybody a winner.That's not how life works.We're not giving our kids the tools to deal with real world situations.

Not everybody's a winner.Positive reinforcement should go hand in hand with constructive/negative criticism.

These kids need to learn how to take a negative,and turn it into a positive.........as should their PARENTS.

Steve B
Sad but totally expected.

And these are the same boneheaded parents who live in a neighborhood and let their moronic kids do whatever the heck they please without regard to anyone who lives around them..

When confronted about conduct issues the parents respond with statements such as….

“Kids will be kids….”
“Take the good with the bad. Overall it evens out”
“You don’t like it – why live in a neighborhood”
“Why are you picking on the kids….
“These kids aren’t doing anything wrong, they are just being kids….”

I could go on and on with the statements I’ve heard come from the parents who feel like they and their kids are entitled to do whatever they want and not only say – but truly believe – the crap that comes out of their mouths.

So why shouldn't their "Little Johnny" and / or "Snowflake" get recognized for doing nothing. They are entitled to it because their kids...... Backasswards mentality to life.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

I was thinking a little about this thread last night, and I came upon a thought...dangerous, but I followed that thought to its logical conclusion, and now I want to share.

This is not quite on topic with the OP, but it does deal with everyone getting a trophy, and with the education system itself to some extent....anyway.

I can understand this train of thought, but only in regard to focusing on the strengths of each individual student. It would only be possible through diligence on everyone's part who crosses the path of each child, and can therefore be disregarded as utopian thought, but I am only interested in the theory, so please disregard the inherent difficulty of the proposition.

If the parent(s), teachers, coaches, and mentors of each student were to focus on the individual strengths of that student, and guide them toward their strongest area (while, of course, not neglecting totally the other areas of study), there would be an opportunity for a lot more children to accomplish something that really did deserve rewarding. So, maybe the system has just got the cart before the horse.

If this is the direction that we are heading as a society, where everyone's ego needs to be fostered, then maybe there should be more focus on helping our children towards truly achieving something; and less focus on achievement, itself.

I know that I haven't said anything new in this post, but my point is this:
If we adopt the mindset that, "yes, everyone does deserve a trophy", and we put our efforts into helping to find an area where each person excels, maybe we would come out on top...instead of bringing up generations of pampered, egotistical children that feel that they deserve something for nothing...justifying the reward.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:38 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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I get the bureaucratic nonsense. It exists. And I guess that is what is ultimately aggravating...but there must be someone who thinks that the positive-only reinforcement model of instruction has some merit. Or, maybe not. I guess I just felt like arguing the point ;)
I think that Western culture, in particular the U.S. , tends to worship and glorify winners and discard losers more than any other, given it's imperialist nature and dog-eat-dog mentality. I guess that could be a good thing if you like competition and glorifying dominance.

However, I really don't see how you can "win" in music, since it's art and not a war.

Basically, American culture tends to promote turning everything it can into a competition, popularity contest and money making vehicle, and that's not really what music is about or should be about, jmo.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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I just had the strangest flashback. I was thinking that my parents' generation said almost exactly the same things - same words at times, even - about my generation back in the 70s.

Spoiled. Expect everything on a platter. Lazy. Not prepared to work. Fishing for compliments and expecting praise for mediocrity. Pretty well the same.

Which begs the question, has there really been a steady decline in the western work ethic and character since WWII? Were we really worse people than our parents and now our kids are worse than us? Or do we forget what it's like to be young?
First of all, Jeremy Bender was exactly right, this is largely about politics.

It's an interesting question. That's what generation gaps are all about, I suppose; different ideas about what a work ethic is.

I'm using the U.S. as my barometer because that's where I live. But people aren't working less hours. There is the so-called "leisure gap," which describes how skilled workers are working more hours and less-skilled labor is working less, on average, than 30 or 40 years ago. Of course, we've outsourced a lot of factory jobs, so that's part of it. But overall, I don't think a sweeping comment like, "we're lazier" is necessarily accurate.

What I do think has a significant effect is the shift in what people do with their time. Music is an art form that's been around a long time. But there are new ways young people can express their creativity. I wonder sometimes if we aren't losing potentially great musicians to other creative outlets. Look at computer science, for instance. Some of our most creative people work in that field, building our smartphones and such. I mean, even internet memes are an expression of creativity that anyone can be part of.

So while we all fell in love with music when it was THE thing to do and get respect and attention for, it may be that young people see other things they'd like to do and music has more competition than it did 50 years ago.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:01 PM
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Basically, American culture tends to promote turning everything it can into a competition, popularity contest and money making vehicle, and that's not really what music is about or should be about, jmo.
Great point. I agree. And I think a lot of the "everybody gets a trophy" approach is a reaction to that.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

As they said in the famous movie "fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life". Yet that is what much of society has become. It seems to be that we're working towards the lowest common denominator. Instead of striving to be the best, we have sunk down so as not to make the lowest levels look too bad.

When I talk to an employee about how they have not performed well, the first thing out of their mouth is "yeah, but so-and-so comes in late every day and takes 2-hour lunches....blah....blah....blah...", instead of focusing on what they need to do to improve.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:57 PM
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I believe that was what Anthony was talking about. Teachers can be positive all day long. But for students that don't do any work, those positive vibes only go so far.

(...) What are teachers supposed to say, "Great job considering you didn't practice."?
I guess I'm kind of agnostic on this-- I generally don't give out a lot of praise, but I don't waste a lot of energy getting mad— or give up— if they don't take it as seriously as I do. I do let them know whether what they are doing is going to make them into a good drummer or not, but I don't take it as a waste of my time dealing with them; I just do my work regardless, which is to make them learn the thing I want them to learn by walking them through it. I take it as a challenge to turn them into drummers in spite of themselves, and have had very few students who have turned out to be complete humps, though I've had a lot of people other teachers would've quickly given up on and fired, or just collected the check and phoned in the lesson.

Learning is complicated. Most of it is totally uncontrolled and non-linear— there's an unofficial meta-lesson happening at the same time as the part about how you make a paradiddle, and you don't know what they're going to take away from it, or when. It would be great if every student took full advantage of his or her time with me to actually learn drum stuff, but I think, at minimum, most of these kids benefit from just developing some kind of relationship with an artist.

So, I'm not recognition/reward oriented one way or the other. I don't see teaching as a matter of doing a lesson, then praising the good ones and criticizing or ignoring the bad ones, which seems to be the framework we're dealing with here. And I don't care if the high achievers' glory is lessened by giving out participant ribbons. There are other reasons for doing things (and doing them well) than getting a trophy for it, getting praised for it, or getting highly paid for it; the sooner they have to figure that out, the better, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:14 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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Great point. I agree. And I think a lot of the "everybody gets a trophy" approach is a reaction to that.
I think so, at least to a degree. Given the culture requests we celebrate and crap like American idol ( competition of stupidity and mediocrity), or better yet the status-symbol trophy for important competitions such as the neighborhood's greenest lawn, there must be some natural counter-balance.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:21 PM
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Bad Tempered Clavier Bad Tempered Clavier is offline
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All of my students are taught about plagiarism, but copy and paste (you know, Ctrl V, Ctrl P) are their best friend.
Sorry to be pedantic, but I think you mean CTRL-C (Copy) and CTRL-V (Paste). CTRL-P is Print.

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It's like women's dress sizes [. . .] a size 0 is actually a size 4 so that everyone can feel better about themselves
Although I accept your point, I've never understood how being labelled as "Size Zero" can ever make anyone feel better. One is essentially saying that such a woman is Nothing.

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all of my students search me out [. . .] and are ready to drink the kool-aid
Hang on . . . you mean you give your students cyanide? Isn't that frowned upon?

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Were we really worse people than our parents and now our kids are worse than us? Or do we forget what it's like to be young?
Indeed. To quote The Last Psychiatrist:
"Kids today" may be the Dumbest Generation, but the parents and teachers of the Dumbest Generation are themselves so dumb they not only don't know the information themselves, they don't even know what knowledge exists that is important to pass on [. . .] the Dumbest Generation of Narcissists In The History of The World is not even remotely conscious of their ignorance or their narcissism, and the technology lets them get away with it-- they actually think they think they know, they actually believe they have chosen what they think is important. And they are now parents and teachers and doctors and leaders.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Everybody gets a trophy

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That's some good stuff...thanks.
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