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Mysterious Teaching

Insights behind the perils of being a teacher

Why aren't we retaining them?

I know all the statistics about retention.  You don't have to send me anything.  However, when do we hold them accountable?  When do we finally say, well, you should have done your work in class...  Why do we NOT retain them if they are not contributing to their own education?  Why aren't they willing to learn?

How have we, as a society, gone so far into the mire of research that we don't even use common sense anymore.  We let people, who have never taught in an elementary school, tell us what is right and wrong?  Who ARE  these people?

I need to retain a student this year.  It doesn't happen often but it does happen occasionally.  I believe this is my second retention in 25 years.  I need to retain him because he is manipulating the heck out of everyone!  He refuses to do his math or writing.  I mean, he absolutely refuses.  He has had really adequate grades all these years.  I know he has been a behavior problem.  He is not ED either.  He is just coniving and manipulating.  He wants what he wants and no one else matters.  His Mom is having a fit because I am retaining him.  Now we are testing him for learning disabilities.  Really?  He has learned all these years with good grades.  NOW he is disabled?

This child has had behavior issues since kinder.  I have heard all the stories all these years.  I knew I would end up with him when we changed principals.  I did.  The difference this year is that I am trying to hold him accountable.  I am trying to make sure he knows that he isn't in control.  His mom has fought with me the whole way.  I even avoid her whenever I can now.  I am going to have to retain him.  She is probably going to put him in a different school too.  Still, his record will follow him.  At least I have backing from the top on this.  Just not from the resource or Phych people.  (Oooh, poor baby, she is so mean.)

Published Wednesday, April 04, 2012 1:12 PM by MysteryTeacher

jonnyk981 said:

Here I sit asking myself the exact same question, "Why aren't we retaining them?"  There is definitely a lot of research that says why we should not retain and in looking at some of the students that have been retained at my school recently, I can't say that it has caused any dramatic positive change for them academically or socially.  However, I work with students in fourth and fifth grades and think if student were held back in first and second grade that it could have more positive outcomes than waiting until the end of their elementary school years.  As someone who repeated first grade myself, I definitely can see the positive outcomes that happened as a result.  

April 4, 2012 10:26 PM

crazedmummy said:

No, the research says that retaining a student does not, on average, help that student. Of course, moving the student on does not help that student either. It does say that removing disruptive students improves everybody else. So the student is on a failure path no matter what, but retaining might make things better for 29 other students. Remember that 25% of students in the USA aren't graduating high school, and you can see that retaining one student makes not a whit of difference in the grand scheme of things.

April 5, 2012 5:24 PM

MysteryTeacher said:

The student I want to retain is a problem because his mother is a problem.  If he doesn't want to do something at  home, he just refuses and gets away with it.  Since she is our secretary, I suppose he feels the same way about refusing to do things at school.Therefore, he has lost an entire year's worth of knowledge because he has refused to pay attention and do his work.  He needs consequences.  I am not talking about after school detention, (which is what he gets)  I am talking about holding him responsible and not passing him on because he refused to do his work.  His mom is working like crazy to get support for not retaining him.  She has the sped teachers and the school psych backing her up.  But, I have the principal and school board on my side.  This is going to be a battle.  Whatever happens, this kid is not going to be a success until his mother gets out of his school and lets him suffer the consequences for a while.  Oh, he is not sped (yet) but Mom is working hard to get him in there because of his behavior.  She says it has changed.  It hasn't.  He is exactly the same since kinder.

April 11, 2012 1:11 PM
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About MysteryTeacher

I am a wild, whacky, weird, wonderful woman and teacher. I am venturing into a previous life by teaching ELL this fall. I use to teach ESL years ago. I am excited, empowered, and employed. I love life.