Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MollieDuke

Attitudes and changes--is it just in my neck of the woods?

Recommended Posts

I've worked in Scouting over 20 years. In that time, both in Scouting and in school, I see changes I don't like. Most of these involve attitude of both parents and boys. Now, I'm wondering if it's prevalent or just locality. Please address these based on your locality as I'm curious about what's going on in cities, rural areas, central US, Western Seaboard, etc.

 

My experience I wish to discuss is purely those boys who believe it's ok to quit school at 16 and test for the GED (which they believe stands for "good enough diploma"--no kidding). They feel that No Child Left Behind means they are "entitled" to a diploma just from attending school (no work required). They tell me that they "deserve" to advance in scouting because they "attend" (which sometimes means once every quarter at least). Then, on the flip side, I have those boys whose parents are pushing their sons through both school and Scouts by being obnoxious or pushy, or occasionally downright lying about what their boy does and blaming the school/scout leaders if their little darling isn't number ONE all the time.

 

Now, I work both in schools and scouting and realize there are those wonderful kids, wonderful parents, and those doing it well and correctly. I just want to discuss those listed above to see if it's just my very isolated, rural area that is producing all this above or is it pervasive across the US as more of a movement.

 

Example: One of my "boys" in scouting does nothing at school or scouts using ADHD as his "excuse". He says he can't concentrate long enough to do anything d/t his "disability". YET, he can tell me his highest HALO score, how long he sat at one time to gain said score, and how many times a day he plays it. Sounds like a dichotomy to me. I asked him one time if he were more interested in school/scouts as in HALO could he do better and he truthfully said "No. I just don't want to do that stuff, and I DO want to do HALO." I guess that's the attitude I'm concerned about. The "I don't choose to XXX" and you'd best make it ok for me to have this attitude.

 

Anyone else there having similar experience and your efforts to change it are appreciated. I'm trying to really understand this so I can begin to work with it both at school and scouts.

 

Thanks, adn remember to include your basic geographic area in your response. I'm just curious.

 

MollieD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, sure, MollieDuke. That attitude is out here, eh (North Coast/upper midwest rural/small city)! On da kid side I don't see it as a big change. Glad in some ways that they're goin' for their GED rather than just droppin' out. Lots of kids do the GED then part time Community College route, which seems more like "strategy" than anything (get an Associate's Degree two years early, make more money). There's some kids who can do 13 years plus 4 straight through. I think a lot benefit from workin' along the way, time off, etc. 5 year undergrad degrees are becomin' a norm, too.

 

The one that I think is new, and is everywhere, is the enabling parent. Parents who search for ADHD diagnoses to get their kid the "perqs". Parents pushin' their kids through school and scouts and sports by haranguing the teachers/SM/coaches. Used to be nobody read the school handbook, eh? What da teacher said was law. If the teacher called home, Life As You Knew It would end. ;) Now both the kids and parents read the handbooks lookin' for all the loopholes they can exploit. Just like Advancement Requirements, eh? :(

 

Most popular reason to sue a school in most states is athletic eligibility, varsity letters, and who gets to be valedictorian. Some schools are even droppin' valedictorian, the way Eamonn wants to drop Advancement ;). Often school or scouts is da first time the kids run into an adult who says "No."

 

Beavah

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We live and scout in a neighborhood where most parents are college graduates and most boys are expected to attend at a minimun 4 years of college.

 

We have boys who try to get away with not doing homework or just being lazy but typically the parents I deal with do not allow that for long. The leaders in my troop regularly hold skills checks and we expect the scouts to actually perform the skill. If not, they get tested again.

 

I think part of the teenage shock is that up until that time, Mom & Dad provided everything. Starting around the teenage years, parents tend to encourage/force teens to pay for their own entertainment, fuel & insurance for the car, the brand name vs. generic clothes, etc. Teenagers often are under the wrong impression that the world owes them all the niceities and perks. It can be a rude awakening when they find out they actually have to work and think and do on their own.

 

We live in Raleigh North Carolina, home of Research Triangle Park. Most of the jobs in this area are technology (IT) or medical research related. Most of those jobs require degrees and advanced degrees. People who have multiple degrees understand the cost and the benefit. Thier offspring are expected to be intelligent and motivated. If the offspring are not, then they get speicalized training and attention to make sure they become the best they can be. GED's are unacceptable.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to include my own basic geographic area which is very southern Ohio/northern KY area. I am moving soon, though, which is why I thought to include basic geographic area. I will be writing things for youth from all areas, and was curious as to what others' experiences were and where. Thanks to those who pointed that out to me. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Southern Missouri chiming in.

Yes, I have the same experience. Including one prospective Eagle candidate who is certain that he can slide everything(each thing remaining to be done) in just behind the deadline and still be awarded his Eagle.

 

Methinks he will be shocked when what he has been advised will happen happens.

 

However, the kids I have run into who think they can get away without performing are amazing learners once they realize that I will hold the line and not pass a skill test until they can actually perform the skill. Or they get further and further behind when they don't "get" that I'm not going to give the store away.

 

Which is a bit of a concern because there is an older and more recognized Troop around which produces a lot of Scouts who are awarded Eagles. So the question often becomes do we want real Eagles from those who achieve it or do our parents want an Eagle Academy - the market will decide. In the mean time we are communicating our vision and holding the line with the Scouts we have. And trying to make Scouting about Scouting and not an Eagle seminar.

 

Now I am also pursuing my B.S. degree AND also work at a University. The students here are often not much better. The whole worlds activities are all about the student and if they inconvenience you; well that is just to be expected because you and the rest of the world are there to serve them. It used to be that you would see one or two of these students each semester - the number is growing and quickly.

 

So I would say no, it's not just in your area.

 

On the other hand, not every ADD or ADHD diagnosis is spurious. Our son was diagnosed at seven and treated and reared. We have always held the line on behavior - nervous energy, poor concentration are one thing, bad or mean or inconsiderate behavior are an entirely different thing. At thirteen he is off his meds. and doing typical A&B work.

With the B's usually caused by what we are finding from other parents to be typical 13 year old "I did the work, it's in my locker, I'll turn it in tomorrow, I'm sorry, I just forgot it" when we see or inquire about a grade check.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live 55 miles west of Chicago. I have not seen the issue here of many 16 year old quiting school and getting a GED. But I just read the drop out rate of the local schools and I was surprised that it was around 10 percent.

I have seen many scouts come into the troop and have seen the parents expecting them to get advancement for just being there. Most of these scouts drop out in the first year. Some stay on and it is really enjoyable watching these scouts figure it out that they need to do the work and they do it. It is amazed how much they grow. To bad their parents never seem to figure it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in the South, the GED is almost unheard of. Most all of the children go to school and nearly all who enter high school successfully complete it. And of those, thanks to the lottery, most also complete college.

Oops, I was dreaming. As Willie Wonka says, "scratch that, reverse it.";)

Except the lottery part which has resulted in some high school grade inflation. And then we (at the college level) get the dirty work of weeding out those who really are unprepared. Oh well, it's the American education system....love it or leave it.:)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our area is probably classified as upper middle class. Most parents (both) are degree'd if not multiple degrees. I think this sets an expectation with the youth that HS degree is not optional. I'd say that HS graduation rate must be up near 95%. Most go on to college or military career.

 

But, my nephew who grew up in the next county, did exactly as you describe. Lost interest in HS, dropped out, worked at a restaurant while getting his GED. First one in the family to go that route. He is now 24 and working construction. Regrets his path, but is trying to work on a degree at night.

 

His sister was a star student, valedictorian, went on to get her degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend from college who teaches in WV and was sharing with him this thread. He said that in a recent piece of literature they were discussing at his school, approximately 16% of WV students graduate from college straight from High School with their 4 year degree. Even assuming this percentage could be slightly flawed, the statistics seem quite low to me. I know that in some urban areas, the graduation rate is approximately 80% from high school, and in our area it is said to be approx. 92%. Makes me wonder why the laziness of students.

 

Hearing these comments, though, has made me realize that it is NOT pervasive and that I DO need to stick to my guns on making sure each boy actually does the work. I had no doubt on that last part, however.

 

I am glad that there are sections of the country where students are not wishing for a free ride and that they are learning to study and learn instead of how to get around the system. Restores my faith.

 

Thanks to all that responded and keep 'em coming if you like. I find this terribly interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My area is fairly affluent, with most students going on to college. Most of the state has a pretty high drop out rate. Most counties now have Adult Learning Centers, teaching GED courses and ESOL.

As for HALO, that is just poor parenting. My son would play it 24/7 if he could, but he is only allowed to play X-Box or other electronic games on weekends (after homework is completed), and only when he maintains straight A's. It is a privilege he has to earn. He has had all A's except for one B in Science (88.6 avg) for most of this semester, but he finally pulled it up a 90.96. He is flirting with a B in German, but has managed to stay on the up side of that fine line. If I didn't make him earn the electronics, I am sure he would have a mid-level B in both Science and German, instead of A's. So, whereas other parents curse X-Box and Gameboy, I love them! They are a great carrot for my son!

Our school system uses SmartWeb, so I can see my son's grades from each day before he gets home. I can see every grade he has, as well as the class average. Pretty cool system, which should keep parents from getting any surprises at the end of a semester. Of course, the parents have to be interested and involved in their kid's lives and work to take advantage of it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hilariously, Smart web is being implemented here but not for MYP or AP students.

I hope they decide to do it for all of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Our school system uses SmartWeb, so I can see my son's grades from each day before he gets home. I can see every grade he has, as well as the class average. Pretty cool system, which should keep parents from getting any surprises at the end of a semester."

 

Yeah, I like this system too. But it only works for families who 1) care about academics, hat's off to Brent, and 2) families who are fully web connected. But the the 'caring' part is the critical element, I think. And I believe that systems like Smartweb can help support but not substitute for parents who really care about the education of their children and take an active role.

 

The 'big brother' aspect is also interesting though. I wonder if it engenders an acceptance of such 'oversight' or else a resentment to it? Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...