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I'm a student at University of South Alabama Majoring in Health Education.

Monday, April 19, 2010

EDM Blog #14

To Praise or Not to Praise...

On a whole, EDM 310 has been a good experience for me. I know that there were complaints about the class being too challenging and the workload being too heavy. I kind of wonder if these complaints were mainly coming from a generation of people who have been showered with awards throughout their lives in spite of doing very little. It is almost that they need or want praise and awards for doing the most basic things that one should do to be successful; like showing up for class or completing an assignment on time. I also wonder if these complaints are coming from people who don't really understand that EDM 310 is a 300 level class (even though it's in the name and is located right next to EDM). If one sings up for a 300 level class that means that they should be prepared to meet the challenges of a mid to upper level college course. I know that college can be overwhelming and stressful but this will be a cakewalk compared to some of the days you will experience in your future classroom.

I see my self agreeing with them and disagreeing with them at the same time. I agree with this group because the workload seemed a little heavy. However, it was work that had meaning. If it were meaningless busy work that you gained nothing from then it would be a different story. I was able gain a tool from every assignment that I will be able to use either in my future classroom, my current classes here at South or in everyday life. I don't feel intimidated by technology any more, I used feel indifferent towards it but now I have a new found appreciation for it. Now, I finally feel prepared to teach in tomorrow's classrooms, that is if my skills wont be outdated by the time I graduate. I really don't think that any of this would be possible without my EDM 310 experience.

I'll end my post with some questions for you all to ponder... How will we as teachers find balance between too much praise and too little in our classrooms? What is a good meter for this? Praise has it's place and recognition should not be abolished what-so-ever (I myself am a huge fan of praise and practice it often). However, where do we draw the line in order to not create students with ungodly senses of entitlement and lousy work ethics? I think that good work and effort should be recognized but do you feel that sometimes we have taken it (praise & awards) a little far? I know that good teachers already know how do do this, how do you do it or how do you plan on doing this in your future classroom?

Comments 4 Kids

This past week I got to comment on Tau's blog. Tau is from New Zealand and put together a great animated presentation on the history of her country. She put together her own drawings and animated them, she also used old photographs in her presentation. It looked as though she put a lot of hard work into it and I really enjoyed the fact that she used so many different mediums throughout her presentation. You can visit Tau's presentation by clicking the link below.

Visit Tau's Classroom Blog Here

Comments 4 Teachers...Dangerously Irrelevant

For this assignment I got to follow Dr. Scott McLeod's blog entitled "Dangerously Irrelevant". I read his post on Tenure and how some schools want to abolish this policy. From reading the post and the comments about this topic from educators around the nation I realized that tenure is a double edged sword. It is a double edged sword because many stated that it helps teachers of low quality keep their jobs. However, on the other hand it helps protect deserving, hardworking teachers from losing their jobs. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue. If you would like to read this post to determine your opinion about tenure click this link Dangerously Irrelevant

I loved this blog because Dr. McLeod always says what people want to say but never do in fear of offending someone. He presented at a conference at the American School in Bombay and continued to "keep it real". One teacher was a little upset about the fact that Dr. McLeod was not recognizing the fact that the teachers who were at the conference represented schools that were far more technologically advanced than other schools. McLeod really didn't like this comment and put the person in their place to say the least. He challenged them to do a better job at implementing technology with all of the resources that they have at their finger tips. In my opinion this teacher that made this comment represents a school that has many more resources that those other schools that he or she was claiming to be beating in the technology race. You can view his response to this comment and listen to his presentation at Dangerously Irrelevant.


  1. My great comment just disappeared into the ether. Technology! The comments about meaningless praise reminds me of a movie I wa in.

    Excellent post. Thoughtful, challenging, filled with meaning. Thank you.

    You understandvthe befenits of comments4kids - to the stunts, teachers and to you!

  2. How to find balance between too much praise and too little in our classrooms? This is a question I have thought about and the answer is not so easy in my opinion.

    I have a strong belief in working for what you have. This is a platform that I hope to successfully serve in my classroom. Along the way, the students will need to be encouraged, and praise is only one way to do that. Giving it away, though, will devalue praise. The kids are so aware of what their friends are "getting" versus what they are "getting" that if you are not consistent, they will definitely notice and let you know about it. I also find it interesting how students are very aware, and I've seen groups, of when those that haven't earned are rewarded.

    The balance is delicate, and consistency is key. Today, before I even have one minute of being in charge of a classroom, I'll tell you what I will do in the future. I really plan to not give things as rewards. Since I will be in grades 6-8 or 9-12, I would like to use recognition and special privileges as incentives and praise. For instance, I hope to have a wall of fame to display successful works. It's black and white - they will know the criteria to make the wall. Maybe they lead the class in some aspect as a special privilege. For those who just don't have the talent to make the wall, but do try or work hard, I will need to figure out something that will work for them. I don't plan to lower standards, but to find some ways to give all an opportunity to EARN their way to fame. I don't think I will have a recipe, as the personalities, motivations, and talents will vary from class to class, year to year, and student to student.

    So, in summary, earning that praise and recognition will be well advertised. I do this with my second grade scouts. They know that they are the ones that earn the rewards, and that their leader doesn't give it away. They've known this since kindergarten. Their sense of pride and ownership is amazing. They know they are special, they get "good jobs" and know when those happen, it's becuase THEY did it.

    That is what I want the 11-18 year olds to learn. Earning "it" is in their hands, and I am here, with other support adults, to help them. It's them that makes it happen, a very valuable life lesson.

    I would LOVE to hear any counterpoints or alternative perspectives, as I contemplate this often. I appreciate that Poppy brought this up, because it is so critical to successful teaching and learning. Thanks Poppy!

  3. Well, maybe I'll get it correct on my 3rd try.= (see above).

    Excellent post. Thoughtful, challenging, filled with meaning. Thank you.

    You understand the befenits of comments4kids - to the students, teachers and to you!

    And Jackie - your comment adds so much also. Thanks to you as well!