I came across an interesting article yesterday at the NY Times website (link) that sounded so familiar to me - as I'm sure it will to the rest of you teachers out there; but I wonder if those of you who parent boys won't find it to ring true also.
One of the major challenges that I have working with my college-age male students is a lack of organizational and study skills. I saw the same in the few years I spent teaching elementary and high-school boys. The article talks about the need for these kids to visit tutors in order to learn those skills, which, let's face it, are so basic to success in school that I wonder why they're not ever taught as part of the regular curriculum.
Teaching kids how to learn seems so... basic; yet the assumption is that kids just know how to do those things that make success at it possible. That I or any other college professor should need to spend time, week after week, showing the same boys how to organize a binder or how to keep a record of when assignments are due - how silly, I think, considering all the *more important* stuff that schools are so focused on.
The funny thing is that I'm not a very good role model for the type of behavior I teach and my students sometimes see it. Too often they get a peak into my messy school bag filled with last semester's final exams, grocery store receipts and that great new poetry book I picked up weeks ago and then immediately misplaced.
Do as I say, not as I do - right? Thank God no one ever sees the state of my desk here at home - the piles of bills mixed with the piles of books and the blotter still stuck in April of 2007 covered with fragments and whispers and book titles and phone numbers important enough that I won't turn the page.
Anyone willing to fess up along with me to being a disorganized girl?
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