Friday Two Cents: Acceptable Loses?




Today I had an interesting conversation with several colleagues. I confided with them that I am finding it difficult to try to reach specific students. I tried different methods but they appear to not work. I also tried asking the students what are some of their own interests to try to reach them on their own level. I implemented their interests in the program and yet they did not even engage in the activates, even though they specifically asked for them.

I am at a point where I have begun to not enjoy being with these students. I mentioned it to some colleagues and they said that they too feel the same way. They said that I should focus on the ones that I can reach and as long as the ones that are not interested are not causing trouble I should let them be. I felt bad at this because I think I may have to do this. I want to help and reach every one of the students and not let them fall through the cracks as it were. However they said that there is only so much you can do and I should put my recourses into the ones that I can reach.
This conversation brought up some of my military thinking about tactical military strategy. Standard tactical military strategy states that a 20% lose rate is considered to be acceptable. This is exactly what is happening in my situation. It is not as high as 20% more like 10% but even that 10% makes me feel sad. I truly am trying to reach them and after reorganizing the group I think I can reach some more. Yet I fear that I have not done enough for those few.
No everyone pays attention.

Not everyone pays attention.

Perhaps that is why I am not enjoying my time with those students. No matter what I do they will be part of that 20% of acceptable loses.   I guess all I can do is push forward and try to minimize the number of loses. I will continue to work with all the students and put my effort into the 90% that is working and hope that the 10% will come around. Yet I fear that in the end there will be a few acceptable loses.

2 Responses to Friday Two Cents: Acceptable Loses?

  1. Mama Cormier says:

    Paul I’m assuming you’re talking about your students in the after school program. Focus on those who want to learn from you. You also have to remember that for some of those students it’s been a very long day. By the time they get into grades four and five many don’t want to be in the program anymore and too many kids are over programmed these days. They are not allowed to sit around and be bored or just do nothing. Don’t despair.

    • Paul Gauchi says:

      Yes you are right. Their day is a long one and I tried letting them do whatever they wanted, freedom to choice, yet I spent most of my efforts putting out fires and dealing with inappropriate behaviour. The phrase “idle hands is the Devil’s playground” best describes them. I’m hoping the situation and them will get better with the warmer weather and when I start baseball season. The eternal optimist.

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