The Dangers of Too Much – Teacher’s Corner


Teacher’s Corner
Students may think, act, and say they want to be the center of the universe and be taken care of – but when they are treated this way they are in danger of not being happy, healthy, or successful students. And, in danger of not being happy, healthy, or successful adults either.
When students are given too much stuff or too much freedom or have too much done for them, they often grow to worry about whether someone will always be there to take care of them. Students who are given too much stuff, too much freedom, and too little responsibility often grow to worry about whether someone will always be there to take care of them. They worry about whether they will be able to take care of themselves as they grow older.
These students can have trouble finding things about themselves that they can be proud of. They can have real trouble being satisfied with what they have and find themselves always chasing after more and more. They are never satisfied. They can spend a lifetime looking for happiness and ending up just confused about why they can’t find it.
How can teachers and other adults steer them away from these dangers?
Make sure they are learning:
  • To do things that can help them become more and more independent (everything from dressing themselves as young children to packing a school lunch and meeting homework responsibilities)
  • What the school rules are
  • What the consequences are for not following the school rules
  • How they can make up for things they do wrong
  • How they can get back into good graces when they mess up
After the prompts we have included suggestions regarding ways to use this blog in your classroom and why this blog can be a useful tool in your classroom.  So, get your students to think, pair, and share and see what develops.
The following are writing prompts and discussion topics you can use with your students about having too much.
  1. Do you think kids your age know what the school rules are? Give evidence for your answer – describe exactly what you have noticed that makes you say yes or no.
  2. Do you think kids your age understand what will happen if school rules are NOT followed? Give evidence for your answer – describe exactly what you have noticed that makes you say yes or no.
  3. Do you think when school rules are NOT followed that the consequences are always applied? Give evidence for your answer – describe exactly what you have noticed that makes you say yes or no.
  4. Do you think it is good for kids to know they can make up for their mistakes? Why or why not?
  5. What are two ways that teachers and other adults can help students make up for their mistakes (for example, when a student gets into a fight with another student or makes mistakes in their schoolwork)?
NOTE: If you prefer that students not be required to write about or discuss themselves, suggest they respond to the prompts by talking about their experiences with friends or relatives instead of themselves.
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
  1. For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
    • Use the blog for discussion topics
    • Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
  2. For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
  • Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
  • Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
  • Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
  • What would be your advice on this topic?
  • What was left out of this article?
  • If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
  • Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
  • Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
  • The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.

What do you think?

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