How to Encourage a Reluctant Student

Oct 6, 2022

Encouraging Reluctant Students by Tom Cox at The Heights Forum. [O]ne of the most important motivational factors in helping a student see why he should care about Latin is to show him first that I care about him. Not his grade or performance or even abstractions like his character or vocation. The student in front of me. Do I ask about his games and practices? Do I know how many siblings he has? Is there anything he’s so passionate about he’s trying to teach himself? Each of these and many more questions won’t just reveal quirks or fun facts about my students, they’ll show them that I see Latin as one aspect of their development and education, but that I’m interested in their complete development and education. Read

Parents Don't Want Sexually Explicit Material in Schools by Tom Joyce at Washington Examiner. A new Rasmussen poll found that 89% of U.S. voters say it's important for schools to inform them of what their children are learning. Also, strong majorities don't want obscene materials in these schools. The poll found strong opposition among voters to "books containing explicit sexual depictions of sex acts" in public school libraries. It found that 69% oppose these books being present in high school libraries, 79% oppose them in middle school libraries, and 85% oppose them in elementary school libraries. Read

Parents, Librarians Spar Over Students’ Library Books. Parents vs. Librarians: A Problem of Protecting Childhood Innocence or Banning Books? by Joan Frawley Desmond at National Catholic Register. “The premise that reading something is better than nothing is flawed,” Mary Pat Donoghue, executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the Register. “If you feed on garbage food you get bad health outcomes. If you feed on garbage books you are infecting your soul. “Jesus says we become what we behold,” she added, noting that parents, teachers and librarians need to take the time to find books that enthrall children and stir their moral imagination. Read

Shakespeare’s Relevance in Today’s World by Donald DeMarco at National Catholic Register. In our topsy-turvy world, where Catholic churches are being vandalized while the omnipresent “Pride” flag flaps in the breeze, honored and unharmed, it is not surprising that strange things are brewing in the field of education. And indeed they are. The cry has gone out for new writers who are relevant to our time and to dispatch certain writers of the past. Be more “inclusive” is the current mantra. And so, William Shakespeare, not to be numbered among those to be included, should be excluded. It makes no sense, but reason has been dethroned. Read

Federal Court Rules for Catholic School That Fired Teacher in Same-Sex Union by Caroline Downey at National Review. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis and its schools can select, retain, or dismiss faculty according to their religious standards, Judge Richard Young decided in Fitzgerald v. Roncalli High School and Archdiocese of Indianapolis…. “The Supreme Court has long recognized that religious organizations have a constitutional right to hire individuals who believe in their faith’s ideals and are committed to their religious mission,” Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the defendants, said in a press release. “This is a common-sense ruling: Catholic schools exist to pass on the Catholic faith to their students; to do that, they need freedom to ask Catholic educators to uphold Catholic values.” Read

California School District Promoted ‘Guidebook’ to Help Teachers Hide Students’ Gender Transitions from Parents by Reagan Reese at The Stream. San Francisco Unified School District used a “LGBTQ Student Services” guidebook to advise educators on how to avoid outing students’ gender transitions to their parents by concealing their gender identity at school, according to school documents.... The guidelines given to educators explain that “LGBTQ students have a right to privacy” and that it is imperative to keep their sexual orientation and gender identity “confidential.” The student is in charge of who his gender identity is shared with and educators were told to consult with the student on who they can tell about the student’s identity, according to the documents. Read

'Even in Wild Wyoming': Parent Group Rips School District for Secret Gender Transitions by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. A parent activist organization blasted officials in the rural Wyoming school district of Sweetwater County after the school board defended its policy of hiding student gender transitions from parents and claimed that misgendering someone is sexual harassment…. The school district, located in southwestern Wyoming, counts 20 schools in its jurisdiction and a student population of 5,141. Read

Vermont High School Under Fire as Girls, Parents Push Back Against Biologically Male Trans Student Using Female Locker Room by Mary Margaret Olohan at The Daily Signal. Two Vermont high school girls did what few of their peers have dared: When a biological boy who identifies as a transgender girl entered their locker room, they asked that student to leave. The Randolph, Vermont-based Randolph Union High School told the community in a Sept. 23 email that it is “launching a harassment investigation” —apparently into the girls’ conduct rather than the 14-year-old trans-identify student’s behavior, parents suggested. “We allowed a child who is biologically the opposite sex, male, go in a locker room where biologically girls were getting fully changed,” one of the girls’ mothers told The Daily Signal. “The biological child was not changing and sat in the back and watched girls getting changed. That made girls feel uncomfortable, made girls feel violated and not protected.” Read

White House Pushing to Increase Funding for School Model Tied to Critical Race Theory by Jack Birle at Washington Examiner. The 2023 budget states that "full service community schools" are slated to receive an increase of $30 million in funding from the 2022 budget.... The page on the coalition's website promoting the NGC also includes links to a workshop discussing "power, privilege, and intersectionality," along with a link to an "anti-racist toolkit," which includes a petition to "defund the Atlanta Police Department," encourages individuals to follow critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi, and recommends the 1619 project as reading. In its explanation of the concept in the 2023 fiscal year budget proposal, the White House says that "community schools play a critical role in providing comprehensive wrap-around services to students and their families, from afterschool to adult education opportunities, and health and nutrition services." Read

Throwback Thursday

To Lead a Child: On Reclaiming a Human Pedagogy by Elisabeth Sullivan at Humanum in 2019. [T]oday’s dominant educational system, ordered toward the merely pragmatic and utilitarian ends of “college and career readiness,” has no use for wonder or wisdom. We see its consequences in the weary apathy of students who repeatedly ask, “Is this going to be on the test?” When only that which can be quantified or graded is valued, all else falls away. The factory model of teaching and learning is manufacturing the malaise, anxiety, and even despair that burden so many of the young by depriving them of the two elements their innate sense of wonder seeks to find: the meaning and purpose of things. Read