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  • October 22, 2017, 04:22:16 PM

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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1450723 times)

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Elfmama

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 

I do not know how to do algebra.  I will NEVER know how to do algebra. This is because algebra was pure frustration for me.  I would spend over an hour a day as a young teen crying over  my homework, because I did not understand what the teacher wanted.  I could give her the correct answer; I could show her how I arrived at that answer.  But it was marked wrong because I didn't do it the "right" way. 

Because of this, I didn't bother with college, other than a few classes that interested me.  I knew that I could never pass a college math course. 

And THAT is what frustration does for a child.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ceallach

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I think this is a conversation about semantics more than anything else and how we interpret the word "frustrate".    I agree that challenging a child is really important in order for them to grow into a motivated, interesting adult.   Childhood should be peaceful and happy, but not challenge-free, because IMHO a completely mundane childhood results in a boring individual.     The result of challenges will at *times* be frustration and hopefully as parents/adults we can support the children through that.   I personally don't think the goal should ever be to frustrate a child though.    The goal should be to provide them with age appropriate challenges to learn and adapt and grow.   If they get *too* frustrated they will lose motivation so it will have the opposite effect.   But where that line is will vary with each child, and for each different type of challenge/opportunity.   
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Dr. F.

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 

I do not know how to do algebra.  I will NEVER know how to do algebra. This is because algebra was pure frustration for me.  I would spend over an hour a day as a young teen crying over  my homework, because I did not understand what the teacher wanted.  I could give her the correct answer; I could show her how I arrived at that answer.  But it was marked wrong because I didn't do it the "right" way. 

Because of this, I didn't bother with college, other than a few classes that interested me.  I knew that I could never pass a college math course. 

And THAT is what frustration does for a child.

A good teacher is one who turns frustration into challenge. I've done that several times, but I've had my Waterloos, too. A grad student who *could not* picture three-dimensional interactions, despite all of my graphics, etc. simply could not learn molecular biology. I'd never experienced this before and it was frustration on *both* our parts. I wanted sooo bad to explain in a way she could understand, and she wanted to understand, but it just didn't work. Brains can be wired differently, and there's nothing that can be done about it, except to focus on strengths instead of weaknesses.

PastryGoddess

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 

I do not know how to do algebra.  I will NEVER know how to do algebra. This is because algebra was pure frustration for me.  I would spend over an hour a day as a young teen crying over  my homework, because I did not understand what the teacher wanted.  I could give her the correct answer; I could show her how I arrived at that answer.  But it was marked wrong because I didn't do it the "right" way. 

Because of this, I didn't bother with college, other than a few classes that interested me.  I knew that I could never pass a college math course. 

And THAT is what frustration does for a child.

A good teacher is one who turns frustration into challenge. I've done that several times, but I've had my Waterloos, too. A grad student who *could not* picture three-dimensional interactions, despite all of my graphics, etc. simply could not learn molecular biology. I'd never experienced this before and it was frustration on *both* our parts. I wanted sooo bad to explain in a way she could understand, and she wanted to understand, but it just didn't work. Brains can be wired differently, and there's nothing that can be done about it, except to focus on strengths instead of weaknesses.

"I can explain it to you, but I can't make you understand" quoth my 10th grade chemistry teacher. 

Kaymyth

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Perhaps I need to frustrate the mom!

I have had the mom sit in on lessons, and she did yoga poses instead of paying attention!   :o

I have shown her the pages to do, labeled and flagged, color penciled, dated, etc...That is when she says, "Oh, I jsut do not know music at all, so she has to do it all on her own."  child is 7.  I have junior high students with parents that could not tell a quarter note from a quart of milk, but they read the assignment notebook and check the pages and listen to the child play on occasion!

As for reading notes, the G clef/treble clef looks like a weird old fashioned cursive letter G.  It makes contact in four places on one line, the second line up.  This marks the G line.  ANY note, whether a quarter note, half note, etc...on this line, will be a G.

For the bass clef/F clef, that funny large dot that then swirls out like a comma with two smaller dots next to it mark the second line down on the lower stave.  The line it marks is the F line, so any note of any duration on that line will be an F.

There are only seven letters in the music alphabet, so you can count the steps up or down to figure out the rest if you just cannot remember anything else.  Yes, there are sharps and flats, and special markings, and fingerings and vocabulary and all that jazz, but...that will come later.

I have taught beginning piano to dozens of students, for several years.  This ONE student I just have not found the magical key...yet...

(It may very well be the mom- the girl also takes stylized horse riding lessons, and they left the week before spring break to go on a very fancy ski vacation.  Mom did not make it to the Christmas recital because she was hosting a fancy party.  I convinced her to have another family member bring the child to play.   Perhaps it is a case of "poor little rich girl.")
 

Yeah, the kid's not practicing.  It's as simple as that.  Sure, she may take a few minutes every day and poke around and the keys, and Mom calls it "practicing", but it's not.  She's not working on the songs, she's not doing the assignments, and so of course she's not learning anything.

I think it comes down to Mom; Mom won't make Precious work and falls back on the excuse of not understanding anything.  The little girl apparently doesn't have any real motivation to learn (which is amazing in and of itself; back when I was teaching piano lessons, I never had a student who didn't look forward to getting the sticker on their page that showed they had passed it; I never underestimate the power of shiny stickers).  I don't know, I think I'd be to the point where I'd tell mother and child that I knew perfectly well that she wasn't working on her assignments, and if she didn't start putting some effort into it, I wouldn't be teaching her anymore.

RegionMom

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Kaymyth,

Since I teach at/through the school, I get who they give me, and they pay by the semester.

This mom asked a couple of weeks ago if I had a time open for a second weekly lesson.  But the one or two times I might could put her in, was already occupied with other activities.   Mom would not dream of changing anything else in the busy schedule to well-round out her child. 

The girl adores me, and each week earnestly says she will practice.  I also, have the stickers, including a roller pen that rolls out stamps/stickers!

When I have worked as a sub in this girl's classroom,  she is very scattered and always a step behind, chasing rainbows and caterpillars. 

I figure I have one more year before she either really starts to work or will drop piano for other activities. 

I have enough songs in my bag of tricks to make May's spring recital music sound really "full" or difficult, so to the untrained ear, it seems the student is doing well. 

Mostly, it is a lot of repeats, played in different octaves, or one time hands apart, then together, or playing a duet with them, or changing dynamics, etc...

And if the mom comes this time, she will be jsut so happy to hear how well her child is doing!  Never mind that I have three kindergarten students that started after her and are way ahead.  Her child will be "the most beautiful, in the most beautiful dress, with professionally done hair and the cutest little heels!"


Ah well.   I take what I get.  The girl likes coming, and always has a smile for me.  When I see that smile start to fade, then I will have a more serious talk with mom. 

Meanwhile, I found some new exercises and games to try new angles to get her to retain information.  :)  I am not giving up yet!
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

CakeEater

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 


I think I'm using the term 'frustration' differently. I use frustration to mean something that isn't easily understandable. That you don't get immediately and feel annoyed about, probably make a lot of mistakes in before you can really master it.

Not something that is ultimately unlearnable for whatever reason.

I think feeling frustration, and pushing through it, is a really valuable lesson. Not making someone feel frustrated for its own sake, but to give opportunities for learning to work hard to get through a problem.

I taught a young girl who was seriously good at everything. Easily understood classwork, naturally athletic etc. She really wanted to give up learning music because she actually had to practice to master it - she didn't like making mistakes, and found it frustrating that her fingers didn't naturally know exactly what to do on the first, or the second, or the third time through.

I actually excused her from doing homework in exchange for continuing with music, because her mother and I agreed that she needed that lesson in pushing through a frustrating experience. Neither her mother nor I were being cruel.

ladyknight1

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I think this is a conversation about semantics more than anything else and how we interpret the word "frustrate".    I agree that challenging a child is really important in order for them to grow into a motivated, interesting adult.   Childhood should be peaceful and happy, but not challenge-free, because IMHO a completely mundane childhood results in a boring individual.     The result of challenges will at *times* be frustration and hopefully as parents/adults we can support the children through that.   I personally don't think the goal should ever be to frustrate a child though.    The goal should be to provide them with age appropriate challenges to learn and adapt and grow.   If they get *too* frustrated they will lose motivation so it will have the opposite effect.   But where that line is will vary with each child, and for each different type of challenge/opportunity.

Exactly. Many of the posts here that end up in pages of arguments are just differing in terminology.

My DS is very smart. He is almost too smart. I am very grateful for his elementary and middle school gifted studies teachers who challenged him to think about new things and to go farther than what was required to make a good grade. I see the impact that had on him. Now that he is halfway through high school, he challenges himself with AP courses, honors courses and extracurricular activities.

I challenge myself by doing more, and going farther than required in my academic career. It is more rewarding for me.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Margo

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I'd like to see children more dealing with "challenge" than "frustration".

If they face challenges, they learn that things can be overcome. If they're faced with frustration, they learn that there are some things that, no matter how hard they try, they can't do. While this is, in its way, a good lesson of its own, it's not something I would want my children to learn before they learn, "Step 1 Failure, Step 2 - analyse and repeat with corrections, Step X, success!".

This. Making mistakes is normal.  You have to learn from them and adapt. I found that lessons learned the hard way are rarely forgotten.  Of course, I would never compromise a child's safety or health to "life lessons", but consequences for actions (good or bad) are part of life.
But forcing a child to do something purely for the purpose of frustrating her is cruel.  WHY would any loving parent agree to that? 

I do not know how to do algebra.  I will NEVER know how to do algebra. This is because algebra was pure frustration for me.  I would spend over an hour a day as a young teen crying over  my homework, because I did not understand what the teacher wanted.  I could give her the correct answer; I could show her how I arrived at that answer.  But it was marked wrong because I didn't do it the "right" way. 

Because of this, I didn't bother with college, other than a few classes that interested me.  I knew that I could never pass a college math course. 

And THAT is what frustration does for a child.

Just to clarify, the purpose was not to frustrate. The point was to give her things to do which would be challenging.  And it is very frustrating if you suddenly find something difficult, particularly when you have been used to finding pretty much everything easy.

and it is far better to have that experience when you are 9 or 10, and have loving and supportive family round you, than when you are (say) in your first year at University and realise that everyone else on your course was also the top of their class, and that the bar just got a lot higher. I saw a good deal of that when I went to university, and several people did pretty much crash and burn because they were meeting that challenge, and the frustration of finding stuff *hard* at the same time as coping with living away from home etc.

And of course, when you find something dificult and/or frustrating the feeling of achievement when you finally break through and get it to do what you wanted is correspondingly greater.

Ms_Cellany

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My nephew took up go-kart racing in (I think) late middle school. He was upset that he didn't well at first.

His dad phrased it as "Well, it's your rookie season," with an air of  "of course you're not great just now, no one is at first," and that worked great!
Bingle bongle dingle dangle yickity-do yickity-dah ping-pong lippy-toppy too tah.

o_gal

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Could the stories about challenging/frustrating students so they will learn better be moved to a separate thread? They don't seem like impossible patron requests anymore.

Katana_Geldar

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Just saw this, it was a great way to deal with it.

http://notalwaysright.com/fortune-favors-the-foretold/36536

MommyPenguin

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Just saw this, it was a great way to deal with it.

http://notalwaysright.com/fortune-favors-the-foretold/36536

I would have said, "Your future is... you will be buying a book.  An expensive book.  Hey, want me to help you find that?"
Emily is 10 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 8 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 7 years old!  8/10
Megan is 4 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 2 years old!  12/14
Baby Charlie expected 9/17

MissRose

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I was working with a customer who had an unusual issue with her mail program.  We did everything in our power to assist within our guidelines but she could not make it work.  A few others had the same issue in her office.  Her boss came on the phone insisting that it was us, not them, and they were wanting to set up a conference call with the program manufacturer and support (which is not allowed).  Eventually, she decided to call the manufacturer of the program who gave her the runaround.  She apparently called back because she still believed it was us not them even though we offered to test in a different environment to prove all is good here (but she declined that too).  They apparently gave up after spending at least 30 minutes with a supervisor who told them most of the same things me and 2 other people told them to do & what we could/could not do.

Last time I checked we did not make the software and support every aspect of it.....  ::)

pinkflamingo

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I'm not sure this qualifies as a Harry Potter request, because I could have done it even if it wasn't ideal. I had two phone calls today with an entertainingly scatter-brained woman. (Conversations edited slightly for brevity and anonymity purposes)

Her: My clients are looking for similar offices in the area. Is there a way to look that up if I have their addresses?
Me: I'm happy to look that up for you. What's the first address?
Her: Oh, I don't have that. I'd have to call them and ask.
Me: Ok. If you give me your email address, I can send you the link to a website where you can look that up yourself.
Her. Oh, that would be great! My email address is...

(10 minutes later)

Her: Hi! It's me again! I didn't get your email. Could you fax it to me?

Luckily, she realized that she gave me the wrong email address and mentioned a couple of times that she's computer illiterate. Also, she didn't identify herself the second time around, so it's a good thing we aren't that busy today.