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NAU ESE 625 - Study Notes

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26Fear of failureEvidence that fear of failure is an issue: Student is likely to be cheating by copying others' work. Self-apology often is threaded through conversations. "This is probably wrong, but ..." Student gets angry when asked to do something unfamiliar or unexpected. Stomach aches and headaches often signal a rise in anxiety. Student may purposefully give the wrong answer or do a bad job. Guessing that is off-handed rather than trying to get the right answer. No effort to do the work.Self-handicapping is common -- student forgets book, book bag, pen, gets in a big argument that upsets them so much they don't sleep that night, can't focus on the exam or eyes are too swollen to pay attention, so there is a built in excuse. Use of substances is common -- getting drunk and hung over, the day before the big test or smoking marijuana to take away the pressure to study and succeed.Ever try playing a video game? The best ones provide a learning curve that allows a player to advance and learn the game by playing. If a game does not do that, if the curve is too steep or it isn't intuitive enough for the player, then it isn't worth the quarter to keep trying. How about fixing something in the house or making a recipe.Don't you get someone to help or stop trying to do it alone if it keeps eluding you?We love to feel successful, to do things that give us a sense of satisfaction. Yes, sometimes we compare ourselves to others and want to compete, but what we really want is to feel good about our efforts and given a choice, we will use our free time to do things that work for us.Solutions• Use a placement test to establish the working expertise of the student.• Safety is the key, here. When a student feels that success is possible, when trying has the potential for success, the student will work, and work hard. After all, we all love to feel competent.• Motivation has a curvilinear relationship with difficulty. If a task is too simple, students will not give their best energy to the work. However, there is a dramatic dip in motivation when tasks become too hard. Most of us will stop trying to do things that thwart our efforts, that we cannot understand or that seems too difficult.• Ask students to let you know when something is too difficult. Establish a support system to help them find a place where they can start and feel successful.• Change grading systems to mastery, at least for the students who are overwhelmed by the typical tasks. Instead set up a non-competitive situation where the student moves sequentially through tasks and gets credit for accomplishment rather than being compared to peers. • One step at a time still gets the work accomplished. It is surprising how useful it is to give a student just a bit of a challenge each day, to prevent the total failure and see how the student will keep working.• Remember that there are many ways to learn, not just the linear, read a book, answer questions, take notes, way.• Expect the student to reach areas where they go rapidly and make up for some time when it felt like crawling.• During each day, provide opportunities that are the student's strength so s/he can feel hopeful and competent.27Self esteemEvidence that internal messages is an issue: Student is likely to contradict compliments. Dressing may change to get attention, or may wear a coat all the time to hide self. Student may refuse to stand in front of the class or do group reports. Student may be unable to be wrong, regardless of what it takes to save face, including showing undue sensitivity to criticism or posing as egotistical when approached. Every question is answered by the student, calling out, regardless of request to take turns. Change in group identification, looking for a way to belong and be accepted. The teacher's pet is almost always a person with low esteem. Ingratiating comments and profuse thanking for teachers performing normal activities to be supportive of students. Frantic, angry or defensive when error is discovered or mistake is made. May be unwilling to be with peers and do things to stay in the classroom or be with adults..Remember a time when you were in despair? There is a deep sinking feeling, an ache in your chest that seems so heavy, your jaws are clenched, you are fighting back the tears, and you see no way to get out of the situation. You mentally tick off the people who might help and it is all quite impossible. No one is there for you. No one believes in you and you have just done the stupidest, most unforgivable things. You are enraged, in grief, in pain, and it hurts so much you wish you could melt away.Now put yourself in a three year old body and grow like that for 12 more years.Solutions• Esteem is complex. It has a being and doing component to it. So we cannot just mend the pain and sense of loss by saying something off-hand to let the youngster know we care.• Trust is essential, and difficult to build. These youngsters do not have a reason to believe us or think that we are any different than the adults who have let them down. Build trust without expecting it to be reciprocated.• Expect the student to test you and your sincerity by testing the things you do to reach out. Many people believe giving love is enough. For students who have been wounded, the more plausible you become as a person who likes them, the more suspect you are. They have an ambivalent position of loving themselves against all odds and in spite of how others have treated them mixed in with a belief that they deserved the cruel treatment and names given to them are getting treated better than they deserve. We don't just break through that polar ice cap in one spot and succeed. The student fills that hole in and feels a breach rather than a break-through.• Help the youngster replace the survival mode with more functional patterns of relationship.• Teach students about world view, that we can choose how we view things and that are minds are very resilient.• Though the first thought may be negative, we can rethink the input and reframe our own way of perceiving.• Safety, safety, safety. The more safe we feel the faster we can grow. If there is a blow-up, reassure the youth rather than giving up. The blow will be huge and the student will hit bottom hard, so be gentle, patient, and increase the sense of safety.28Lose focusEvidence that distractibility is an


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