Student Motivators

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Editor:

The article in the Dec. 21 Roundup titled, “Steep cost of failure” is indicative of the high level of commitment that many educators have toward students — all students. However, from what has been reported in the past, it seems that salvaging those students who are having difficulty has been and continues to be relegated to higher education.

Community colleges and universities have for years required many high school graduates to take remedial level reading, writing and math courses to bring these students up to an educational level that should have been achieved before they graduated from high school.

It is great that there are now programs to better prepare students for their future. But why does the educational community continue to offer remedial programs rather than work to eliminate the need for these high level programs?

Although it may be true that today’s two-income or single parent culture makes parental involvement in their child’s education more difficult and in some cases non-existent, children want to please and feel a sense of accomplishment. Simply promoting a child before he/she is ready for the next level is demoralizing; it does not build self-esteem or the personal pride of having succeeded due to one’s own efforts.

The simple fact that a child knows that they don’t have to pass a class in order to be promoted instills in them that it is not necessary to work hard and do your best; just getting by is good enough. Competition, shame and embarrassment have proven to be excellent motivators. Why do we accept failure at any level in today’s culture and it is time to get back to the basics; promotions are earned, they don’t come simply because you exist.

Our children will be the major benefactors of being better prepared for life; therefore, shouldn’t our children bear the primary burden for their own education and future? Let’s place the responsibility where it belongs — on the child. Instill in them from the very beginning that their future is their responsibility and that they are being held accountable for their own success.

As the “Steep cost of failure” article clearly indicates, the future of our children, as well as our future, depends on a well educated society. If our educational community embraces the idea that a child must master the current course work before moving forward, I am confident that they can develop a program that promotes success at all class levels.

Richard Meyer

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