Random Parenting Question

I’m throwing out a random parenting question to the blog world – although I really know the answer already.

Why is it that my kid’s success in a specific subject in school has more to do with whether or not he likes the teacher than in his natural ability in that subject?

What is it about some people that makes others want to expend effort to please them? Even after we leave school (and sometimes especially after) and we enter the work world, we know that 90% of our job satisfaction depends on how we are treated by the boss, and only 10% depends on other factors. Some people inspire dedication and loyalty, and others make us want to bail out as soon as possible.

An even more important question, at least to me, is what type of person am I? I’ve never really been put to the test, so I have no idea how others react to me (not being anyone’s boss at the moment).

Just some philosophical thoughts after the twice yearly parent/teacher meeting.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ozymandias
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:22:31

    Good questions, just too early in the morning for me to provide a serious answer.

  2. Lena
    May 13, 2007 @ 16:45:48

    For me, it was always contingent on amount of praise received. I wanted to be paid attention to and appreciated. If someone did that, good. If not, I couldn’t be bothered with them.

  3. mominisrael
    May 13, 2007 @ 19:52:13

    Dr. Gordon Neufeld, whom I have written about in my blog, says that he attends parenting conferences all over the world and no one talks about the biggest factor in education–the teacher-student relationship. If your kid doesn’t like his teacher the whole year can be shot.

  4. Rafi G
    May 14, 2007 @ 00:44:34

    it is a good question and a very observant observation.

    BTW, I passed your yishuv tonight…..

  5. jerusalem joe
    May 14, 2007 @ 05:29:02

    WBM – I am just writing a post about the importance of the unconscious in our lives, and this is just more proof that the emotional content, which is usually unconscious, is far more important in our lives and interactions with others than the cognitive content – the subject matter itself.
    What do you mean what type of person are you? In what context do you ask?
    I should think you are being put to the test everyday – by your children and husband, and also that your effect on others depends equally on who you are and who they are.
    As far as personality types go the Myers-Briggs test is very useful, based upon Jung’s theory.Also Imago theory’s idea of the maximizer and minimizer has been very useful to me – I will be writing about it in my next post.
    So now you have probably way too much information!

  6. Ilana-Davita
    May 14, 2007 @ 06:15:25

    As an ex-student (aren’t we all) and a present teacher, I’d think it has to do with being appreciated. You are obviously going to make more efforts to be appreciated, even loved, by someone you like/admire and respect than for a person for whom you experience none of these feelings.

  7. anonymous
    May 16, 2007 @ 16:21:22

    As a teacher, I have to say that we were constantly told in our courses that one teacher can ruin a students ability to perform well in a subject or can boost a students self-confidence to new heights. We all have horror stories of our least favorite teacher who….embarrassed us, made us feel like we weren’t worth anything etc. We hopefully also have memories of teachers who made us feel like a million dollars. We should hope that there are more of the latter.

    I have to say that I try very hard to like all of my students although some make it very very difficult. I agree with Jerusalem Joe about the personality types. I love that system. I do know that some people who I admire and get along with very well are the total opposite of my personality. For some children, who may have a different personality from their parents or friends, it is comforting to know that there is a teacher out there who is like them.

    Each student has an area that he or she can succeed in. Teachers must make sure that students find that area and let their talents shine. Teachers need to make their students feel appreciated. A good teacher will know exactly how much to push a student so that he or she will succeed. Some students can be pushed more and some less. I must say that the teacher-student relationship is a complex one.

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