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BOTD 12/4/2013 "The Tutor" A| DMK Production

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1 BOTD 12/4/2013 "The Tutor" A| DMK Production on Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:32 pm

David M. Katz


Marshall
THE TUTOR
A DMK Production

Your thirteen year old son, Cole, is struggling with Math.  You had a conference with the teacher and she said Cole does participate in class but is having difficulty grasping the concepts.  The teacher says Cole has asked for extra help and she has been willing to give it.  You do, however, discover that Cole has not been doing his Math homework.  You put Cole on homework checks and promise a spanking if he does not put forth any effort on his homework.  Cole still struggles and he makes an F for the first grading period.  The teacher suggests a tutor will give Cole the extra concentration he needs and gives you the name of a local college Math major and honor student.  She says the tutor is a former student of hers and does an excellent job.  After checking more references the tutor does come highly recommended.  You hire the student to tutor Cole in Math.

COLE - 13
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The problem is the tutor can only come on Saturday afternoons.  You hire the tutor anyway and inform Cole that he is to be available for three hours every Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00 PM.  Cole protests vehemently saying that Saturday afternoon is his free time and he hangs out with his friends then.  Cole further says that it is not fair that you are punishing him for not understanding Math.  You tell Cole the tutoring is not a punishment but is intended to help him. You tell Cole his education is important and stand firm.

The next Saturday the tutor comes.  Cole is present but in body only.  Cole essentially ignores the tutor and complains for the entire session about having to give up his free time.  The tutor is frank with you and says he can't help Cole if Cole will not work with him. You promise the tutor that Cole will be improved the next week and ask him to please return.  After the tutor leaves, you read Cole the riot act and inform him that he is to participate in the tutoring sessions and make an attempt to learn.

Today is the next Saturday.  Cole heads off this morning to meet up with his friends.  You remind Cole that his tutor will be there at 1:00 PM.  Cole says, "I know."

Cole does not return home at 1:00.  You call Cole and he informs you that he isn't coming.  He says he is not going to do the tutoring because he deserves his free time. Cole refuses to say where he is at and reminds you he won't be home and hangs up.  Subsequent calls go straight to voice mail.  Your spouse heads out to find Cole and bring him home.  The tutor apologies but says he cannot work with Cole and resigns. Cole is found and brought home.

What happens?


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Pi Beta


Deputy
Nothing, immediately, apart from sending him to his room, in case I do something I will later regret. Though tempted to give him the hiding of his life, I fear that would just make him even more resentful and impossible to motivate. I value my Saturday afternoons as well, and don't want to have to police him every Saturday afternoon - anyway, that tutor has left and there's no way I can expect him to return.

Once I have calmed down, we will have a long discussion during which I may well introduce the idea of boarding education and will insist that he comes up with his solution about how we can improve his mathematical skills. The boarding idea is likely to fill him with horror and make him more amenable to come up with sensible solutions. If he suggests trying to find a tutor for some time other than a Saturday afternoon, I will be prepared to investigate that.

Whether this is true in the U.S., I don't know, but almost all the teachers children have in the U.K. until age 11 tend to be female and many of these, themselves, aren't confident in their own maths ability. That insecurity may have rubbed off on Cole and it may be that trying to get him transferred into a class taken my a male might be all that is needed - someone who will approach the subject from a different angle.

Only if Cole refuses to engage in any sensible conversation may I decide to try getting him to engage his brain via the medium of his backside - though sorely tempted to do so anyway!

Jack


Admin
I can tell Cole until I'm blue in the face that this isn't punishment, but the simple fact is that I'm taking away his time with his friends.  Furthermore, I'm not sure what one (punishingly) long study session a week is supposed to do.

This boy can't be the only tutor around, so we'll find another one who is actually available at reasonable times.

(I'm trying to answer this in character, since I'd actually take care of any math tutoring myself, which would avoid this problem).

Cole is going to be punished for today's stunt, though, but I'll let him decide if it's a sore butt or being grounded next Saturday.


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Kittykat


Deputy
He's definitely my son. I had a HORRIBLE time with math in school. I can do the basics, multiply, divide, add, subtract, fractions. But when it came to Algebra or Geometry, forget it. I'll be finding a new tutor, there has to be one in town, or even if it's out of town but a reasonable drive distance. I couldn't make my kid give up EVERY Saturday, for three hours. That would just breed resentment and make the kid do horrible on purpose.

For today though, we're going to have a talk and I'm going to apologize for not consulting him rather then just dictating. Yes, parents make the final decisions but kids his age should have some input.

He is going to get a choice, spanking for being willfully disobedient, or grounded. I think I know which he'll choose.

AFinch


Sherrif
I agree with Jack and Kitty. Whether or not it's MEANT as punishment, loss of Saturday afternoon IS punishment to a 13 year old. There can't only be one tutor available. So we'll find another.

The willful disobedience is a different matter, which will be dealt with somehow. Cole can have some input into what his punishment should be for this matter. He's not getting off scot-free.

1strappedboy


Sherrif
I'm going to take a deep breath and calm down.  This is largely MY screw-up.  This tutor, while highly rated can't be the only game in town and I should have taken Cole's protestations to heart in the first place.

I hadn't and now have created a mess that didn't have to be.  When he's brought back home, I'll send him to the den to stew for a bit before I go apologize to him.  While under normal circumstance this level of disobedience would have cost at least a layer of butt skin, I admire the courage of his convictions in the face of our (mom and mine) blindness toward his POV.  Even if the tutor was Einstein, Cole sees this as a punishment and a major down on him; certainly not the best circumstance to encourage learning in a subject where one is already struggling.

Where to go from here?

We'll find someone who is good that can work with Cole on the weekdays in short blocks and as long as he puts an honest effort into it I'll be happy with whatever improvements he makes.  If however, the F (or poor grade) is because of continued failure to do homework, THEN there will be a sore seat at the next marking period.  Unlike my parents, we don't punish for bad grades unless it's a result of laziness, not doing the work/trying.  If the kid is putting honest effort into it and just not 'getting it', I could beat his butt off and it won't make a bit of difference. (Just ask Ivan about that!)



Last edited by 1strappedboy on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : misspelled word)

John Boy


Sherrif
and given the spanking of his life.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=John+Boy

David M. Katz


Marshall
Why I couldn't handle Middle School math is beyond me but maybe Cole is a chip off of the old block. I agree I created this monster with my Saturday afternoon mandate. I need to find a tutor who can work with Cole during the week after school.

I will need to deal with today's defiance/disobedience. I like the idea that has already been presented that he can take a spanking or be grounded next Saturday.


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Stone Man


Marshall
Dear Cole's Parents,

I'm a qualified and effective tutor for elementary through high school math (See references and success stories) and am available afternoons and evenings seven days a week to best fit your child's schedule.

SM

ivor


Marshall
The thing Cole seems to prize most in his life is his Saturday afternoons with his friends. Therefore I consider I should have grounded him on Saturday afternoons a good while back.

So I'm going to start that now and he can suggest to me what he can do which would result in having the embargo lifted.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

squarecutter


Sherrif
3 hours of Maths on a Saturday afternoon? no wonder that feels like a punishment. I think I need a turtor with a more amenable schedule. For now though I am going to tell Cole he cannot afford to just tune out on a subject he is weak at, especially Maths. I will also deliver a short sharp spanking for his disappearing act

Kai


Deputy
squarecutter wrote:3 hours of Maths on a Saturday afternoon? no wonder that feels like a punishment. I think I need a turtor with a more amenable schedule. For now though I am going to tell Cole he cannot afford to  just tune out on a subject he is weak at, especially Maths. I will also deliver a short sharp spanking for his  disappearing act
DITO Smile

Padraig


Trailboss
ditto

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm in agreement with Dimitri. It makes no sense to punish Cole if I admit I was in error by insisting on a 3-hour Saturday afternoon tutoring session.

Pi, most teachers in the US for younger kids are women, but 13 year olds have entered secondary education usually, which means they have a separate teacher for each academic subject. These teachers must have a minimum number of college/university credits in the subject, as well as pass an examination before receiving a credential to teach the subject. While some teachers are not particularly strong in the subjects they teach, I find it almost incredible that at this level, his teacher would not have complete mastery of her content area. Her teaching methods, however, may not be best adapted to Cole's learning style; he may not be applying himself in class; or he may just have little aptitude (or interest) for this subject.

Kat

15 Re: BOTD 12/4/2013 "The Tutor" A| DMK Production on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:13 am

MemoryMan


Sherrif
I'm almost with Dimitri.

The exception:  The wilful disobediance and phone switch off will be dealt with - but as a separate issue.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=MemoryMan

16 Re: BOTD 12/4/2013 "The Tutor" A| DMK Production on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:32 am

Jack


Admin
Kat wrote:I'm in agreement with Dimitri. It makes no sense to punish Cole if I admit I was in error by insisting on a 3-hour Saturday afternoon tutoring session.
While I feel that I did make a mistake in trying to insist on him giving up half his Saturdays, I am very unhappy about the way he went about his resistance. I looked back to double check, so I know I'm reading more into it than was actually said, but as far as I'm concerned, I let him leave the house with his agreement to be back for his tutoring session. He could have achieved the same thing, in other ways, without abusing my trust that way. It doesn't have to be a hard punishment, but I think letting him get away with that behavior will only encourage more every time he disagrees with me in the future.

Kat wrote:Her teaching methods, however, may not be best adapted to Cole's learning style; he may not be applying himself in class; or he may just have little aptitude (or interest) for this subject.
It occurs to me to wonder why, when she's not able to teach Cole, I took her word on who would be a good tutor anyway? scratch 


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17 Re: BOTD 12/4/2013 "The Tutor" A| DMK Production on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:36 am

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Jack wrote:It occurs to me to wonder why, when she's not able to teach Cole, I took her word on who would be a good tutor anyway?  scratch 
I think that assuming the fault lies with the teacher is unfair. It is one possibility, but let's be frank about this: no matter how good a teacher is in general, some students will struggle with the material or simply refuse to make an effort. Also, the scenario does state that the parent checked references.

Kat

18 Re: BOTD 12/4/2013 "The Tutor" A| DMK Production on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:42 am

Jack


Admin
Kat wrote:
Jack wrote:It occurs to me to wonder why, when she's not able to teach Cole, I took her word on who would be a good tutor anyway?  scratch 
I think that assuming the fault lies with the teacher is unfair. It is one possibility, but let's be frank about this: no matter how good a teacher is in general, some students will struggle with the material or simply refuse to make an effort. Also, the scenario does state that the parent checked references.
Actually, the scenario specifically says that Cole is participating in class, and that's from the teacher.

And recall that I'm a former math teacher, so I would tend to be prejudiced in her favor.

The honest truth is that this entire situation is a complete Charlie Foxtrot, and there's probably no one solution or fault. Furthermore, this is one of those times when a scenario just can't give enough information to make a real judgement (you'd have to go into his school history, talking to other students who have this teacher, how Cole's doing in other classes...).


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19 Re: BOTD 12/4/2013 "The Tutor" A| DMK Production on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am

ivor


Marshall
I also can't see any basis from the scenario for holding the teacher responsible for Cole's failings.

If the rest of his class is maintaining the requisite standard then as far as I'm concerned the problem lies with him. It would also be unfair to the rest of the class to expect the teacher to spend a disproportionate amount of time with him.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Well, isn't this a new one?  ME being the 'softy' here?!?!  

If it weren't for the fact that I as his dad set up and literally created the monster here, I would agree that his reaction would earn a serious butt warming party.  I will let him know this too because if it happens again, there will be the devil to pay. I get the impression that this was, in Cole's mind, the only way to get ME to see reason.  It showed great 'courage of conviction' even if it was poorly executed (the turned off phone).

Jack


Admin
Dmitri, you can Kat could have a real point about that. While I absolutely hate the way he did it, the father in the scenario did ignore attempts from Cole to talk. At least by offering him a choice between punishments, I give him a chance to convince me the correct answer is 'none'. Even if I fully intended to punish him for his behavior, I think that, if he convinced me he felt bad about how he achieved it, and knew I was really upset with him, I might let it go.

As to 'blaming' the teacher, I'm not sure anyone is trying to 'blame' her. The comment was made by Kat that her teaching methods might not be what best suits Cole's needs. With that in mind, I simply thought that the person she recommended would be one likely to approach things the same way she did, so maybe not the best person to work with him anyway.

But as I said, we don't really know enough details - like how many students in the class are getting it, so there's no real use trying to guess.


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