Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Teachers...enter and give your opinion

I know more than teachers will open, so why not make everyone feel included?

My nephew is in 6th grade. He had a big project the other day on the Istar Gate in Babylon. He had to do a mosaic of either a lion or a dragon from the gate, and he had to do a map of Babylon showing where the gate was and at least two other landmarks. My sister isn't great at this kind of thing, so she brought Logan over to my mom's house, and we helped him with his project.

I found a picture of the lion and a map of ancient Babylon online. Mom spearheaded helping him with the lion, and I worked on the map with him. Neither of us did the work for him. He was at least an equal partner in doing everything. There was never a point where we were cutting out and gluing pieces of construction paper while he was playing with his DS in the corner. He participated in the work, and the planning, making decisions about which map he thought would be best, which landmarks to include because they talked about them in social studies, etc.

When everything was done, and it looked fantastic, he realized he forgot to put his name on it. So he wrote: By Logan O___ with help from Nanny and Aunt Lori and my sister Rachel glued stuff.

I was really proud of him. He didn't try to claim credit for doing this huge project all by himself, and he was honest. He's had some issues with honesty this year, and I just thought that was so great. My mother, however, was upset, and said he's going to get in trouble for having help, that everyone gets help but you don't say that because you aren't supposed to tell anyone.

How would you feel if a student did this?

Re: Teachers...enter and give your opinion

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    As a teacher I would expect a child that age to get help from his parents.
    Wife, mom, Ob/Gyn resident
    Sarah - 12/23/2008
    Alex - 9/30/2011


    "I say embrace the total geek in yourself and just enjoy it. Life is too short to be cool." - Shirley Manson, Garbage
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    I think that's great!  As pp said, I would expect some parental involvement and the fact that he gave credit to those who helped is kind of like citing a source.  Very cute. :)


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    I see no problem with that. The borther of my mom's BF built my wooden wind mill for my Wind Power science fair project. Until you hit HS I expect all kids to get some help from parents.
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    A couple of thoughts: (granted, I teach 8th grade and I expect the kids to be a little more independent than I would a 6th grader):

    1.  I would be fine with your helping him on this project. I generally don't care if parents/siblings, etc. help with the artsy side of projects AS LONG AS the content/learning is all the kid's work.  If I think a kid has gotten too much help, I'll ask him some questions that I would think he should have learned from doing the project.  If he can answer the questions without any problem, fine...that tells me that he met the objective of the project, which was to learn the information.  The teacher is (hopefully!) not grading him on his ability to glue little pieces of paper to a board.

    2. I think it's great that he's been honest. It saves the teacher the trouble of asking and assuming. No teacher worth his salt will mind if kids get help with that aspect of a project.

    3. How great that you can now talk to your nephew about the content! I hope you did/will...that's a great way to extend the learning!

    4. It pisses me off when a student does this and does NOT credit those who helped him.  We encourage students to do this on all papers, projects, etc. so a) we as teachers know what help the kids got and what they can do on their own and b) it's polite to thank those who helped you!

    5. I taught many years in inner city schools and I never ever ever minded when parents helped kids with homework.  I always made sure they weren't doing it for them (see #1...there was always an in-class assessment piece too) but if a parent (who presumably is busy with work, kids, etc.) wants to take the time to sit down with their kid and work, who am I to discourage that?

    6. You might consider asking your mom what message she is sending to her grandson about school when she makes such a comment to him.

    Sorry, this got long. I think it's great and was handled beautifully. And it sounds like a fun activity for you and your nephew. Your mom is wrong.

    "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies. God damn it, you've got to be kind." - Kurt Vonnegut
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    Thanks, guys. I argued that teachers would see this as a positive, but my mom is such a pessimist. I told her, in front of my nephew, to stop saying things like that, and that I was so proud of him for being so upfront about the whole thing.

    I was also impressed that Logan, who has gotten in trouble several times this year for not doing his homework, wanted to get it done early and turned in as soon as possible, and I think any negative reaction to the whole thing could threaten how much progress he's made.

    And Erbear? He learned so much. He was explaining the different Babylonian gods to me, and the waterway that cut through Babylon and ended at X gate, etc., and he rejected several maps that we found online because they didn't have enough detail for him.


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     If I think a kid has gotten too much help, I'll ask him some questions that I would think he should have learned from doing the project.  If he can answer the questions without any problem, fine...that tells me that he met the objective of the project, which was to learn the information.  

    I agree completely. He probably ended up getting a lot more out of the project by talking it through with y'all than he would have if he did it 100% on his own, especially at that age. 

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