Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

May 29, 2014

MARK HEINIG: Teaching a 1-word lesson: Why, how to do it

Saying no terrifies some teachers, administrators, parents

On May 1, the Kokomo Tribune published my column complaining that adults have surrendered control of our Hoosier schools to the pupils. I hope to elaborate on that theme in this column.

Another school year is ending, and old, retired teachers like me can’t resist the temptation to compare today’s school kids with yesterday’s. It’s part of the overpowering urge of all old-timers to tell younger adults how much better we were at running the world than they are!

Truthfully, we did do some things better, but certainly not everything. Younger teachers make better use of technology to enrich and enliven their lessons. However, they aren’t as good at teaching the one-word lesson that determines the success or failure of most subsequent learning.

That one-word lesson is no! It’s a simple lesson I used for 40 years in Hoosier schools, both public and nonpublic. Educators depend on it to build a structured environment that helps young people learn.

Saying no in the context of the one-word lesson doesn’t mean we never say yes. It means adults set the boundaries and make the rules, not the children. Within that context, educators can teach important concepts without losing control.

Good learning requires good behavior. Most youngsters want to learn, but sometimes they can’t. When a few students are inattentive, uncooperative, disruptive, rude and defiant, nobody learns! Can teachers overcome this when the children control the adults? Not without help!

Some administrators pretend to have such marvelous schools and well-behaved pupils, they don’t need the one-word lesson. That’s misleading. I have yet to find a perfect student or a perfect school. I don’t think anybody else has either.

What I have found are some teachers, administrators and parents who ignore the one-word lesson. Saying no terrifies them. Denying requests and enforcing rules isn’t easy, and these people love the easy way! They choose the path of least resistance. That path is comfortable, but it leads nowhere.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller