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Malaise/Apathy


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I live in SE Indiana and work with four schools.  I also keep tabs with former teachers and friends I worked with in Northern Indiana.  A general pattern that seems to be developing in a malaise or apathy from student bodies.  Numbers in many extracurriculars are down.  A few students at most places seem to be doing the heavy lifting of keeping clubs and activities going.  Not all this is on the students either.  Teachers aren't as involved as a result of workloads.  Parents are overworked and don't seem to push students into sports or clubs. I am sure this is a great sociology case study into this somewhere.  What can be done  to turn this around?  Those schools that aren't experiencing this, what is the secret.

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1 hour ago, MarshallCounty said:

I live in SE Indiana and work with four schools.  I also keep tabs with former teachers and friends I worked with in Northern Indiana.  A general pattern that seems to be developing in a malaise or apathy from student bodies.  Numbers in many extracurriculars are down.  A few students at most places seem to be doing the heavy lifting of keeping clubs and activities going.  Not all this is on the students either.  Teachers aren't as involved as a result of workloads.  Parents are overworked and don't seem to push students into sports or clubs. I am sure this is a great sociology case study into this somewhere.  What can be done  to turn this around?  Those schools that aren't experiencing this, what is the secret.

Great topic. I've said this for a number of years now...but it is becoming harder/harder to be a core subject teacher/coach. 

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6 hours ago, MarshallCounty said:

I live in SE Indiana and work with four schools.  I also keep tabs with former teachers and friends I worked with in Northern Indiana.  A general pattern that seems to be developing in a malaise or apathy from student bodies.  Numbers in many extracurriculars are down.  A few students at most places seem to be doing the heavy lifting of keeping clubs and activities going.  Not all this is on the students either.  Teachers aren't as involved as a result of workloads.  Parents are overworked and don't seem to push students into sports or clubs. I am sure this is a great sociology case study into this somewhere.  What can be done  to turn this around?  Those schools that aren't experiencing this, what is the secret.

Yes, the workload for teachers really don't give them the time. My wife has been in system for 25+ years and it is to the point of being unbearable now. She is in low 50's and wants out. Politics in local system and lack of state support is reason.

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4 minutes ago, psaboy said:

Yes, the workload for teachers really don't give them the time. My wife has been in system for 25+ years and it is to the point of being unbearable now. She is in low 50's and wants out. Politics in local system and lack of state support is reason.

"State Support" equals more money?

 

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6 hours ago, MarshallCounty said:

I live in SE Indiana and work with four schools.  I also keep tabs with former teachers and friends I worked with in Northern Indiana.  A general pattern that seems to be developing in a malaise or apathy from student bodies.  Numbers in many extracurriculars are down.  A few students at most places seem to be doing the heavy lifting of keeping clubs and activities going.  Not all this is on the students either.  Teachers aren't as involved as a result of workloads.  Parents are overworked and don't seem to push students into sports or clubs. I am sure this is a great sociology case study into this somewhere.  What can be done  to turn this around?  Those schools that aren't experiencing this, what is the secret.

Maybe those government school extracurriculars are not as interesting to the current student body as they once were?  Maybe more students want or need jobs? As for parents being overworked, when more and more of your paycheck goes to the government to pay for state and federal entitlements you have to work more to have that nice SUV, McMansion, DirectTV w/ the max number of channels,  multiple cell phones, etc.

 

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Bowling Alone is a book published in 2000 about the decline of bowling leagues and what the author thinks that means for American society at large. I never read it, but I think the decline of bowling leagues, from what I remember and probably in response to this book, was a widely interpreted to mean that Americans were becoming more insular. Certainly, there would be other factors at play, but do a quick search on the book and you can find the publisher's page that describes what the author attempts to show. 

There is no reason to think that other community activities or school extracurriculars--even those for the most vibrant of us all--would be immune to some sort of larger and pervasive societal malady of indifference, the struggle with the demands of modern life or a disinterest or inability to seek connection with others...in person.

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1 hour ago, PDB26 said:

Bowling Alone is a book published in 2000 about the decline of bowling leagues and what the author thinks that means for American society at large. I never read it, but I think the decline of bowling leagues, from what I remember and probably in response to this book, was a widely interpreted to mean that Americans were becoming more insular. Certainly, there would be other factors at play, but do a quick search on the book and you can find the publisher's page that describes what the author attempts to show. 

There is no reason to think that other community activities or school extracurriculars--even those for the most vibrant of us all--would be immune to some sort of larger and pervasive societal malady of indifference, the struggle with the demands of modern life or a disinterest or inability to seek connection with others...in person.

I would hear stories about my grandparents being apart of bowling leagues, lodges, women’s clubs, and many social clubs. I was talking about this the other day with a friend how are generation is not involved in social outings like past generations. 

You’re absolutely right, we are definitely more insular.

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18 minutes ago, MarshallCounty said:

I would hear stories about my grandparents being apart of bowling leagues, lodges, women’s clubs, and many social clubs. I was talking about this the other day with a friend how are generation is not involved in social outings like past generations. 

You’re absolutely right, we are definitely more insular.

And Covid has only contributed.

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24 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

I blame the scourge of social media.

 

I was wondering the same Muda....people glued to their phones and technology.  It would seem so many would rather argue/debate from their couch and simulate activities, vs. actually doing and spending time with people, actually looking them in the eyes before spouting and listening to their perspectives, experiences, etc.

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6 minutes ago, Bash Riprock said:

I was wondering the same Muda....people glued to their phones and technology.  It would seem so many would rather argue/debate from their couch and simulate activities, vs. actually doing and spending time with people, actually looking them in the eyes before spouting and listening to their perspectives, experiences, etc.

Yes, this message board included of course.

 

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There are a few things at play here.

Fewer kids drive than in years past; so getting to and from events is difficult. We have a number of students who will hang out at a fast food place or gas station near the school after school lets out on Friday, in order to be able to go to a game. Not many are interested in that.

In large urban areas, you get kids from different parts of town attending schools in communities where they don't live or have little to no connection to.

A long stretch of little to no success for a program.

More kids have jobs; including kids that play a sport. It is common for kids to miss practice because they have to work....have even seen kids miss games because they have to work. Many that do work are helping pay the bills in the home. If they are not working, they have to be home to watch younger siblings so a parent can work jobs with hours after school. 

What last season taught many, including adults, is that there are other things to do on Friday nights. 

Other distractions. As Bash stated, some kids would prefer the competition the gaming world provides than actually doing the physical work. That also keeps some from just attending as fans. 

 

As far as communities where participation is high for fans as well as numbers in the program; several things factor into that as well.

Many current students are 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th generation to attend the same school. 

Along those lines; communities with just one high school often see better numbers in programs and attendance at games. 

More kids are able to drive or get to games.

Peer pressure.....in smaller communities; if a kid wants to hang out with his friends, he does what they do. That may mean being on a team. At the very least, it means go to the game. 

Program tradition, or even a run of recent success. 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, MarshallCounty said:

I live in SE Indiana and work with four schools.  I also keep tabs with former teachers and friends I worked with in Northern Indiana.  A general pattern that seems to be developing in a malaise or apathy from student bodies.  Numbers in many extracurriculars are down.  A few students at most places seem to be doing the heavy lifting of keeping clubs and activities going.  Not all this is on the students either.  Teachers aren't as involved as a result of workloads.  Parents are overworked and don't seem to push students into sports or clubs. I am sure this is a great sociology case study into this somewhere.  What can be done  to turn this around?  Those schools that aren't experiencing this, what is the secret.

Let's get this dark cloud of COVID out of here or at least learn to live with it. We have the specter of this pandemic hanging over us just threatening to gobble up our school years, activities, and such. 

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I am participation drops in rural schools in a number of activities. So I don't know if the 1 high school community argument holds water.  Statistically speaking as well, teen age participation in the labor market is at an all time low.  Less high school kids work an after school job than previous generations.

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14 hours ago, Muda69 said:

"State Support" equals more money?

Long time educator here (37 years). Money has nothing to do with state support. I hear all the time to leave the science to the scientist. State support to me is treating the profession with respect, and leaving the teaching to the teachers. Quit tying our hands and be supportive. Not everything is about money. It should be about the STUDENTS!

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49 minutes ago, MarshallCounty said:

I am participation drops in rural schools in a number of activities. So I don't know if the 1 high school community argument holds water.  Statistically speaking as well, teen age participation in the labor market is at an all time low.  Less high school kids work an after school job than previous generations.

OK...some of things apply to some schools while some things don't............ but something else to consider with the small towns; over 90% of Indiana's counties saw a drop in population. As far as the labor market; if kids are working on a family farm or working for cash, they will not show up in that stat. 

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21 minutes ago, CJJL said:

Long time educator here (37 years). Money has nothing to do with state support. I hear all the time to leave the science to the scientist. State support to me is treating the profession with respect, and leaving the teaching to the teachers. Quit tying our hands and be supportive. Not everything is about money. It should be about the STUDENTS!

Agreed.  Both state and federal departments of education need to be abolished.

 

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14 hours ago, PDB26 said:

Bowling Alone is a book published in 2000 about the decline of bowling leagues and what the author thinks that means for American society at large. I never read it, but I think the decline of bowling leagues, from what I remember and probably in response to this book, was a widely interpreted to mean that Americans were becoming more insular. Certainly, there would be other factors at play, but do a quick search on the book and you can find the publisher's page that describes what the author attempts to show. 

There is no reason to think that other community activities or school extracurriculars--even those for the most vibrant of us all--would be immune to some sort of larger and pervasive societal malady of indifference, the struggle with the demands of modern life or a disinterest or inability to seek connection with others...in person.

This is the best comment so far.  I think society as a whole has changed interests and have found other things to occupy our time.

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