The Great Hall
Is there any pride left in the USA? The Great Hall: Is there any pride left in the USA?
By Chady2k (Chady2k) on Friday, January 26, 2001 - 06:13 pm: Edit

I am a culinary instructor for a disadvantaged youth job training program. The students mainly come from large citys and have either been kicked out of high school or dropped out. Here the students will recieve a HS diploma or a GED and job training in their chosen field of work. THe students are from the age 16-24.
I have been employed here 3 years. The students have no sence of pride in what they do. I have to force them to do everything! I guess that you could say that I have been out of the work force for several years by not having to hire employees and dealing with staff issues ect..So perhaps there is no work ethic left in America and I am just now finding out?

Perhaps it is just the age group? I really do not rember myself being like that at that age. I was a sous at 19! If anyone has any ideas that may help me to motivate this age group PLEASE give some input. I have been feeling for some time now that I am not getting anywere with these students. No enthusiam, no initiative no desire to better themselves and most of all no pride in what they do. Is this our youth or just the ones that I get to deal with?

As a trained culinarian I want to put out the best product possible, my product is no longer food it is students. The job market where I am at is wide open for anyone with a set of knives and the desire to work. I buy them the knives! But I cannot give them enthusiam, pride, self motivation, determination and work ethic it takes to make it in this industry.

By W.DeBord on Saturday, January 27, 2001 - 01:16 pm: Edit

Chady2K it sounds like your an honorable person in a hard job. I don't know how to help you, wish I need to find skilled educators who can help you become a better teacher.

I don't think it's just the kids your seeing that have these problems. I think it's the quality of the parenting and society/the media that has caused this attitute among some of our youth. But there are still good kids out there and bad kids who want to become better.

Hang in there because these kids obviously really need your guidance. They may not shape up while they're with you, they may never have experienced hard work or learned ethics at home. But your example is important, not only to them but it will help all of us who live in this society.

"But I cannot give the enthuisian, pride, self-motivation, determination and work ethic..." But you TEACH AND SET THE EXAMPLE!

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Saturday, January 27, 2001 - 01:51 pm: Edit

Chady2K, sadly you share the same sentiment as teachers I know in other fields of education. Teachers these days are expected to make up for all the shortcomings these kids face in the rest of their lives. It just doesn't work that way. It is impossible for you, in the short time they are under your guidance to undo the wrongs these kids have been subjected to. The best you will ever do is to show them that other alternatives to their misery do exist. These kids are messed up. You will never fix them. It is up to them to fix themselves. You may be one of the first positive role model some of these people have ever had. Your influence could reach far beyond your classroom. Maybe some remark, a thought, an idea of yours will have a profound effect on someone you teach, without you even being aware. I love an old episode of "The Twilight Zone", where an old teacher, faced with mandatory retirement, feels that a life teaching kids was wasted. He is visited by the ghosts of old students who tell him what far reaching effects his teaching had upon them. Acts of great love, compassion and humanity, of which, he was never aware. You may be instructing a cooking class, but the lessons they learn you may never know. Keep the faith.

By chris on Monday, January 29, 2001 - 02:44 pm: Edit

Try your best to reach them all but if you only change one kid's life in a positiive way you've truly succeeded!

By Shawn (Shawn) on Tuesday, January 30, 2001 - 01:19 pm: Edit

Peachcreek is right on the mark. There have been times when I knew a technique or an answer to a question, and I realize it was something taught to me by someone three years ago. Somewhere down the road one of those kids will start to excel, and they may or may not realize it was the guidance they got from your class.

By Citizen Mel on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 06:06 pm: Edit

I have taught a similar population in an alternative high school in NYC and now teach baking at a vocational training program for homeless and unemployed adults. It's really not so difficult to understand why the people we work with might suffer from a lack of pride. Visit where your kids are living and you'll understand what I mean. Many of the public schools, social services and housing projects in inner city America are an embarassment to our national pride and tell of an existence that no human should have to endure, much less a child.

By Citizen Mel on Friday, February 02, 2001 - 06:07 pm: Edit

Many of your students have been raised in environments that speak more to giving up than reaching up. It may seem hopeless at times, but it's our mission as educators and yes, sometimes social workers, to help these young people see that there is another world beyond the one they live in, that they must transform themselves and their lives if they are to have a future. If you show your students that you respect them as people, that you have high expectations of them, that you understand the baggage they are bringing with them and that they CAN succeed despite all the negativity in their lives, they will perform for you. And definitely, take them on field trips so they can see the other world they are training for. They can learn to "take pride" in their work, but we have to show them how. Good luck!

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