Helping students feel they belong
By Cassandra Tate; Posted 8/05/; guiadeayuntamientos.info Essay Share. Email · Share · Tweet. Mary Kay Letourneau, at one time a respected elementary school teacher in offender whose illicit relationship with one of her students has both repelled and Mary Kay was hired as a teacher by the Highline School District. Mary Beth Hewitt In conducting teacher workshops, the author has encountered growing This article discusses strategies for creating belonging, even with students You are interested in preserving those relationships. .. She asked him to come out into the hallway, and she complimented him on his recent essay. Free Essay: Teacher-Student Relationships First and foremost, teachers should focus on their relationship with the students, because without that bond, there.
By contrast, in her work with teachers who were having difficulties managing the behavior of students, she observed that the behaviors employed by Mr.
Simple everyday pleasantries can make individuals feel either that they are welcome and belong or that they are trespassing in enemy territory.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to create a sense of belonging is to call a person by his or her name. Time and again, I have seen the power that this very simple gesture has. I recall in particular a staff recognition dinner many years ago. He then went over and greeted each one personally. Later on, at least three of those people came over to me and commented on how impressed they were that he had remembered their names!
I remember a young student I know becoming very upset when she learned she was not accepted into a scholastic organization. How could this person make decisions about her life without knowing who she was? A few other things to consider regarding names: Do not automatically assume that everyone in a family has the same last name!
Matching faces to names is not very difficult, but it does take a little time. You can use class pictures from previous years or old yearbooks, or you can simply ask others. Our students were surprised and pleased when they got off the bus and were greeted by name. Feeling important and valued Recognize that relationship building is not something that can happen artificially. Although such inventories can be useful, they are also artificial, and I found that they were usually only effective with younger students.
Older students, on the other hand, may view an interest inventory as prying. Certain students are not easily forthcoming with information about themselves because they really have not thought about their preferences. It will be up to you to notice their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses.
Genuine caring is an action: One time when I was doing an observation in a classroom, one of the boys was being especially defiant. The teacher put on some music, and the boy went over and began rummaging through her bag, looking at CDs. This would have been a prime opportunity for the teacher to ask a few questions: What they do not realize is that getting such a student back on track can be easier if they take a few seconds to show interest in what is important to him or her.
In the book Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Beloved and admired people who make you feel like you belong ask questions about your interests.
7 Wild Updates from Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau's 'Autobiography' Special | guiadeayuntamientos.info
What are some things you can notice about a student? Examples of subtle cues include: Choice of dress logos and insignias of special teams or characters have great meaning and are a great way to connect on a personal level Reading material Activities Casual conversations. I was doing a consultation in a school one day when a little girl became visibly upset because she had lost part of her necklace. As I was helping her search for the missing stone, I began asking her questions about the necklace.
I learned a little about her family, when her birthday was, and her favorite color. Later that morning, she gave me a card she had made during her free time.
In about 3 minutes, we had made a connection. One parent shared with me how her son worked very hard for a teacher who, like her son, was a Buffalo Bills fan. Even if you do not have common interests, making an effort to understand the interests of a student speaks volumes about caring.
I have a friend who has the ability to make people feel immediately at ease. He is a good listener and gives them the opportunity to be in the spotlight. He does not judge, which is especially important with teenagers. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Martin Brokenleg speak at a conference about communicating with teenagers. I took a group of my students all junior high boys on a field trip, and we came across a raccoon skeleton.
The boys wanted to bring it back to class. I picked up the skeleton with a bag turned inside out, and the boys proudly carried it back to the school. We boiled the bones before examining them. Creating a sense of belonging can be seen as a series of compromises. Ask students what they want to be called, and make sure you call them by their preferred name. Remember to spell it correctly also!
Smile, make eye contact, and exchange pleasantries. Notice what is important and of interest to the student. Fualaau later told police that the two had their first sexual encounter shortly before his 13th birthday, in Letourneau's home, after her husband had left for work and while her four children were asleep. The officers questioned the two; both insisted there was no improper conduct. The police then called Fualaau's mother, who was working the graveyard shift at a bakery.
She told them to let Mary take her son home. He confided in a family member, who eventually notified Child Protective Services and Highline School District officials. On March 4, police arrested Letourneau on charges of second-degree child rape. She remained free on bail, awaiting the birth of her baby. Her four older children, ages 3 to 12, were sent to live temporarily with relatives in Washington D. On August 7,a somber Letourneau pled guilty in King County Superior Court to two counts of child rape, although she also depicted her relationship with Fualaau as "romantic" and consensual rather than predatory.
The case made international headlines, with tabloids shouldering each other in the race for the latest on the "Scandalous Sexcapades" involving the "School Teacher Temptress" a.
The case blended the universal intoxicants of sex and crime with the novelty of gender. Letourneau became a media magnet partly because she did not fit the stereotype of a sex offender. She was an attractive blond, slight and delicate-looking, with a girlish voice and a demure manner. She frequently bowed her head and clasped her hands while in the courtroom.
In a prepared statement, she said she had forgiven Letourneau and hoped others would do the same.
Julia Moore, a psychiatrist, said that Letourneau suffered from bipolar disorder formerly known as manic depressiona condition that contributed to her reckless behavior. The psychiatrist concluded, and the judge agreed, that with medication, Letourneau would be a good candidate for sex-offender treatment.A Look Back at Mary Kay Letourneau's Affair With Her 12-Year-Old Student
Lau said she was persuaded by the expert testimony and by the wishes of the victim and his family that community-based treatment was appropriate.
She sentenced Letourneau to seven and a half years in prison but suspended all but six months of it, with credit for time already served, on condition that Letourneau enter a rigorous treatment program, take prescribed medication for bipolar disorder, and meet numerous other requirements, including, above all, not having any contact with Fualaau. Judge Lau told Letourneau that whether she remained free was up to her. From the moment you are released and for the next few years, your life will not be your own.
I give you my word that it wouldn't happen again. Letourneau served another 80 days in jail, at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, and was then released, on January 6, She faced a difficult future.
She had lost her job, her marriage, her home, and the custody of all her children. Her four older children were living with their father in Alaska.
As a convicted sex offender, she would never be allowed to teach again; and until she completed three years of treatment, she would not be permitted unsupervised contact with any minors, including her own children. She registered, as required, as a sex offender, and moved in with a friend in Seattle's Seward Park neighborhood. She also began seeing Fualaau again, almost immediately, defying the judge's orders and the expectations of the many people who had spoken in her defense.
Less than a month after her conditional release, police found her with the boy by that point age 14at 2: She was arrested on the spot and sent back to jail.
This time, the judge was not inclined toward leniency. Both the prosecutor and the probation officer depicted Letourneau as a manipulator who didn't believe she needed treatment because she didn't believe she had done anything wrong. Letourneau's attorney at the time, David Gehrke, made a plea for mercy, saying "Society does not need to be protected from Mary Kay Letourneau.
When he finished, the judge told her ''This case is not about a flawed system. It is about an opportunity you foolishly squandered'' The New York Times, Then she sent her off to the Washington Corrections Center for Women at Gig Harbor, to complete her original seven-and-a-half-year prison term.
Letourneau was already pregnant with Fualaau's second child, another daughter. The baby, named Georgia Alexis, was born October 16,in a Tacoma hospital. Hours after the birth, Letourneau was returned to prison. Fualaau was now a father of two, at age His mother was given custody of both children.
Letourneau's re-arrest generated a national debate about the nature of her relationship with Fualaau: Was it love as she and, at times, the boy claimedor rape as the prosecutor, judge, and any number of mental health experts put it? In statements issued through her various lawyers and in a book titled Un Seul Crime, L'Amour Only One Crime, Love, published in France inLetourneau described Fualaau as a "soulmate" -- her "companion for life" -- and emotionally mature for his age.
Lucy Berliner, research director of the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress in Seattle, was among the many treatment experts who said sex offenders typically make such arguments, as a way of rationalizing and justifying their behavior. Ordinary people, too, weighed in with opinions about the case. By the end of Februaryonly President Clinton's relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was prompting more letters to the editors of Seattle newspapers.
The Seattle Times put the tally for the month at letters on Clinton and 93 on Letourneau. The Shocking True Story of Mary Kay Letourneau published inreissued inand so far translated into 11 languages ; the release of two made-for-television films "The Mary Kay Letourneau Story: Letourneau left prison under the same spotlight that shone on her when she arrived.
Helping students feel they belong
Her exit, however, was carefully orchestrated, and she slipped away before being caught on camera. Cynics said she wanted time to make sure she looked her best before appearing on film again. While in prison, Letourneau tutored her fellow inmates, recorded books for the blind, sang in the choir, and regularly attended mass.