Sunday, October 13, 2013

I Don't Care About A "Good Job" Because I'm Not Learning From You!

Talking Points #4: Extended Comments (Based on Shanelle's Blog)

So for this week's blog entry, I decided to do an extended comments piece on Shanelle's post entitled "People, including kids, don't like to be judged," which insightfully delves deep into the main points of this week's readings, "I Won't Learn From You" by Kohl and "Five Reason to Stop Saying "Good Job"".

Let's start with the article that presents us with five reasons for us to stop saying the phrase, "GOOD JOB!"  I totally agree with Shanelle when she said this article was total eye opener.  Like Shanelle, I too never realized how much more harm the phrase evokes than good!  I myself, always that that Good Job was the right thing to say and I'm not going to lie, I use it often during my my service learning project. Note to self, refrain from saying Good Job!

I related immediately to the paragraph in which Shanelle reflects on how her adult self is affected by the "Good Job" "reward". I felt the same exact way when reading this piece. I self reflected on my adult self and examined my everyday tasked and wondered if I too were striving for that "reward" or any inkling that I did a great job!  Like Shanelle, I'm guilty of this but is it bad, that we strive to hear a Good Job every once in a while? "When finishing a time consuming or difficult task at work, if I didn't get a "good job" at the end did I feel some how I failed in my efforts?"(Shanelle) This made me think about the work, when I'm assigned a difficult task and complete it exceptionally well, I'm going to be very honest and say that I like to hear I did a good job.

As adults we bribe/manipulate kids with this phrase whether we mean to or not.  I also agree when Shanelle states that we need to emphasize that a child can not receive or expect a reward for every time they complete something.  Why? Because this hinders the child.  This will make that child depend on the adult who is constantly rewarding them.  We must allow the children to solve things are their own and for them to fully experience their achievement, we as adults need not to interfere.  I wonder if Shanelle, like myself is guilty of saying "Good Job" in Service Learning. However, I was never using it as a "calculated tactic" I genuinely thought they were doing great jobs when the completed something. My bad, I guess. (Kohn touches base with that on the #2 reason.)

Who else is dying laughing at what's inside the parenthesis?
Dramatic much?

Reading the article "I Won't Learn From You" I couldn't help but think about the article we read earlier entitled Aria by Richard Rodriguez and how they deal with sort of the same things but they differ.  For example if you look at the very opening paragraph about the grandfather Wilfredo who refused to learn English because the Spanish culture wouldn't survive if they didn't.  I know that beginning paragraph is just an intro to the main argument of how some times some students refuse to learn to make a statement, which Shanelle points out in her first quote but I think it's a nice contrast to the Aria piece.  In "Aria" he learned English willingly where as Wilfredo was not-learning.  There is one way these articles intersect, where Wilfredo states that learning English would diminish his Spanish Culutre was proven a little when Rodriguez mentioned how the closeness of his family diminished once the kids became fluent in English.  "I Won't Learn From You" shows us how failure is not synonymous with not trying to learn. Many are quick to judge and deem someone as a failure because they are not-learning.  

"No failure is possible since there has been no attempt to learn." Shanelle chose this as her first quote which I think is great because it really sums up what the entire article is about.  She mentioned that some kids just refuse to learn because they want to make a statement such as the little boy who pretended he didn't know how to read.  I agree with this quote because you can't fail at something you've never started! You need to want to learn to learn and that is the teachers job to ensure that!

"The System's problem becomes them victims problem."  Shanelle used this quote to point out that there are flaws within the system that influences some children which cause them to react in a defiant
way and take the status of not-learning. It really isn't the kids fault if they can't adapt themselves to a certain curriculum. "The educational program should be looked at under the microscope not an individual." Shanelle took the words right out of my mouth.  Don't label an entire race as  lazy and stupid such as that teacher did in this article but look at the curriculum that is contributing to the to the lack of desire these students have to learn.

"Until we learn to distinguish not-learning from failure and respect the truth behind this massive rejection of schooling by students from poor and oppressed communities, it will not be possible to solve the major problems of education in the United States today." Shanelle simply explained we need to wake up and smell the coffee and to not automatically define someone as a failure.  There's a difference of never tried and failed and that needs to be defined.  

Points To Share: 
How often do we use the phrase "Good Job" in our daily routine?  Think about when your with your little brothers, sisters, cousins, students! Do we subconsciously throw this phrase around like it's a reward. Also think back to what Shanelle pointed out about how it may affect us as adults.  Do we as adults strive for a reward?


  1. Alex,

    First off, I love the title of your blog entry-way to merge! Secondly great use of visuals like the ruin your kids life line and the video of a temper tantrum (funnier still because they are adults).

    What stood out for me here was when you said that you use ‘good job” during your service learning but not as a tactic, more like a genuine comment. I think you accurately describe how we all feel when we read this. I believe that is why we all do it and that’s why this article is so difficult to accept. But then anything maybe it’s one of those Eckhart Tolle type of concepts where where think we are saying genuinely but really we are doing it so that they will continue to do good, letting the ego teach a lesson because we think we know what’s right-yeah, trippy stuff, right?

    But like you say-is that so wrong? Apparently it is and I understand why. We don’t want to reflect our viewpoints on others because who's to say we are right? However, teaching good things is the right thing to do, right? But then it’s our opinion. Geesh!I keep seeing both sides of this point. This is definitely a tricky one!

    I too was reminded of Rodriquez when I read “I won’t learn from you”. “Aria” proves to us that your culture can be lost and that through assimilation, you lose the connect to your family roots. So to me, Wilfredo is just in his concern.

    Great response Alex! I always look forward to reading your blog.

  2. Alex,

    As always your blog looks amazing. I am so happy that my blog was able to inspire you. Sometimes when I'm typing it I wonder if I'm going off topic but I thank you for your support it lets me know my points are getting across. These topics were pretty intense. I never thought of our words (especially ones that are meant to encourage) to be so harmful. Today at work I was training a new employee and every time I went to say good job I stopped myself lol. I thought oh no now she's not going to do a good job when I'm not around (it's a lot to think about). I love how you combined the two titles very creative, and your images are always fun to look at. Thank you again for reading my blog I'm happy we could help each other through this topic.

    See you in class,

  3. Hey Alex!
    I LOVE the format of your blog! I always enjoy Shanelle's blog and you did a wonderful job using her blog as a guideline to yours. You both made some great points and I love how you played off her blog! This is definitely a topic that you have to take one side or another on and I think you did a great job making your point! I took your points to share into consideration and started counting how many times I said "good job" I'm ,y own daily routine! This phrase is a big part of my life amid couldn't imagine not using it!

    GOOD JOB! See you in class!