It’s no secret a large number of our International school students come from families belonging to the uppermost financial echelon of their societies. As such, many of these kids are accustomed to enjoying the extreme privileges that come with such status, but without ever having taken part in the efforts required to earn those entitlements. For us as teachers, it should come as no surprise when these students expect ‘As’ in exchange for efforts that deserve ‘Cs’ at best.
While teaching in South America, I encountered entitled students for the first time. Our school was conducting a Science competition & at first sight the projects impressed me as nothing short of brilliant–skills in mathematics, industrial drawing, metal fabrication, welding, painting & carpentry were all evident in the creation of these projects. Later that year, however, small groups of these same students created and built teacher-assigned projects during school hours. I discovered they could not draw a workable diagram or nail two boards together. It was obvious they had not built the Science projects so celebrated just a few months earlier!
As we all know, domestic help is commonplace overseas: Workers clean house, wash the car, do the landscaping & prepare meals. But it’s an entirely different situation when household help create entire projects for students & even do their home work, particularly since these same children, propelled by their family name, will go into prominent business & government positions.
As International educators, we have the rare opportunity to influence these students & in essence, the future of their countries. Wow! What an opportunity! The question is, How do we reach these kids of the ‘silver spoon mentality’?
ISR invites you to share your successes with privileged students & relate how you went about motivating such students to work to their greatest potential.
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