Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The New Three R’s of Education: Resourcefulness, Responsibility, and Respect

The New Three R’s of Education: Resourcefulness, Responsibility, and Respect

By Jill Jenkins

                Formerly, education focused on the three “R’s”: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, but since the expectation of the world has become more complicated the demands on education have also become more complicated.  Students are not only expected to read complex texts from a variety of genres, but respond in a variety of well composed essays and apply a variety of mathematical methods to determine the answers to story problems.  Furthermore, students must successfully apply technology to every discipline and be able to code, decipher code, create webpages, presentations, podcast to name just a few.  What are the most important skills students should develop in school?  The new three R’s of education are Resourcefulness, Responsibility, and Respect.


                Technology is changing the world at an incredible pace.  Careers that are important today will not exist in twenty years. How do we prepare students for a world that is unknown to us?  During the industrial revolution, society was changing equally as fast.  The people who succeeded learned to be resourceful.  They continually changed their view, challenging all that they knew, and pushing technology by experimenting and learning from others.   By encouraging students to explore and experiment, teachers can provide students with opportunities to use resources and depend on themselves instead of adults.  How do we do this?  Project based education provides students with the most opportunity to become independent learners, to depend on themselves instead of the teacher.  Students who learn to solve problems and find solutions to simple obstacles make them more useful in the workplace.  For example, if a student does not have access to a computer at home and learns to access resources in the public library or arranges to work before or after school with his educator, he will be more adept to looking outside the box when he is facing challenges in the real world.   Learning to be Resourceful will empower students to succeed in a changing world.


                Responsibility is the second key ingredient to becoming a successful person.  No one ever achieved anything without hard work and accepting the responsibility of his/her own actions.  When parents and teachers do not help students accept consequences for the decisions they make, students never learn to accept responsibility for their adult lives.  When a teen makes poor choice is allowed to escape punishment because of “affluenza,”  he does not become productive member of society. Instead his growth is retarded. Parents or teachers who enable students by helping them skirt responsibility are not helping them. Teachers who only use classroom sets of books because some students forget to bring their books to class regularly are enabling students just like the attorney who argues that his young client does not know right from wrong because of his parents' wealth.  Teaching students that their are both negative and positive consequences for their decisions helps them become more successful adults. Delegating authority with students is another way to teach responsibility. For some specific ideas please see my blog entry;Teaching Responsibility: Delegating Authority and Rewarding Good Behavior -delegating.htmlSuccessful individuals make responsible decisions because they understand that “no man is an island.”  When they behave immorally, others suffer.   As a result, it is important for each student to understand that he is part of a society and his actions not only affect him, but everyone.  Therefore, learning to be a productive responsible member of that society is inherently good.  Again, project based education allows student to learn to meet deadlines in multi-step processes.   A student learns to be responsible for his work instead of depending on teachers to provide all of the learning activities.  Furthermore,  a student is more actively engaged in his/her own learning, so he/she increases his/her academic learning as well as his/her sense of responsibility.


                Finally, students need to understand the important of Respect.  The world is melting pot of different ethnicities, religions and races.  Showing respect and dignity to others is the only way that anything is going to get accomplished.  Regardless of an individual’s social-economic group, sexual orientation, race, religion, or belief system, he/she must learn to work co-operatively with others.  Manners and kind speech is the first step to accomplishing this.  Educators need to require that students treat each other with respect and dignity.  Teachers must treat all students with respect and dignity because students learn from models.  Students who are required to create projects in groups that are diverse are more likely to show respect in the workplace which may be more diverse than their school.  However, teachers need to actively observe and interact to ensure that students treat each other respectfully.  When my daughter was in fifth grade, one of the students in her class suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder.  The teacher was a young novice who did not teach the other students to show empathy for this disorder.  As a result, the students began moving her personal objects, knocking her books on the floor, and otherwise harassing this young lady to watch her reaction.  Finally when the parent of this child threatened to remove this child from the school, the principal intervened.   If this teacher had explained to the other students about this child’s disability, the students might have learned to treat her with empathy.  When I taught at a school with high functioning autistic students, before placing a student in our class, the school psychologist met with the student and described the strange sounds and behavior this student might display and why he couldn’t help these behaviors.  My students treated this man with respect.  Whenever they expressed frustration with one of his anti-social behavior, I reminded them of his disability.  The experience was a good learning experience for all involved.  Teaching students about cultural and ethnic differences can help them not only show more empathy and acceptance, but avoid behaviors that might be considered disrespectful.   Learning to respect others will help students work successfully in a diverse population.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Six Reasons States Are Failing To Attract or Retain Qualified Educators

According to NPR, many states are have a difficult time attracting and retaining qualified teachers and staff.  First, districts are woefully short of funds, thus they offer teachers little financial incentive and few benefits.  Second, the media attacks schools and teachers vilifying them while expecting teachers to use their own time and resources to reinforce the crumbling infrastructure of education systems.  Third, teaching no longer provides teachers with a creative outlet as districts are dictating every lesson, evaluation and procedure in the classroom.  Fourth, teacher-training programs fail to prepare teachers with a realistic view of the difficulties teachers face with social problems, crime and dysfunctional families.  Fifth, to save money, many school districts want to base teachers’ salaries on test performance.  This means that teachers placed in affluent, suburban schools will earn higher salaries than those teaching in lower-socio economic, urban schools.  Thus, the most challenging teaching positions will pay the least. If improving education is truly a priority, funding education, providing appropriate benefits and training teachers to instill a realistic view of the teaching profession. Finally teachers are overwhelmed with demands foisted upon schools and cost cutting methods districts have foisted upon educators making time for proper mentoring difficult. 


Reason One:  Funding Education
Districts are woefully under-funded and often spend their resources on palatial building and not on teacher’s salaries or benefits.  Regardless, teaching has never been a lucrative career, but teachers in the past still pursued careers in education knowing they were never going to get rich.  Teaching careers offered a stable career where women could work and still share the time on holidays and in the summer to raise their children as their calendars and those of their children were often the same.  It offered both men and women time to explore other careers or travel the world (even though it might be in an old VW bus) and explore other hobbies and interests.  The career offered great medical benefits and an opportunity to retire with both social security, and a stable retirement from the state. Unfortunately, because of cost saving methods in the school districts most of these advantages have disappeared. Many of today’s graduates cannot afford to become teachers because they are overwhelmed with educational loan payments.  Fortunately for me, I graduated in the 1970’s when Lyndon Johnson’s National Defense Loans were available.  If a teacher took an assignment in a Title One School, that teacher’s student loans were excused.   Perhaps, the country could attract more qualified teachers if they offered to excuse the student loans of any student who chose to teach in a public school for five years or more.  The overbearing costs of insurance have been passed onto the teachers.  Perhaps education needs an influx of money, so educators could be offered better health insurance and retirements.

Reason Two: Respect
Teachers were once respected and admired by the public.  Today, the media often villifies teaching blaming them for students’ poor performance without considering the social problems that have created the decline in academic performance.  Wealthy Americans design programs that are foisted upon districts with little or no input from teachers.  No one would disagree that schools need to improve, but the number of people who live below the poverty level and the influx of people who have special educational needs including special education and language skills have increased.  All of these factors affect student test scores.  The teaching career has become much more complicated as all of these students are mainstreamed into over-crowded classes.  Without the resources and training to reach the individual needs of all these students, many teachers are leaving the profession in search of a less difficult job.  For example, one of my former students told me that I had inspired her to become a teacher.  After two years of working day and night to keep up with the demands, she quit and went back to law school.  She is now a lawyer making four times more money while she said working considerably fewer hours.  The workload, the pressure from parents and the disrespect by students were key elements in her decision to quit teaching.  Teachers need the support of our community to continue in the profession.  This includes the support of the press.

Reason Three: Stifling Curriculum Demands
Teaching used to be a creative outlet where teachers shared ideas and developed new methods, and assignments independently to approach a list of learning goals provided by state curriculum committees.  Today, teachers are often asked to collaborate on units provided by the district or by The Gates Foundation.  Teachers are expected to all teach the same lessons in the same way simultaneously and participate in the same weekly tests.  This homogenous view of instruction is stifling to educators.  Most teachers loved the independent feeling of creating new methodology and assignments to approach learning, but that has all been replaced with a factory version of education. Since the career is no longer personally rewarding, many teachers are leaving the profession.  Yes, there are teachers who are not effective, but they are not the majority of teachers.  Treat teachers as professionals.  When an administrator identifies a teacher who is ineffective, eliminate that teacher.  Do not treat teachers like they are all unprofessional, ineffective individuals who cannot be trusted to do their job.

Reason Four: Teacher Preparation
Many students are attracted to teaching because they imagine that teaching will be a continuation of their days as a cheerleader.  They imagine that all students want to attend school and are excited to participate in all of the activities.  Teaching is hard work. Teachers need a strong understanding of the horrors many students face every day before they arrive at school.  Many students arrive at school hungry because their families are homeless.  Many students are abused by parents or have experienced such violence in their neighborhood that they are overwhelmed.  I have had a parent who called her children home because she wanted to commit suicide, surrounded by everyone she loved.  I have had a student who arrived as refugee after watching his families murdered.  He was not only emotionally distraught, but unequipped with the language skills or the cultural knowledge to be successful in his new home.  I have had students who were fourth generation gang members.   The horror stories that most teachers could tell are endless and grotesque.  The students who experience these situations do not behave in class like many others.  Simply because they are disruptive or distracted, only means that teachers must work harder to reach them.  When some novice teachers discover that teaching these hard to reach students is part of the reality, they often request that those students be sent to other more experienced teachers or they leave the profession.  Teaching preparation programs need to prepare students for the reality of public education.  Yes, there are still the cheerleaders who join every club and love school, but they are not the only students in the school.  If teacher preparation programs allowed students to interact with the real world problems before their first teaching profession, those teachers who have an unrealistic perspective of education might choose a more appropriate career before they damage these fragile children. 

Reason Five: Connecting Salary to Test Performance
Basing teacher’s salary on test performance is counter-productive because the students who are the most challenging to teach are housed in schools that are the most likely to have the lowest scores and those scores are the less likely to improve quickly.  According to the Center for  Public Education, although most states differ in their definition and approach to English Language Learners (ELL), most agree that it takes at least six years for these students to become proficient in English.  This means that they are not going to show significant growth in test scores until their language skills to improve.   As a result, we are rewarding teachers for taking the easiest jobs in the most affluent neighborhoods where parents are involved in their student’s education and often pay for additional training beyond their education in the school.   If we are going to attract teachers to teach in challenging schools, we need to pay them accordingly.  

Reason Six: Time

Teachers are overwhelmed with the demands foisted on schools by outside organizations and cost-saving methods leaving little time to properly assist new recruits.  Teachers have been asked to employ new technologies, new teaching methods and a new, demanding curriculum while many districts are taking teachers’ consultation periods: thus, teaching more students with fewer teachers and less insurance costs. Adding extra pressure to over-worked teachers means all planning and correcting is done at home.  As a result, an eight hour a day job becomes a twelve to fifteen hour a day job.  All of this leave little time to properly supervise or mentor young recruits. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Leveling the Playing Field

Leveling the Playing Field

By Jill Jenkins

     For the seventeen years of my career, I taught in inner-city high schools where students often struggled.  Some were homeless; some worked eight hours a night at an after school job to help support their families; some watched younger siblings while their single parent worked two jobs; and one was raising his younger siblings because both parents were incarcerated.  Excelling in academically demanding classes was difficult for them and so was participating in extra-curriculum activities.  Properly preparing for the rigors of college is difficult for a student who has to negotiate with the gym teachers to shower at school because his water has been shut off.  For twenty-three years of my education career, I taught in an affluent, suburban neighborhood where helicopter parents not only ensured that their children arrived at school everyday with their homework in hand, but insisted that they received every educational advantage that their child was eligible for.  These students were tutored, took voice, violin, dance and guitar lessons.  They played sports outside of school and had private coaches.  They traveled the world and attended workshops and camps in the summer where they learned about computers, science, biking, swimming, basketball and the arts.  When these students graduated, they had already completed two years of college in concurrent enrollment, or A.P. classes while applying for several colleges, visiting campuses with their parents and applying for every available scholarship.  These students are prepared for the rigors of college; however, they are stressed from their parents’ high expectation and relentless pushing.  How can we level the playing fields, so students with language or financial barriers have an equal change for a quality education?

A Visa In Determination, AVID, is a program that teaches students critical skill, learning skills, literary, and math skills.  It supports teachers with new methodology and it provides students with a mentor teacher who supports his/her learning and helps him/her set goals for higher education.  This means that students who do not have the support system at home to develop their skills and establish high expectations for the future education can get that help at school.  By keeping class sizes small, students individual learning and motivation issues can be answered more effectively.  If you are teaching in an urban school with students who struggle, AVID could provide support for those struggling students.

Collaborating, Caring Staff

Students may choose only a few staff members with whom they share their struggles.  If those challenges are going to be solved, that information needs to be shared with all of his/her teachers and support staff including the counseling staff, social workers and outside agencies designed to assist at-risk students.  Working together and given the freedom to think outside the box, the collaborating team can help the student overcome his/her situation.  For example, one of my past students was forced to attend my school by a father who wished to take him away from the influence of a gangs in his home school.   Because he was unhappy about the situation, he was often withdrawn or arrogant.  Since we were aware of the situation, the team made an effort to help the student adapt, but just when he began to flourish, his father died from a drug over-dose. Since the teachers were all made aware of the situation, each member of the team could give the student a little leeway in completing assignments and offer him emotional support. Regardless of the students’ economic situation, all students can benefit from individualized attention, but students in urban schools more often encounter complications in their lives that are better addressed by the collaborative effort of a caring staff.  This also means that poisonous teachers who ridicule and bully students need to be identified and relieved of their position.  Such teachers can do damage that is difficult to undo.  In many urban schools, teachers are the only stable adults in students’ lives.  As a result, it is important that these adults are well-adjusted, caring role models.

Identifying Talented and Bright Students
            Students who attend more affluent schools often have parents who spend considerable resources identifying and developing their child’s talents.  Students who feel successful develop the confidence to improve their abilities in other areas.  For example, students who are given music lessons young develop both sides of their brain. According to Psychology Today, “Musical Training Optimizes Brain Function” when a child is given musical training before the age of seven, the child communication between different parts of the brain increases. This means that these students perform better in their other disciplines.  However, when funding for education becomes difficult the arts are often the first cut.  This means that students in elementary schools in most inner cities rarely have an opportunity to learn to play an instrument.  By identifying students’ talents and helping them develop those skills, students feel successful and proud of their abilities.  When students have a sense of accomplishment, they are motivated to try harder and as a result become more successful.  It doesn’t matter where the student’s talent lies; help him find it and develop it.  Schools need to offer classes not only in music, but sports, the arts, technology, shop, home economics, foreign languages and solid academics.

Respecting Each of Other and Cultural Differences

         Since most urban schools have diverse populations, it is even more important that students’ learn to respect each other and the cultural differences.  Giving each ethnic group an opportunity to share their culture’s music, food, and customs is the first step.  Teachers need to continually reinforce the importance of treating other’s religious beliefs, customs, food, and music with respect.  Often conflicts occur when students’ are ignorant of other’s beliefs. They need to learn in embrace differences and accept others with differing views. Sometimes there will be disagreements.  Giving students’ skills to respectfully disagree with another student is a life skill that will serve them in the real world.

Access to Technology

      Research shows that at-risk students are enhanced by technology, but many of these students lack the resources to afford computers or the internet to complete their studies at home.  There are resources that teachers can use.
·      The Gates Foundation
·      DonorsChoose.org
·      Public libraries offer computers and internet resources
·      Many corporations have offered grants to increase technology in school according to Latino Magazine. Com.  They include:
o   Cigna
o   Comcast
o   National Instruments
o   National Grid
o   BP
o   Symantec
o   IBM
o   Shell
o   Samsung
o   Lockheed Martin
o   Ingersoll Rand
o   Northrop Grumman (Exxon Mobil)
Writing grants to help your students have the resources they need and informing parents of the resources available to them can help students have access to computers and the Internet. 

Comprehensive Language Development Programs
            Finally, for students to be successful they need a well-developed vocabulary and a solid grasp of the English language.  Many students live in homes with limited access to books and with parents who have little or no education.  Many students live in homes where English is not spoken.  It is difficult for these students to compete with students from more affluent neighborhoods where parents are professionals with advanced degrees and who have had access to books long before they entered school.  For this reasons, teachers in all disciplines must make a concerted efforts to make teaching vocabulary part of their curriculum.  Reading a variety of genres with also help to expand students’ vocabulary.  Mainstreaming students who speak little or no English in traditional classes of 40 students will do little to help them develop the language skills they need.  These students require a ESL language class where they can receive the help they need to learn to speak, read and write in English.  The instructors of the ESL classes must be well trained and certified to help these students develop the language skills they need to be successful.

In Conclusion
            Furthermore, counseling staffs need to walk students through the process of selecting colleges and applying for them.  The entire staff needs to become the student’s advocate helping them make appropriate decisions to prepare for a successful academic career beginning in grade school through high school.  Providing these services for all at-risk students will not be cheap, but it is a good investment.  Students who are not prepared are condemned to live in poverty, and often either fall prey to crime or perpetrate it.  Solving these problems create expenses that far exceed the money needed to prepare these students.  Furthermore, “a human being is a horrible thing to waste.”  It is time to level the playing field and help all of our students succeed. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Six Ways to Improve Students’ Preparation For College

Six Ways to Improve
Students’ Preparation for College

By Jill Jenkins

            According to the Center for Public Education, two-fifths of entering college freshmen are not prepared for the academic rigors of college.  In Utah, according to KSL News only 25% of the students graduating from high school are actually prepared for college. The article reveals that 80% of high school students plan to attend college, but only 40% will actually enroll.  Fifty percent of that 40% will drop out after only one year.  Nationally, 35% of the students who enter college will drop out after one year and according to the National Trust, a Washington non-profit. 63% of those who enroll will actually earn a Bachelor Degree.  Preparing students with a more rigorous curriculum of the new Common Core is one step of preparing students to graduate from college, but is there more we should be doing?

#1 Time in the Classroom
            Many middle school and high school teachers complain that schools spend too much time on  activities, assemblies, sport events, and helping students’ who are behind all taking much of their instruction time.  With the increased rigor of the new Common Core Curriculum, teachers need more time to instruct their students.  Because of “No Child Left Behind, activities like Teacher Advisory classes serving only the lowest ten percent of the students have become the focus.  Teaching to the lowest common denominator does not help those with low skills. In fact, everyone's instruction suffers. Identifying why a specific student is struggling and addressing that problem with remedial classes, tutoring or incentives to attend regularly is a better approach.   “Common Core Curriculum preparation and testing is another time-consumer.  Even collaboration time which is important to develop appropriate teaching material depletes the time that teachers so desperately need to prepare students.  The answer is the administration needs to limit the activities and programs, thus giving teaching the academic curriculum priority over activities.  School can be fun, but not at students’ academic expense.

#2 Prepare Students with Learning Skills
     Most colleges expect students to know how to listen to a lecture and take notes, how to read a textbook independently and identify the main points, how to create a coherent composition on demand, to have mastered mathematical skills through basic Algebra and Geometry and to exhibit an ability to manage their time and behavior well enough to study and complete assignments in a timely manner.  Over time, middle school and high school teachers have virtually eliminated lecturing and note-taking because students lack those skills and their academic grades suffer.  Furthermore, lecturing is not the most effective method to deliver instruction.  Students lose interest quickly and fall asleep or play on their cell phones. The teachers are, in turn, badly evaluated when any student fail.  Teachers and administrations need to help students develop note-taking and listening skills by practicing them.  Students need to write and read in every discipline.  They should not be pablum-fed the material, but given independent reading and writing assignments and given specific instruction to improve their ability to read difficult non-fiction materials and respond to questions in well-written, coherent essays.  Students should be encouraged to take college preparatory courses in math, science, history and language arts.   Most importantly students should be given projects where they are encouraged to plan their own time, research, write and present before a class.  Gradually reducing the student’s reliance on the teacher will help the student become a more independent learner.  Students who have language barriers need to have specified training to help them develop the language skills they need to be successful.  In too many situations, schools have cut bi-lingual programs to save money or asked teachers “to do the best you can” with a student with no language skills assigned to a class of 35 to 40 students.  This is unfair to the student developing language skills, the teachers and rest of the class.

#3  Homework
            Yes, there is a new push to eliminate homework from K-12 schools, but if students are going to be successful in college, they need to practice completing homework and studying for tests at home.  Homework shouldn’t be overwhelming, but gradually should grow as the student becomes older.  By the time a student is in middle school, he should be able to complete 20-30 minutes a night for each of his academic classes.  This means he should expect 80 minutes to two hours of homework per night.  This homework should be relevant and meaningful.  Even though having a part-time job teaches responsibility, keep the hours low so the student can invest enough time on his academic career.  Athletics also should be limited to an hour after school to enable the student to complete his academic studies.  Parents who complain need to understand that properly preparing a student for a future will mean he/she will be able to more successfully support himself/herself financially if that student has prepared himself/herself for the rigors of a college education.  It also means that often students will need to select which activities they need to be involved.  No one can do everything.  Still colleges look at the student’s GPA and activities when selecting students, so by no means am I saying that all extra curricular activities should be eliminated.  On the contrary, be selective and choose those that the student excels.  He will be happier.  If he/she is successful, he could earn a scholarship based on his participation.

#4 Financial Investment
            College is not cheap.  The financial burden to an economically strapped family can seem overwhelming.  There is financial aide available: scholarships, loans and grants.  If a student works hard, he can alleviate part of the financial burden by taking Advanced Placement classes, concurrent enrollment (taking college classes while completing high school courses) or completing on-line college classes while still in high school.  Keeping his grade point average high and participating in activities like debate, drama, speech, sports or the arts could help the student qualify for scholarships.  Grants and loans are available for students with low-income.  Many teachers and parents discourage students from applying for loans fearing that if the child does not succeed, he/she will be overburdened with debt in a time when finding employment can be difficult  The New York Times article “Reports Shows Low Graduation Rates at For-Profit Colleges, that the truth is according to “Subprime Opportunity,” only 22% of student enrolled in private for-profit colleges graduate, compared to 55% from public colleges and 65% from private non-profit colleges. This means as a consumer, a student needs to select his college carefully, be prepared and be willing to take a financial risk that might increase his ability to provide his family a pathway out of poverty.   More importantly, never let a dream be deferred.

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?

#5 A Map a Pathway to a Future
     A good teacher helps students find the roads of their future and show them how they might achieve them.  Many students are just afraid to leave the comfort of high school and move on to college; many students are the first generation to attend college and their parents’ fear of losing their child to a strange world in which they have no experience; and many students lack the motivation to take the first steps to their future.  Whatever problem is holding the child back, the school needs to address.  Workshops for parents to introduce them to the processes of enrolling their child in college should begin in middle school and continue through high school.  Workshops for students about possible career choices and education requirements for those goals should also begin in middle school.  Students who have a goal when they begin their education are more likely to finish it successfully.  Workshops for both students and parents about the financial aide opportunities should also be available early in the process.  Keeping the students and parents informed about the student’s academic process and helping them to select courses to prepare the child for the rigors of college should begin early in the child’s education and continue.  This means that a well-prepared counseling center is essential for a student to become successful.   For some students language barriers may be a deterrent; however, there are resources available and the teacher needs to be aware of these resource and communicate them to the parent. Many parents may believe erroneously that because their father dropped out of school after the 8th grade and supported a family of seven as a welder, there is no need for their child to pursue a college education; however, times have changed.  Most of the jobs that only require a high school education have gone overseas and opportunities for students without any education do not exist.  If a student is going to earn enough money to support a family, he/she needs some form of post-high school education.  If a student is planning on living comfortably, he/she needs a college degree.  To help the parents understand this, schools need to begin communicating this message in elementary school especially in the lower economic neighborhoods.

#6 A Time and a Place
            Finally, this is the tide of affairs in young students’ lives when the decisions they make affect them more than any other time, yet one of greatest distractions for students is the euphoria of youth.  Students love to socialize.  Many times that means alcohol, drugs, unprotected sexual intercourse and any number of nonsensical, dangerous behaviors. This lack of self-control has caused more than one student to drop out after one year of college.  College is an expensive undertaking and students need to understand that many students throughout the world would love to have their place at that college.  They are competing with every other student in the world for an education.  The world has become much smaller.  This means their opportunities could be snatched away by a student more motivated to study than play.  Although they have watched countless movies about teenagers sent to college for a mad romp, they need to understand that those are just movies; they are not real.  The reality is if they settle down and concentrate, if they accept delayed gratification, they can have a richer more prosperous life.