The Truth Behind Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy has been a part of society for thousands of years. Women would have children at a young age because the survival rates were extremely low. However, over time the average age to have children is in your late 20s to early 30s. Within the past decade, couples decide to have children in their late 30s to early 40s because they want to make a ‘name’ for themselves and establish a career. On the other hand, teen pregnancy was an epidemic in the nineties, however, since MTV released its hit reality show 16 and Pregnant and the spin-off show Teen Mom in the late 2000s, teen pregnancy dropped a dramatic 44% since 1991.  

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Teen pregnancy is a problem in many parts of the world, the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among developed countries. Many people question why teen pregnancy rates are so high? Many believe it’s due to large amounts of sexual exposure on TV and in the media. Others believe that it’s due to the lack of sex education in school. These allegations are correct, but experts state, “contraception remains crucial in the fight against this complex social issue. A sexually active teenage girl who does not use regular contraception has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year.”

10 Facts About Teen Pregnancy

  1. 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant before the age of 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.
  2. Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than 50% of teen mothers never graduate from high school.
  3. About 25% of teen moms have a 2nd child within 24 months of their first baby.
  4. Less than 2% of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30.
  5. In many cases, the child’s father is either missing or unable to provide the proper financial support; almost 80% of teens do not marry the fathers of their children.
  6. 60% of teen pregnancy result in births while around 25% of all teenage pregnancies end in abortion.
  7. In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate among African-American and Hispanic teen girls, ages 15 to 19, was over two and a half times higher than the teen pregnancy rate among white teen girls of the same age group.
  8. Children who are born to teenage mothers are immediately placed at a greater risk of developing many physical, social, and behavioral problems.
  9. More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager. In fact, two-thirds of families begun by a young, unmarried mother are poor.
  10. Teen pregnancy costs the U.S. almost $11 billion per year; this includes increased medical care, foster care, increased incarceration rates among the children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue.

Photo Credit: thecandiesfoundation.org

Multiliteracies & Writing

Tutoring ESL Students: Issues and Options

Learning another language as your second language can be very hard, especially English. Coming into a school where you’re not familiar with the language and accepted to learn the material in that language can be extremely hard.

Harris and Silva explain how having one-on-one instruction is beneficial for an ESL student because:

these students need the kind of individualized attention that tutors offer, instruction that casts no aspersions on the adequacy of the classroom or the ability of the student. We should recognize that along with different linguistic backgrounds, ESL students have a diversity of concerns that can only be dealt with in the one-to-one setting where the focus of attention is on that particular student and his or her questions, concerns, cultural presuppositions, writing processes, language learning experiences, and conceptions of what writing in English is all about” (525).

I agree with this quote completely. It’s important for the students instruction be one-on-one and customized to their particular needs in the language. This article reminded me of two past experiences, (1) working at Huntington Learning Center as an ACT/SAT Prep English tutor and Writing tutor and (2) have an ESL student in my preschool class two years ago.

(1) I only worked at Huntington Learning Center for a few months, but during my time there I was taught multiple learning styles to fit each child’s’ individual needs. I only had one ESL student and I was completely taken back by how differently I need to change my teaching approach for that student to better understand what they were learning.

After our first session, I did a lot of research on how to teach an ESL student how to write in English. I did not have any background knowledge on teaching an ESL student, but I taught myself so I can better teach the child the material.

(2) Being a preschool is something that I never thought I would love to do; watching little minds grow and fill with so much knowledge. It’s honestly one of the best jobs in the entire world. During my several years of teaching preschool, I was lucky enough to be introduced to such a smart little boy. He didn’t speak any English when he came into room, but by the end of the year, we couldn’t get him to stop speaking.

His first language was French, which I speak a little bit of. To get him comfortable with the students and myself, I would talk to him as much as I could in French, then I would say the English word afterwards. By doing this, he was learning the English words and my other students were learning a little bit of French. I also labeled everything in my room so my students could so the written form of the object and underneath the English word, I wrote the French word as well.

After a few weeks of going back and forth between French and English, I only spoke English in my class. After a few months, he spoke English like it was his first language.

Using Rubrics to Develop and Apply Grading Criteria

This article reminded me a lot of the article that I presented in the beginning of the semester. I find that rubrics can be very helpful in a writing class because it helps you [the teacher] with the direction of your grading process.

Also, by having rubrics for writing assessments the student is able to understand what category a specific topic was graded as and they would be able to enhance or improve for the next assessment.

Analytic V. Holistic

The analytic method separates each criteria into topics such as: grammar, organization, sources, format, etc. By doing so, the teacher is able to get more specific with the criteria he/she wants to focus on for that assignment and it gives them the opportunity to really understand the students writing with this approach.

On the other hand, the holistic method is just an overall score shown with a number. By using this method, you the student won’t be getting the full effect of what he/she has done wrong or right in their paper and the teacher doesn’t really get to examine the students work on a deeper level.

The Hidden Face of Horror: A Review of Cafe Macabre

It’s really all in the title. This is a collection of short stories edited by Leah McNaughton Lederman. Several of her own unique stories are also included in these Tell-Tale heart beating pages (yes it is that good). The collection represents the human face of horror that we often do not see in current fiction pieces. It is not filled with stereotypical “gotcha moments” or “jump scares.” However, there are definite elements of surprise that will have you looking over your shoulder. I read this in the small, stolen hours of the night and that made it even more eerie. The stories were written by diverse women who really delved into their characters’ psyches to give us the best possible scares that leave indelible marks. The collection is highly atmospheric, so much so that it is a sensory delight to read (that is rare). Women and men will be able to relate to the stories and will be pulled into worlds from which they will not soon depart. The graphics are a joy to behold and add so much to the collection. I enjoyed learning about the artists and writers at the end of the book. Leah McNaughton Lederman also includes editorial instructions at the end that I found to be invaluable. Cafe Macabre is available on Amazon. Buy it. It is horror at its best because FRESH perspectives are introduced that are highly relatable…scary, right?