Senioritis

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    Nov 8, 2017

    Remember my group of 11th grade boys who have been less than thrilled with school? Recently, my 12th grade class (not all of them) have just mailed it in and just want graduate no matter what grade they get. It's the D for "done" mentality. All my seniors are passing. Some are doing well but the ones that are dragging are the concern. I might end up with 11 of 16 students passing with Ds. Is there anything I could do besides talking to admin? Other teachers who have them describe the same. English, history, etc.... they just want that piece of paper.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 8, 2017

    I know it has to be frustrating for you.

    There isn't a lot you can do. They are almost adults (some already are, legally) and they are making their own choices. I'd contact parents once, for CYA and in the hope they can influence their kids, and let them make their choices. I would not, under any circumstances, show grace with grades when report cards come around. If they are going to make this choice, they have to suffer the consequences as well.
     
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  4. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Companion

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    Nov 8, 2017

    I teach precalculus, which in my school, at the CP level, is a class that is about 80% juniors and 20% seniors (with an occasional sophomore here and there). By third marking period, the vast majority of the seniors are getting Ds and Es (and not doing homework!!), but the juniors are mostly As and Bs (with an occasional C+). Honestly, if I don't hear from their parents about it, I just let it go. That may not be the best attitude to take, but they know the grade doesn't matter once they're into college. Besides, most of them knew they would retake pre-calc in college anyway, and my class was just a "preview". One thing I tried, that helped slightly with motivation, was offering to excuse all their missing homework and poor quiz scores if they performed well on the unit test. (Basically I told them, if you get a C on the unit test, I'll give you a C for the quarter---the unit test covered all topics that quarter.) Most of them got Ds or Es on the unit test (not surprising), but a couple pulled it off. Honestly, some of those seniors last year were my favorite students personality-wise. They didn't grub for grades, they weren't disrespectful, and they were more funny/outgoing than many of the juniors. I just let them be themselves.
     
  5. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    Nov 11, 2017

    My main problem is that my Jr and Sr classes are made up of mostly non-college at students who "hate school." In quotes because that's what I hear from their mouths. I've taken the approach of just not stressing myself out over this. I've heard from the other new teacher here that they became accustomed to the "if you show up and don't cause trouble, you'll pass even if you do no work" mantra that's infected the lower 11th and 12th graders.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 11, 2017

    What are E's?

    I remember when I was a senior, and yes, there was very little you could do to make me care about my classes that last year.

    If it's true that if they just show up and don't cause trouble and can still pass, then that seems to be an issue your school needs to fix. I know the latest hot-button issue is getting everyone to graduate and pass, but we've let it slide too far in many schools I think. Teenagers are very astute about how the "system" works and are always looking for ways to game by putting in the least amount of work and effort possible. It's the fault of the adults if they build a faulty system that easily game-able.

    Other than completely changing the school culture and the requirements for passing classes, and the expectations of your administrators, all you can do is pull the student aside and talk with them about how their choices might affect them.

    You can also try reaching the parents as others have mentioned. That would have worked in my case since my parents were the involved type, but by senior year, I think most parents have realized that the responsibility lies (and should lie) with the student at this point, and are understandably hands off.

    Unless the stakes are there, you can't really do anything about it. And the fact is, if you have a discussion with them about the consequences of their choices, you might find yourself realizing that apart from closing some doors, there are no real consequence for them checking out at this point. Especially if they have their mind set on something that doesn't require academic success at this point in their academic career. (either they don't want to do anything that requires college or even graduation, or they already have a set place in a college and barely passing a class may not change that according to the terms of their agreements)
     
  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Companion

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    Nov 11, 2017

    My school doesn't skip in the alphabet. Our grades go ABCDE. Es instead of Fs.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Gotcha. I just remember my elementary school used E's to signify 'excellence', lol.
     
  9. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Sounds to me that the school is trying not to "butt hurt" the students. ;)

    E sounds less harsh than F!!
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Companion

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    Nov 12, 2017

    Maybe so (though I think their are other things we do that may exemplify that more), but skipping a letter doesn't really make a ton of logical sense either. Yes, I get F=Failure, but the other letter grades don't have any connection with some meaning like that so I don't know why F should. It's funny---I'm so used to it now with ABCDE, I forget when talking to people from other schools that "E" isn't generally a thing.
     
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  11. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Devotee

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    Nov 12, 2017

    I remember my early Catholic school grades being O, S+, S, S-, and N!
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 12, 2017

    The senioritis I've experienced is when the kid is afraid to graduate so he stops doing all the work and fails. he has been in school for 12 years and is used to it, and now he's realized that after graduation he has no more school (no safety net of friends, structure, schedule, teachers who care, etc) and will have to somehow get a job and live a grown up life.
    So the kid shuts down and self sabotages.
    This happens all the time, and they often fail and have to stay another semester.

    I have known kids who just did enough to pass and graduate.

    - I wouldn't stress about this. You show up to teach, they show up to learn and pass.
    - I wouldn't be nice and flexible with grading, even if it means they might not pass. I would clearly communicate that I will fail a student with 59 % and will not give the that 15 to pass if they don't do the work, even if it means not graduating
    - I would also reason with them, and say that they might think they're passing with a 65 %, and will be ok, but what if they fail a couple of tests or not be able to complete a bigger assignment and then fail? At least bring up the grade to a C to be safe.
    - call home let the parents know
    - other than that, just remind the kid a few times and then let it be. This is not your battle.
     
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