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  #11  
Old 12-19-2012, 03:16 PM
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lucybelle lucybelle is offline
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Originally Posted by GemStone View Post
After trying everything in my power to get them to work, I start documenting each and every refusal. I take back any papers they were told to complete, put their names on it, and mark "refused to do" on it. A copy of those papers go home.

I have come to the peaceful realization that children are responsible for their own learning. If they and their parents refuse to put in the effort, and I've done all I can, then I move on to the kids who want to learn.
I like this a lot. Get the kid to sign the paper, too.
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2012, 03:23 PM
GemStone GemStone is offline
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Originally Posted by lucybelle View Post
I like this a lot. Get the kid to sign the paper, too.
Thank you. After having three loudly defiant, argumentative refusers last year, I was done with it all.
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2012, 06:20 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
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High School English (Alt. Ed.)
I have a student was does very little. In the past 2 weeks we received an F for each week as academic grade. He took some notes, but not nearly half, and he didn't even try on the tests. He basically puts in an effort of 30 %. In the lock up a lot of teachers take it easy on the students, dumb things down and they get easy As and Bs. I gave him and F, because last time I checked, anything less than 60 % is an F.

I talked to him, he told me himself he didn't care. Everything, including his refusal to try harder on the test was documented. (I let them use their notes, so he could have done better). I wrote him up, gave it to probation, hoping they would talk to him (this is an equivalent of contacting a parent).

Today I talked to him again, and told him that out of my 6 periods he's the one that does the least amount of work. He seemed genuinely surprised. I told him I do have another 1-2 students who don't do enough, but they do try, and at least they're putting in D work. Told him I know he's smart, although it doesn't show on his work. But I know he is, and if I accepted the work he gives me, I would imply that he's dumb.

His facial expression was interesting, there a chance I might have gotten through to him. We'll see. If not, I think I've done all I can.
You can only do so much. Of course if I was his regular teacher, I wouldn't give up, I would keep pushing him and motivating him, but with 2 days to go, I'm basically done.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2012, 04:57 AM
GTB4GT GTB4GT is offline
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Originally Posted by EdEd View Post
There is hypothetically an answer out there for every single child - the question is can you figure out the formula for that student, and gather the resources to make it work.

One final comment - in almost 100% of cases I've worked on, there is more that can be done even when the teacher says, "I've tried everything." Peregrin, from reading your past posts, you seem committed above and beyond, as well as very capable, and have probably tried just about everything you can. However, most teachers who become frustrated with a student tend to become resistant to further ideas because those ideas are taken as an insult to the teacher's abilities.
I cannot diagree with your points on a philosophical level. On a practical level, where does the the time come from to do this at the micro (individual) level? I agree with the others who have said, do all within your toolbox to "reach" a child but if that is unfruitful then one's finite energy and time is best spent where it will be better utilized. I see it as an investment problem - I have x amount of resources and I want to utilize them in the most efficient manner. Disproportionate time on one student is not the most effective use of my time (imo).
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2012, 01:12 PM
EdEd EdEd is online now
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Originally Posted by GTB4GT View Post
I cannot diagree with your points on a philosophical level. On a practical level, where does the the time come from to do this at the micro (individual) level? I agree with the others who have said, do all within your toolbox to "reach" a child but if that is unfruitful then one's finite energy and time is best spent where it will be better utilized. I see it as an investment problem - I have x amount of resources and I want to utilize them in the most efficient manner. Disproportionate time on one student is not the most effective use of my time (imo).
I agree - I think we're on the same page. My only point I'd want to re-emphasize is that I've frequently encountered teachers that have thought they've exhausted every feasible tool when they haven't. I gave an example about reinforcement - I've heard a number of times that teachers have tried "rewards," but maybe not in the right way. So, I'd be very cautious about blinding advising someone to move on and forget the student when they've simply listed a few interventions they've tried.

In other words, while there is a gap between a philosophical upper-limit of intervention and what's feasible practically, there is a also often a very real gap between what's feasible practically and what's been tried.
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2012, 06:21 PM
gdmckav gdmckav is offline
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I disagree that there is always something more to be done to "reach" a student who absolutely refuses to do any sort of work or simply put forth an effort in class. I have current student who is in Junior-level US History who is really at only a Sophomore-standing because he does not care to do anything school-related.

Throughout this entire Fall semester, he did not complete a single writing assignment nor attempt an effort on a test. When asked about it, he would simply say he does not care or make a snarky, inappropriate comment. My point is: What is there for a teacher to do when you have students who have no desire for a high school diploma or higher education or extrinsic value in education? This type of student does not have any vested interest in utilizing an education when they reached adulthood. Therefore, how else can you motive them?

I know I am jaded in my approach, but I feel like we as teachers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Until our education system is reformed to provided alternative programs for those students not interested in classroom-based education, then we will continue to hit a brick wall.
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2012, 07:33 AM
GTB4GT GTB4GT is offline
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I am in my second year of...

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Originally Posted by gdmckav View Post
I know I am jaded in my approach, but I feel like we as teachers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Until our education system is reformed to provided alternative programs for those students not interested in classroom-based education, then we will continue to hit a brick wall.
teaching after 30 years of engineering and industrial management. when my former colleagues and peers ask me about my new field, I ask them to imagine running their current business under the mandate of having to accept, pay and retain every single person who puts in an application regardless of their skill set and motivation level. Of course in the "real world" that idea would be inconceivable (and destructive to the viabilty of the business). And this comment above all others I make resonates with them.
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2012, 11:34 AM
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Reality Check Reality Check is offline
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I get that a lot with the crew I teach. School is their social gathering place, not a means to an end. I'm not about to risk my physical well-bring in an effort to get them to do classwork. As a colleague who is now retired told me, "It's reached the point where they DARE you to try to teach them."

I just introduce them to "Mr. F" for their final grade.

So, they're going to have to enroll in the bogus "credit recovery program" after school the district set up? Their response is, "Great! All they do is play games on the computer and in a few weeks I'll get credit for your 20-week class by doing either a fraction of the work or no work at all." They're going to have to re-take the class in summer school? Their response is, "Great! I get to see my friends in summer school." They're not going to graduate? Their response is, "Great! I don't want to graduate and be forced to get a job."

My recommendation to you about record-keeping all of this? Well, I just record the zeros in my gradebook....that's my documentation. I don't write novels about each kid or any anecdotal narrations. I'm not in a court of law....these were the assignments and these were the results. If they don't like that for documentation........tough.


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  #19  
Old 12-21-2012, 11:46 AM
EdEd EdEd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdmckav View Post
I disagree that there is always something more to be done to "reach" a student who absolutely refuses to do any sort of work or simply put forth an effort in class. I have current student who is in Junior-level US History who is really at only a Sophomore-standing because he does not care to do anything school-related.

Throughout this entire Fall semester, he did not complete a single writing assignment nor attempt an effort on a test. When asked about it, he would simply say he does not care or make a snarky, inappropriate comment. My point is: What is there for a teacher to do when you have students who have no desire for a high school diploma or higher education or extrinsic value in education? This type of student does not have any vested interest in utilizing an education when they reached adulthood. Therefore, how else can you motive them?

I know I am jaded in my approach, but I feel like we as teachers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Until our education system is reformed to provided alternative programs for those students not interested in classroom-based education, then we will continue to hit a brick wall.
Again, I think there's a difference between philosophy/hypothetical possibility and practice. Practically, maybe you've reached the limit of what you can do, but you identified a hypothetical possibility - e.g., an alternative placement (e.g., vocational education) that work, although it might not be practical or feasible at this time.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2012, 07:58 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
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I think it is hard to change things mid-year unless you have a very well developed plan to do so.

My philosophy is that work is not an option. All work must be turned in either on-time or it will need to be done late for a lesser grade. I keep students after school if I get the P's support. Currently we have a school-wide policy that has students missing work to stay after school.

I have never found a parent in 21 years who has refused to allow their students to do the work that I require in public or private schools. Trust me, I've had parents who think school is a waste of time, but they still have allowed me to get missing work from their child.

I will admit when I had 7th grade in a tough neighborhood, it was a lot of work to get students to turn in missing work that 1st quarter. It got better after they realized I wasn't going to back down.

Whatever you decide you must be willing to have a plan to have complete follow through. I would suggest making only small changes mid-year. Save the big changes for when you start the next school year.

My philosophy might not be yours. I just believe in the real world you must do all the tasks required of you. I'd love to opt out of faculty meetings for a bit less $$, but that isn't a choice I get. They need to see work required of a teacher is required and part of their job as a student in a K-8 setting.
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