A student who doesn't bring materials

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 19, 2013

    How much effort would you put into a student who doesn't bring materials, has them but won't get them out unless you ask 20 times, and loses anything you give him?

    I have a student, and I've replaced his lab notebook twice. He continues to "leave it at home".

    When I give him worksheets, he leaves them in class completely blank and without his name.

    He doesn't bring his binder, when he needs a writing utensil, he never asks for one and simply sits there without one (I give out golf pencils to anyone who needs it), and he's currently getting an 11%. Puts almost no effort into tests and assignments.

    I know that a lot of teachers feel a responsibility to keep all kids from failing, but am I incorrect in being content to let him fail? He's one of the kids who have transferred to our school from a much rougher school, and doesn't hold the same work ethic. He started off fresh and new here, and we've tried to get him off to a good start but he seems intent on doing as little as he can.

    At the very least he seems to enjoy my company, my class, and apart from a little stint at the very beginning of the year, which I very quickly shut down, he behaves well in class.

    A part of me doesn't want to see him fail, but another part of me wants him to feel the consequences of his actions. The thing is is I don't really know if failing a class is really a consequence for him. I guess I can tell him about the retention threat, but the requirements for retention are so extensive that we almost NEVER retain anyone.
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 19, 2013

    There's only so much you can do. IT seems like you have provided plenty of assistance and encouragement to this student. It is still early in the year. Are you on a semester or trimester system? Have progress report gone home yet? Maybe if he sees that he will fail, he'll change his ways. If it doesn't matter, not much you can do.
    Have you called home? That might be the only thing that can change things, if you haven't done it yet, call and talk to parents.

    I have a student who does pretty much nothing in my class. Sometimes he does a little work, maybe half, but half is still an F, and it's not every day. Often he does some work, then crumbles it up and throws it away. I talked to him, he doesn't care. His opinion is that he's still young, he has time, and he'll end up locked up anyway and they'll make him do work in there. (????)
    We ended the quarter, he failed both of my classes. My P said his parents won't care either, they don't value education (shocker).
    I feel that there isn't anything I can do. At least he behaves, sometimes he talks quietly, but I can redirect him. (to just sitting there quietly or at least doing some work)
     
  4. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Oct 19, 2013

    We can only do so much. I provide supplies (pens, highlighters, paper) for students on my desk and they know they can take what they need. But, they have to take the initiative, get out of their seat and go get a pen and some paper (there are some students I will bring supplies to, but some I refuse to because it is nothing but a game to them). I will also ask students to take out their supplies or borrow from me and do their work multiple times throughout the class period. This is to cover myself. Call home, document it, and move on because you cannot force a child to work.

    I'm not going to write for the child or do the work. Period. But, I rarely fail kids. Kids that don't do work in class are basically allowed to make it up at the end of the quarter and they usually earn the lowest-possible passing grade, a 60%. The last week in the quarter is a flurry of kids handing in late/missing work that has to be graded NOW (as a child told me last year).
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I did "boot camp" at home with my oldest and he still couldn't get it accomplished. Something clicked about half way through 9th grade. Now he is a model student. From 4th grade through half of 9th grade, I thought I was going to pull my hair out. It takes some kids longer.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Progress reports have gone home. Right before hand he tried to get the work he missed from me, but I only allow them to turn in late work within one week. A lot of the things he was missing were from prior weeks. Also I gave him the work for that week but he began copying the homework of another student while in math class and the math teacher brought me his work so I had to toss it and tell him that he could complete it with me after class. He said no thanks, so I said, okay.

    He's failing every class. I just checked his progress report grades.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 19, 2013

    Hope that happens with this kid. And I hope that he learns something from this experience.
     
  8. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Oct 19, 2013

    You said he came from a rougher school...I'll bet the material at your school is a lot tougher than what he was taught in his previous school. He may feel it is useless to try since there is no way he can catch up given how far behind he probably is.

    You are clearly doing a lot to help him, but I wonder if he would put forth better effort if he saw he could do the work. Has he done anything good/positive that you can point out?
     
  9. futureteach24

    futureteach24 Companion

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    Oct 19, 2013

    Just a few thoughts:
    calling and/or meeting with parent(s)
    asking him about his interests
    incentives
    Does he understand the material? I have found that sometimes students unwillingness to participate is really their way of telling me they don't get the material.
    Is there a way he can still pass? He might feel like he is beyond hope and that is why he refuses to try.
    These are just a few thoughts but at the end of the day, he has to put some effort into his education.
    Good luck!
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Is it possible he's avoiding the tasks because he knows he can't do them?
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    For a lot of students, there is no point in doing work. Either they believe that a school won't allow them to actually fail a class, or they'll do as the teacher above said, and do the bare minimum at the very last minute.

    I don't provide supplies to students. I have many students that claim they left something at home. When I say "oh well, borrow from a friend," they somehow find a pencil in their bookbags. When I say I don't have any more copies of a study guide that we started the day before, they somehow find them in their bookbags. When they honestly do not have a pencil I will trade them car keys or a cellphone for one. If they return my pencil in good shape, they get their phone back in good shape ;)
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    adding...

    I have a final exam at the end of the semester. I wrote it and it is comprehensive. If a student does well on it (not just a 70), it indicates to me that he has mastered the material. If a student is failing and has decided to give up because there is no way he can ever pull himself out of the hole he dug, I will make a deal with him. If he actively participates and gets a C on the final, I'll pass him no matter what his actual average is.
     
  13. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Do you know if he is capable of doing the work? Sometimes kids use avoidance behaviors like this instead of admitting that they need help.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    :love:
    I am almost certain that that is what it probably is. I've reviewed with students the importance of a growth mindset, and how important it is to put forth effort into improving, because just because you start at a certain point, doesn't mean you have to stay at a certain point. Nearly everyone bought into it. This student didn't give me acceptable proof of his understanding of the concept, so I literally had him stay in the class and review with me what the lesson meant and its importance. He eventually got it with some guidance, but I didn't see any action from it later.

    I know it's probably because he feels he's not capable (he said he's a sports person not a writing person). But I don't have the time within class to completely change his mind and thinking, or to drag him kicking and screaming over the D mark. My question is, is it okay to be content to let him fail and feel the consequences of his actions and let him realize for himself that the only way he is going to improve is to put effort into it?
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    By the way, he has on at least one occasion given me good answers during a discussion even if it took a little bit of eliciting.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think he's taking the path of least resistance. He does nothing, he gets zeros, and no one gives him a hard time.

    But he'll be 18 with no education in the blink of an eye.

    I wouldn't make it that easy for him. I would pull him, kicking and screaming if necessary, to where he's willing to learn at least a little.

    I know it shouldn't be necessary, but apparently it is.

    So he doesn't have a pencil? Be on the lookout and hand him one. He leaves his worksheet behind? Pick it up and give it to him tomorrow.

    You say that he seems to enjoy your class. Marvelous!!! Build on that. Maybe even pull him in for a man to man chat about opportunities and about how this is his one chance to get the education that will help him build the type of life you know he wants.

    Will it make a difference? Who knows until you try. But I could never be "content" with not trying.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    well, it guess it being 'okay' would depend on your school culture and your conscience. I am perfectly okay with letting some students fail. Others, not so much.

    I had a student that trudged along in my class for a couple of weeks until he had to be removed from school for medical reasons. When he returned he had missed so much of my class that he had no chance of passing so he was placed in an elective. That semester he learned that if he showed up, signed his name to a few papers and wasn't a behavior problem, his teachers would give him a passing grade. Didn't matter what grades he actually earned. The next semester, same thing.

    He returned to my class the following year. He had already proven that he was capable in my class so I knew his failing grades were his choice. He had a 50-something in my class at the end of the semester and of course failed the course. He was surprised, though, because he had been passed by other teachers in similar situations.

    The very next week he was in my class again, taking it for the second/third time. There was an immediate change. He aced the material that he was now seeing for the third time. He ended up with the highest grade in the class - a 90-something. ALL of his grades in all of his other classes were much higher too.

    At a 504 meeting he told the counselor that he didn't need a 504 any longer. He actually said that once he realized that a teacher would really fail him, he decided to start doing his part.

    Now I realize that this situation isn't likely to repeat itself many times. But I have found that the less support I give SOME students, the better they end up doing on their own.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, I'm Ok with him failing.

    But not with him opting out of doing anything along the way. If he does every worksheet and takes all the notes and answers all the questions on all the tests and fails, so be it.

    But I wouldn't make it easy.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    And I'm not dragging a kid around to get him to do the bare minimum required to pass my class.

    I have a couple of students now that are failing miserably. I have no problem calling out while I'm waiting for everyone else to finish copying notes "Suzy, are you writing this down?" to get her to refocus. I am not okay with standing over Johnny constantly saying "write this down. Copy that. Answer question #4. Answer question #6."

    I'm okay with picking up a blank worksheet and placing in on the counter. I am not okay with writing down Johnny's name because I suspect it may be his.
     
  20. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I would have a conference with the AP, parents, all teachers, and the student.

    I have had many students like this in my short teaching career. Sometimes you can get through to them, sometimes you can't. I have one this year, and I can already tell he's a "can't". He's been pulling this act for years, parents are no help. I think he needs counseling, but mom won't go for it. And I don't have time to hold his hand and give him twenty copies of missing work. Nor should I have to.
     
  21. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Is there a way to give him consequences that he would feel and could maybe (hopefully) help fix his behavior before he completely fails.

    For example, could he be forced to come finish unfinished classwork during lunch or in some sort of detention? Maybe that would be a deterrent that might get him to start putting effort into classwork.

    Could you contact a parent and let them know you'll be sending home as additional homework any work that isn't completed in class, explaining what he's doing in class. Maybe making someone at home aware of his lack of effort would be enough to deter him from being so lazy about his work.

    In the end, he might end up failing. But at least you didn't just give up on him because he didn't put in any effort. You gave him consequences for his lack of effort and even those consequences weren't enough to put him on the right track.
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think the chat is a great idea. I will try to pull him in after class or during brunch and give it to him like it is. If you don't put more effort into success in my class and others, you're going to end up with no choices in life. That's just the way it is. We've referred him to our academic counselor, and she's been trying to get him on track, but it doesn't seem to be working.

    I will begins silently placing pencils on his desk, but I don't think I will put the energy dragging him kicking and screaming to do the work. I don't have the patience or the time for that, and it would cause the rest of my teaching to suffer if I stress about one student who isn't putting any stress into solving his future.

    iteachbx: Your post makes me think of an automatic referral to a study hall of some sort, maybe if your grade is below a certain level, or you get referred because of lack of effort there could be a consequence where you lose lunch once or twice a week to complete work.
     

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