Best reply to "I never did any work before anyways!"

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by miatorres, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    With middle school and high school students, what is the best reply to those who keep saying, "I never did the work anways?"
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    as in they are refusing to work? or are saying they don't need to work??
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I would say, "I understand. Sorry." Then go about with your expectations.
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    The best response is no response... I'm all for natural consequences, and letting the student take ownership of their problems
     
  6. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    I'm with Upsadaisy - "Wow, that must be great for you, but in this class you are expected to..." If it is a refusal to do work, I may mention bringing parents into the conversation. I usually check with other teachers as well to see how the student is doing in other classes. If they are saying they do not need to do the work, remind them how important work and participation are to the grade. If it comes down to consequences, a call home (especially to a boy's mother) or a conference, so be it. Let the student know.

    Last year we used BIST and students who weren't working (or misbehaving) were asked to fill out a sheet that asked them to explain their behavior. Sometimes talking back or refusing to follow directions isn't directed at you, but at a problem elsewhere (which is so hard to remember - they aren't always attacking ME!) Give them a chance to tell you what is going on, but if they refuse take it as a sign that something is going on, let them take a time out for themselves (maybe in the hallway) and then get back to work.

    Wow, sometimes I stumble through explanations...
     
  7. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    I would have them write a letter to their parents along the lines of:

    Dear Mom,
    I am choosing to take an F on this assignment rather than doing the work Mrs. ____ has asked me to do.
    Your son/daughter,
    _________________


    Usually given the choice between writing this letter (which I offered to mail) or doing the work, they'd do the work! :)
     
  8. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    I would tell them "ya gotta start some time then" Or just get your self a cardboard sighn right now, and pick a street corner.
     
  9. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I'd go with something like this....maybe not the best idea, but one smartass remark deserves another, lol.
     
  10. Ann2006

    Ann2006 Cohort

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    Be careful of insinuating that their future is headed toward the cardboard sign holding job....could lead to attacks of you being racist or culturally biased. Really, just don't go there. Not worth the possible write up in your file. no no no no no
    Bad idea.........
     
  11. lupin43

    lupin43 Companion

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    I had a student that in math class refused to show work. I would make each problem wrong that he didn't show work. One paper he did show work and got a good grade, I kept in a file with a few of his other papers for a conference with the parent. (photocopies of originals that I returned) I also had him write down and acknowledge that he knew he needed to show work. I kept this in the file too. This was soo that if I needed to show that I wasn't leaving him behind he was choosing not to work, I had all the paper proof.
     
  12. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    How about: Well, you've never been in my class before, either!

    LOL! I could totally picture myself saying this....
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I hit that once. Here's what I did:
    On his next test, I gave him a choice: either the answer was worth the full amount of credit, or he would show work and there would be partial credit-- he had to choose ahead of time. If he chose plan A, then even a missing negative sign would mean he would lose the full 6 or 8 points for the question. If he chose plan B, he would have to show work, but that same missing negative sign would be only a one point error. (I'm really generous with partial credit:) ) He thought about it for a while, then chose plan B.

    It would have been interesting to see what would have happened with a few tests of plan B.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that's the best response!
     
  15. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Yes, I agree about not implying that their future is headed towards being homeless because some of my students are already homeless. It is possible that someone from a homeless family does want to do well in school becausse that's the only way that he or she could get out of that predicament.

     
  16. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Thanks for that suggestion, which I could see working in this area for some of the students. But with really troubled kids, what if he or she still refuses to write that letter? With students who already have failed most of their classes, some are just that apathetic.

     
  17. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    They're saying that they refuse to work at all! We have the reputation for having quite apathetic students.

     
  18. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    It is the chronic kids who are the most desparate for a relationship with someone. I taught in a school that had a high drop-out rate and found that some of those kids who were problems for other teachers somehow found a connection to me. I don't know if it was because I was closer to my age, or I messed up so much they saw me as human. You have to find a way to get to know them and love on them a little (appropriately of course). When they know you care, they will want to work with you and reach your expectations.

    With that being said, there are those students who will do their best to get out of any work. My older brother was like that and he is still like that today. He was a chronic kid (and I was a breath of fresh air). We've talked about it and he has said that he just never found a teacher that really cared, no one made him want to try when he was at school. It's sad, but it really is making that relationship, and some kids refuse to do it.
     
  19. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Thank you for sharing that story about your brother!

     
  20. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    "Try it in this class and see what happens."

    Then show him/her what happens. Lay it on good and thick.

    I am a FIRM believer in letting the student feel the full effect of the consequences of his/her personal choices and actions.
     
  21. hhennigan

    hhennigan Rookie

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    Aliceacc I love Plan A and Plan B that is great! Thanks!
     
  22. Docere

    Docere Rookie

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    I like that one.

    I agree with you 100%.

    I would try to contact his/her parents and tell them what's been going on. Perhaps a phone call would be best if that is possible, because the student might never give his/her parents the letter. I would also try to change the student's apathetic attitude. I would tell him/her that s/he is perfectly capable of doing the work and being smart but s/he is choosing not to, and that this is unfortunate because you know that s/he is capable of so much more. I would say that his/her grade is his/her choice -- not his/her parents, not yours -- but his/her alone. Other than that, there isn't much you can do except push him/her and tell the parents. You can lead a horse to water, but can't make it drink -- it's the same with students. You can teach but you can't make them learn.
     
  23. hhennigan

    hhennigan Rookie

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    Very nice Docere
     
  24. Docere

    Docere Rookie

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    Thanks. :)

    I was thinking about that, and if you have several students who won't do anything, maybe you should give them a reward if everyone turns in a particular assignment. I don't know if you've started school yet, but it'd be best if it was their first homework assignment. If you haven't started school yet, this is what I would do.

    I would start off with giving everyone an F. Where I am, most teachers start with As, but start with everyone having an F, if that is allowed where you teach. Tell them that at this moment everyone has an F, but the homework will determine whether they have an F or an A by tomorrow. Then tell them that if everyone does the homework and turns it in tomorrow on time, you'll give them a pizza party on Friday or not give them any homework the next day. Any good reward you can think of that'll get their attention and motivate them.

    Then, if it's possible, enter in their scores and pass them out the next day with just that one assignment on it. The ones who did turn in the homework will see that their work paid off and the ones that didn't (hopefully, there won't be any) will still have a 0% F. If there are a few who didn't do the homework, I would tell the class that the homework you are giving out today will be graded based on completion (as long as they give real answers, of course). That will make the ones with the F want to pull up their grade with the others. After that, I would grade normally.

    Maybe this is a little out-there, but it's what I would do if I was at a school where many students are apathetic. Get their attention and prove to them that they can and should do the work. That'd be my goal.
     
  25. hhennigan

    hhennigan Rookie

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    I like that I may just do that this year. Thanks
     
  26. mrsk

    mrsk Rookie

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    I love this!
     
  27. MrsRich219

    MrsRich219 Companion

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    Why are you assuming that the student is a minority? Did I miss something?
     
  28. Ann2006

    Ann2006 Cohort

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    Oh gosh no!
    Racism and cultural bias can be against any group.
    The last school I worked at taught me that. I worked in a building with many racist people, students included, who were openly racist and culturally biased. Being biracial myself, I was not treated well at all. I was definately seen as an outsider and they let me know it. It was a very sad school year for me. I saw and heard things that broke my heart.
     
  29. pfnw

    pfnw Rookie

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    Katrinkit, What is BIST?
     
  30. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    BIST is Behavior Intervention Support Team...I think, sometimes I get a letter wrong, but I am 98% sure I have it right. It asks the students to take responsibility for their actions every time there is a problem. We were asked to ask students if they are able to do things, even though they don't want to. If you ask someone to make a better choice than one they may be making at the time, and they continue, they are sent to a safe seat in the room. If the behavior continues in the safe seat, students go to a buddy room (each teacher is on a "team" of buddy rooms - 4 or 5 rooms, hopefully within the same hallway, new teachers are never placed with other new teachers). In the buddy rooms, students fill out a Think Sheet, which asks the student to describe the issue, how they were feeling at the time and explain how it makes others in the classroom (including the teacher) feel. If students still have issues in the buddy room, they are "shut down" for the rest of the day (for up to 3 days, then administration gets involved).
    Now, to get back into the original room, students must process with the original teacher. All Think Sheets are returned to the original teachers at the end of the day, so they can get an idea of how to process with the student. If it is a repeat offender, they will probably go on some kind of plan (if I do this, this will happen automatically). If students are asked to go to shut down, they must also process with the buddy room teacher before they are expected to get back into the original room.
    So it would look like this...
    1. Johnny, can you show me that you can pay attention, even though you want to talk to Sarah? (Johnny says yes, but continues talking to Sarah)
    2. Johnny, I know that talking to Sarah is important, but for now, I'd like you to move to safe seat. (Johnny moves to the designated spot in the room, but continues to look back at Sarah)
    3. Johnny, I would like for for you to go to a buddy room. Please take your think sheet to Room 103. (If students refuse the buddy room, administration is called. Student is most likely shut down.)

    Processing with students work if you dig. Some repeat offenders figure out what to tell you - so you can't accept anything. I like the idea of BIST, but it really does have to be a district-wide program to be effective. Our junior students started BIST in middle school, which made it easier. If you want to know more, let me know. I didn't pull out my manual on this - which I do have. All new staff and administrators went to training for 8-10 hours to learn about the system.
     
  31. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Thanks, everyone, for all of the insights!
     

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