How would you answer this question?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Miss L, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Miss L

    Miss L Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2007

    In an interview for a HS teaching job, what do you think would be a good way to answer this question:

    :huh:
    "How would you get a student to do their work when they absolutely refuse to do anything?" (example: a senior who says "I don't care if I fail, I have enough credits to pass anyway.")
     
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  3. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    OUCH!!! That is a tough one. Were you prepared for that? That is one of the reasons I have chosen to teach in the elementary level.

    Let's see. . .my response would be something along the lines of, "what are your plans when you graduate? McDonalds??"
     
  4. kiraj

    kiraj Companion

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    You have to try your hardest to find what motivates them. If it's not grades, what is it? A sport? Calling parents? Detention? A certain style of teaching or content that will engage them? Unfortuately you cannot force someone of that age to do something they don't want to do. However, as a teacher you should always do what you can to motivate a student to success. Teachers should also rule out other factors. Is the student afraid of not being able to do well? Is something going on at home? Is this only your class, or a pattern in other classes? If it something outside of your class, you're limited in what you can do. But you can certainly alert the couselor or principal and try to find them resources.

    I think that's about as good as I can do. It's a very hard question!
     
  5. imanevilempress

    imanevilempress Rookie

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    ***Allow me to preface my response by noting that I have not completed a formal education degree***

    ready2teachintx: I would never say something like that because I would never know if that student's family is based on such a career. Who knows whether that kid's family's survival hinges on his parent(s) working at McDonalds? Saying something like that would dishearten a student and make him/her feel ashamed. And what if students around you heard you say something like that, or that student related such a story to his friends? You could easily turn a whole class against you in an instant by saying something like that, because I guarantee that there are some students who come from families like that.

    Miss L: If I were asked that question, I would say something like this, "As a student, you have a couple different options. I can't make you do the work, only you can. The way I see it is that you can do things the hard way or the easy way. The hard way is to waste a year in my class, doing nothing at all, only to have to go to school in the summer. If you don't want to go to school in the summer, then you have to retake this same course next year. And if you decide that you're going to skip classes and just simply stop going, generally that behavior gets social services involved and they'll send a juvenile officer to escort you to your classes. So, really, what you're doing is forestalling the inevitable, which is having to do the work, and wasting two or more years of your time. On the other hand, you have the easy way: do the work now, graduate in a year, and move on. You never have to come to my class ever again, nor do any of my assignments. And hey, you never know, you might actually like some of the work if you'll just try."

    Of course, this only reasoning works if you're teaching a core class and the student isn't old enough that he/she can drop out legally. Yet, if someone had said that to me as a high school student, I think that I would at least consider it.
     
  6. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    Aug 6, 2007

    Imanevil,
    I was JJ about the "mcDonalds" remark. Please don't think that I would actually say something like that to a student. I was being sarcastic. But, I would definetly find out if the student had any future goals, plans or aspirations and then explain that futures start with a solid education.
     
  7. imanevilempress

    imanevilempress Rookie

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    ready2teachintx: I would certainly hope so! But it's been my experience that a lot of teachers aren't joking when they say things like that. I don't know if I've just had a lot of insensitive teachers of if they just assumed that because anyone was in an honors level class that their parents didn't come from a background like that...I'll never know. But I do know that insensitivity was prevalent in my high school education (which was not so long ago).
     
  8. Summersoff

    Summersoff Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2007

    Good response ! i like that about any future plans or goals. very nice
     
  9. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    Sorry to hear that. That is so unprofessional! and very uninspiring. One reason I have decided to become a teacher is for that very reason...to inspire kids. Maybe we can make a difference.
     
  10. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    You have to be careful using a job that many people do have as an insult. What if his/her goal is that? Or what if the head of the household works there? Just be careful. Remember, most people in the USA do not have college degrees. For some, that is the norm and we have to be careful not to pass judgement. :)

    Ooops, guess I should have read the whole thread before reacting to the mcdonald's post....never mind!! :D
     
  11. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    Sometimes it would be a good idea to bring in a speaker for a class and let them tell the students how they did in HS and what they did after HS. You might check with a Jr. College or ask friends who have son or daughter in Jr. College (especially the ones struggling).
    It might motivate some students.
     
  12. hoosier teacher

    hoosier teacher New Member

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    Learning contracts are helpful in this type of situation because it empowers the student. I really liked the poster's suggestion of helping the student to see the consequences of postponing the inevitable resulting in repeating the course and possible involvement of social services. This conversation can be a springboard to enlisting the student's willlingness to make a learning contract that details both parties responsibilities. I read a great book last summer (can't remember the name) that gave lots of ideas for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of gifted students in the general classroom. One idea that would also work with students who refuse to work is to pre-test for mastery. If a student exhibits a level of mastery (determined by the teacher), he/she is not required to complete all the assignments planned for the class. Instead a special project of personal interest to the student could be worked on during the time the rest of the class works. It would not necessarily have to even be related to the course. The learning contract states the needed mastery level, sets standards of behavior to ensure the student does not disrupt others' learning, and indicates how the student's grade will be given. The author suggested that the grade used for all assignments would be the student's pre-test score. If the student wanted to score higher, he could opt to go through with doing the assigned work.
     
  13. vsimpkins

    vsimpkins Comrade

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    I am currently attending a class all week on differentiating instruction. Check out the website www.jtayloreducation.com/index.html
    This is a great class and offers ideas from the gate student to a ELL student.
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    Aug 6, 2007

    Using the senario that was given, "How would you get a student to do their work when they absolutely refuse to do anything?" (example: a senior who says "I don't care if I fail, I have enough credits to pass anyway.") it would be very difficult to change the behavior of the student. At this point in this person's life they may possibly be an adult (18 years old). The "you can't make me" is real. I would ask this person simply to be quiet and not interfere.

    I hate to be a negative, but I would concentrate on the education of those remaining students that want to learn. I know that my response will not earn me very many points here. One student should not disrupt the education of others. We are not talking about elementary students, we have been given the example of a HS senior with enough units to graduate. :sorry:
     
  15. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    This is a great idea! I wish my teachers had done this in high school!
     
  16. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 7, 2007

    Afew of my extended family members had earned enough credits by the end of junior and mid-senior years so they were able to graduate early. Is early graduation an option in your district? If I was that student, I might feel the same way. Also not a popular response but it's a pretty normal reaction to not want to do any more work once you feel you're done.
     
  17. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Having taught Government (senior requirement in IN), I heard this statement on a regular basis after spring break from all types of students. I had a difficult time coming up with a good response. I usually tried to focus on character - the importance of completing tasks, responsiblity to themselves, etc.... I also tried to bring in the workplace - would you get paid for not doing your job etc..

    It's a hard part of dealing with seniors that makes me dread coming back after spring break.
     

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