I am so frustrated with this kid. He's not going to make it.

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by midwestteacher, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Nov 17, 2010

    I have done everything I can to help him out, and he just won't make the effort.
    I have a senior that is in real danger of not graduating - and is in total denial. He is failing at least three classes, two of which are required for graduation. I have talked to him, the counselor has talked to him, and it just isn't sinking in.
    He is missing five assignments in my class because he was doing homework for other classes. Now he wants to know why he is failing. I told him that five zeros have a tendency to bring your average down. Today, everyone else in his class is taking a test and he is the only one in class. I went through the gradebook and made copies of all the worksheets that he is missing. I told him I would grade them for 1/2 credit which is more than fair since they are three weeks late. I told him what chapter in the book, etc. He never even stood up to get the book, just wrote things down. One was a crossword of vocab terms and he didn't do it because "I don't know the words." The chapter is three pages long and the words are right there, but it is too much work to get the book out.
    I feel bad because I know that there is now no way, mathematically, that this kid can graduate this year. Sometimes I think you just have to accept that you can only do so much for someone if they won't try to help themselves.
    The guidance counselor offered to line up a tutor for him after school, but was turned down because "I am going to rearrange my room this afternoon, so I can't stay."
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Document, document, document. Make sure you have a record of all your intervention attempts and the student's reaction. Sadly, I have a number of students who think that because they're seniors in a senior English class, they will automatically graduate. They are in for a horrible shock when they are enrolled in a credit recovery class with another teacher. I say this as an inevitability because I've had it happen every semester.
     
  4. rforbey

    rforbey New Member

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    Nov 17, 2010

    It sounds like you are doing the best you can. I have seniors this year too and I feel your pain. I just don't understand that they can get all the way to this point and just give up. Perhaps there is something going on at home that you can look into.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Unfortunately, some kids need to learn the hard way.
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Sometimes the only thing you CAN do is let him fail. It might turn out to be the biggest favor anybody's ever done for him. Too many kids aren't allowed to fail when the consequences are small. They learn that no matter what they do, or don't do, somebody's going to bail them out at the end. That's not reality, but that's what we teach our kids from the time they're little. This kid has taken it to the extreme.

    Now, granted, failing out in his Sr. year is a Bad Thing, but the overall consequences to his life are much less devastating than getting fired over and over or getting evicted from apartments, or going to jail; all things that could happen with the "no work" attitude. Maybe, just maybe, not graduating will be the wake up call that he needs to be successful in life.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Document everything.
    Keep the counselor involved.
    Get his parents involved.
    Get the principal involved.

    Is the student connected with anyone in the building? A coach, a secretary, a custodian, another teacher? Can anyone reach this student? If so, get that person involved.

    Build a team of adult supporters around the student.
     
  8. diana

    diana Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Sounds like all you can do now is CYA and hope he shapes up. How about this kid's parents? Are they involved?
     
  9. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Do you have any adult education schools in your district? You might be able to get someone who is trying to get their high school diploma AFTER failing come in and talk. Sometimes an outside perspective helps.
     
  10. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Nov 17, 2010

    Lack of motivation can be a sign of depression. I hope a counselor is looking at the possibility.
     
  11. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 17, 2010

    :yeahthat:
     
  12. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Nov 18, 2010

    He doesn't need my class to graduate - it is an elective. He is failing two other required classes - and failing them badly. These are what is going to keep him from graduating.
    Unfortunately, his parents just don't seem to care either. If it raining, he usually won't come to school. If he works on a Sunday, he usually won't come to school.
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 18, 2010

    I have a student that is in a similar situation. I have tried to be supportive of his situation but he simply refuses to apply himself. I'm at a loss as what to do as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  14. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 18, 2010

    I have a freshman who is failing everything and has had three disciplinary actions already. Very little support from home. We try, but you can't save everyone, especially if they honestly don't give a rat's behind about school.
     
  15. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2010

    Welcome to my world.
     
  16. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Nov 19, 2010

    I have lived in this world for quite some time, just this kid is really aggravating me.

    I had a 3rd year freshmen in a homeroom class and we were working on four year plans. It was his 3rd, he had earned 2 credits since entering high school - both PE credits because the PE teacher would give them an "A" if they pretty much showed up.
    When I asked him what he wanted to do with his life and he told me that he was going to play football for Brigham Young University. Uhmmmm, you haven't passed anything for over two years and you thing BYU wants you for their school? This kid couldn't even go up one flight of steps at school without getting winded.
    REALITY CHECK TIME!
     
  17. hagenteach

    hagenteach New Member

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    Nov 24, 2010

    I work as a HS Guidance Counselor and is sooo frustrating when student's are so close to graduating but have given up. It is great that you are offering so many ways for him to raise his grades and get additional help and support. Is there an adult that he is close to (teacher, coach, counselor) who could speak with him? Unfortunately sometimes students don't listen until is too late to raise their grades and pass. Also, it is important that all communication to student/parents is documented.
     

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