If they only knew....

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by carolinafan, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2017

    We're getting right down to the wire at my school for the year, and I've got one class that has just not cared about anything the entire year. They have the worst average of all my classes, many of them are failing or have a D, and a good chunk of them are probably going to have to go to summer school to avoid having to repeat the grade. I passed out a study guide for their final exam, and I'm giving them 3 days in class to work on it, using notes, working with partners, and being able to ask me questions. As I'm walking around the class, I noticed over half the kids in this particular class either just sitting there like knots on logs, or talking to their friends, or doing anything else besides the study guide. I want to say to them, "this is why your grades are garbage, this is why you're probably going to fail this class". But then I think, if they haven't cared up until this point, what can I say now that will make any difference? That feeling has really bummed me out a few times during the year.

    TL;DR-one of my classes doesn't care about their grades, and it bums me out that nothing I say will make any difference at all to some of them.
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jun 1, 2017

    What year are these students? Unfortunately, depending on your district, as freshmen many students are still used to social promotion and don't think they will actually fail. Sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

    Sophomores sometimes are just waiting until they turn 16 and can drop out, sadly. Juniors and seniors should know the drill, but realistically, some of them don't have the support at home or don't see how getting their diploma will really help them in life.

    I would take a look at their past grades or grades in other classes, if you can. I usually find that if a student is failing my class, they are also failing all or most of their other classes, as well. In that case, it's up to the school as a whole to come up with a plan for how to support disengaged students, or find a school setting that is more appropriate for them.
     
  4. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2017

    I teach middle school. There are some students who are the same way in all their classes, so yes, they just don't seem to care about school at all. The conversations I've had with other teachers who have some of these same kids sound the same as the original post. They all see the same things in some of these kids. It really just bums me out is all that they don't see that the bad grades are the consequences of their behaviors, and there's nothing I can do or say that will make many of them wake up.
     
  5. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 1, 2017

    Are there ANY kids in this class who work hard and make decent grades? Any at all?? One kid? Maybe two or three?
    Because those are the kids you need to focus on. Seriously. You're there for the students who want to learn and are willing to work. Continue to smile at those kids and encourage them and be excited to teach and support them. Ignore the ones who refuse to put forth any effort. There is no point in wearing yourself out over students who won't even try. You cannot care enough to make them care. It just doesn't happen, especially this late in the year. You can express your concern to them about their grades, but ultimately THEY have to do something about that. And if they've waited this long, it's probably too late and they're about to learn a very tough life lesson. That's not your fault. In fact, you're teaching them some of the most important lessons of all. Self-discipline, responsibility, and accountability.
     
  6. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2017

    There are a few that care slightly more, and no matter who it is, if anyone asks me a question I still make every effort to answer with as much help as I can. At this time of year I'm not really beating myself up about the kids who AREN'T doing anything, because this has been going on all year and I know this about those kids. I guess I was talking more in general, and this particular class just happens to be the personification of that this year.
     

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