Need help with "lazy" student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by dolphinstar, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. dolphinstar

    dolphinstar Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2006

    :confused:
    Hi! I am always at this forum and love it for all the ideas and suggestions we are able to share, but I have to admit I hardly post anything....:sorry: Anyways, here's my situation and I welcome any advice or suggestions. I teach 2nd. grade, and there's this one student that is very "lazy", I don't like to use this word myself, but there's really no other way to describe him. He sits there the whole day and doesn't even complete one assignment. We're already going on our 4th. week of school and I have yet to receive a completed piece of work from him. He's very sloooow to do everything, from lining up, to getting things ready. I have incentives for all kinds of things in my classroom (AR, hwk, good behavior, computer lab, etc.) but I think he's just not motivated. I've talked to his previous teacher, mom, principal and counselor and honestly wonder how he was even promoted to 2nd. grade. All of these people already know him and say he's always been like that. He doesn't have any learning disabilities, and has never been referred, I think he can do the work, but honestly think he's not motivated about school, he does have friends and stuff, so I don't know what it is. I sit by him, help him, etc, but I can't even get him to pick up his pencil. I feel bad for him because he's only 7 years old! how can he go through life like this! I have asked for suggestions, tried doing research on the web, I really want to help him but don't know how. Any suggestions? Oh! by the way, he never responds to anything I say, I can't "bribe" him with things he likes because I can't get him to tell me, if I talk to him he only stays quiet and shows no emotion at all...he talks to his friends and sometimes to me, but when it's something about someone else, not him. I have tried being nice, and mean, and, believe me, being "mean" is pretty hard for me, I'm the 'nice' teacher there :) Help!! I've never met a child like him.
     
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  3. ilovemyjob27

    ilovemyjob27 Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2006

    Hello
    I am by no means an expert, but to me it sounds like it could be something psychological with this student. He sounds like he could be depressed. I know that he is only 7 years old. There could be some form of chemical imbalance. Has been to his doctor lately? I know you said you have talked to his parents. I would recommend they get him a physical that involves a blood test. I know that depression doesn't show up in blood tests but there could be a physical problem causing this behavior. This is my third year of teaching second grade. I have experienced lazy students but none that would not respond to anything. I think that is so sad, and very frustrating for you I'm sure. I would just check with the parents and also find out how he acts at home. I hope this helps.
     
  4. dolphinstar

    dolphinstar Rookie

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    thank you for your suggestion. It is very frustrating because even though I have dealt with lazy students in the past, this one really tops it, he doesn't eve try. I've spoken to his mom several times, actually, we write notes to each other on a daily basis, (aside from phone calls) and she said that he's always been like that.....:(
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 4, 2006

    A few years ago I picked up a new class midyear. I had one student who seemed pleasant enough in class, but handed in the first 2 quizzes blank.

    I called his mom. It seemed that he had just been diagnosed as Bipolar. She didn't want the school to know because she was afraid he would be "labeled." (Plus she had her hands full with 4 other kids.) I convinced her to speak to the director of guidance, then spoke to him to give him a heads up.

    A chat with the parents, and possibly a physical, might be a very good idea.
     
  6. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Sep 4, 2006

    Is there ANYthing he loves? Recess, computer time? Does he have any friends? Once you can hone in on something he loves, you can try and use that to try and motivate him.
     
  7. dolphinstar

    dolphinstar Rookie

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    He seems to like whole group discussions, lessons, etc. DOL, minilessons, read alouds, etc. He participates in those and seems to like them. But as soon as I give him individual work he completely changes....he can sit there with the same assignment for hours. I had started giving him the incompleted assignments to take home but realized that he was getting used to that, one time he told me he would "catch up". So I'm not doing that anymore, it seems to me he's aware of what he's doing and wants to see how much he can get away with. Last year he was found to be the child that had been "doing #2" on the corner of the restroom, instead of the actual commode, this was a mystery for a while until they found out it was him. This seems to me as a call for attention....I am doing research on my own but have yet to find a reason/cause for his actions. I don't understand how he can be so excited about some things in class but can't do an individual assignment, no matter how much I encourage and praise him. I can't get him to open up to him so I don't know what he likes/dislikes, etc. Not even in writing (journal). I am completely clueless....
     
  8. dolphinstar

    dolphinstar Rookie

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    also, he has shown me he can do the work, but I think he chooses not to. He can read, write, etc...
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I agree...people say there is nothing wrong, but it seems there is. It's a puzzle to many of you. Sometimes it takes forever to figure these things out. Just be careful not to get so frustrated that you think he is doing it all on purpose. Likely he has something else going on.
     
  10. dolphinstar

    dolphinstar Rookie

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    I honestly think he can do it, but something's not right...I think it's psychological, but although I don't think he does everything on purpose, I think he is aware of how much it frustrates everyone (his mom, aunt, and older brother are constantly checking up on him).
     
  11. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    What about recess? Does he socialize and seem to enjoy recess? I have one that told me he 'hates writing' - I told him if he had more than 4 or 5 pieces of catch-up work in his folder, he'd have to stay in and work on it during recess with me. Bingo! That seemed to motivate him to get busy! :D
     
  12. Mrs. Mom

    Mrs. Mom Cohort

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    Sep 5, 2006

    I'd be VERY concerned for this child. Our counselor told us last year that children who exhibit such bathroom behaviors that you described may have been abused or are being abused. Perhaps he is not so much lazy as looking for someone to figure out what is going on and help him. What does your school counselor say about his behaviors?
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We had a child last year that seriously did not respond (looked at me blankly) for most of the year. It took time to realize that everytime I put this child on the spot (confrontation style..even though to me it was gentle questions) this blank stare would occur. This child did not open easily and was already behind coming into the class (self esteem issues were probably present). It took the whole year but this child FINALLY participated in group, answered me (if I looked away while this child could think a moment), and so forth. One disturbing picture was drawn midpoint in the year and was a glimpse at something deeper in the psych. I'm not a phycologist though. All I knew is to ask, "What does it take to make this child progress?" It was exhausting and took the better part of a year to see progress, but now this child is more open with other children as well.
     
  14. dolphinstar

    dolphinstar Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2006

    Thank you so much for your replies guys, as I said before I really want to help him but don't know how. I praise him a lot and even let him work with a partner to encourage him as well. Sometimes it seems like its working then he goes back to that weird state. My counselor was the one that told me about the bathroom behaviors but didn't say why it could've been caused....my uncle's a psychologist and I will be calling him as soon as he gets back from vacation, I'm sure he'll have some input in this situation. I don't think the recess thing would work because most of the time he's already in time out for recess because he misbehaves while he's in lunch....I will keep you guys updated but keep the suggestions coming! Thanks! :love:
     
  15. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    Sep 7, 2006

    What a lucky child to have a teacher who cares as much as you do!
     
  16. dolphinstar

    dolphinstar Rookie

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    thank you :) I just don't want to be that teacher that ignores him and puts him aside because he doesn't follow the rest of the class, something's been going on for too long and I really want to help him, it's not fair for a 7 year old to go through life like that.
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I'm researching what to do with some kids in my new class this year. It's hard to realize you may have to completely restructure how you think about each lesson you do. Yikes!
     

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