Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Does anyone know the secret?

So, I go to school yesterday all motivated to make a difference in the lives of children.  Ready to take on the world, educate, empower, inspire the next generation of leaders.

By the end of the day I was ready to throw in the towel.

7th period there was a student working very hard all period.  This is the same student who just last week spent the entire period impersonating Scooby Doo.  He does a really good job, which is a good thing because that may be his future career.  He hasn't worked a day all semester and enjoys getting other students off task.  I was curious as to why he was so focused and on task.  He had come to class 20 minutes late and said he had spent the time in the bathroom.  We have 14 days left in school and I guess he decided it was time to get to work.  His business had been taken care of and he was all cleaned out and now it was finally time to get to work.

At the end of the period, I saw him hand a stack of papers back to his neighbor and walk up to the box where everything gets turned in.  He had a stack of papers that he had copied from his friend and was planning on turning them in.  I let him know that he wasn't going to get credit for any of that work.

"Why don't you just pass me?  This isn't going to help my future!  What difference does it make if I do the work or just copy it!"

So, what is the secret to actually inspiring kids to want to learn?  I've been doing this a long time and have read every book and tried every strategy.  I'm really good at helping kids who want to learn, but I suck at teaching those who just don't care.  I keep them safe from 8-3, which may be all I can ask for, but some days that just doesn't feel like it's enough.

I know parents have a huge role in this whole education process and I have yet to figure out how to encourage them to care more.  I know that students who have parents with high expectations do much better than those who say they don't want to hear from me.  A D is acceptable means a D is what they will get.  Student with straight F's come with the latest I phone and the parents can't understand why their child isn't doing well in school.

13 more days and then we get to do this all over again next year :)

1 comment:

Charlene S said...

Teachers have been asking that question for years. You do the best you can and they will learn what they will. The boy heard someone say that before and he passed so he told it to you. Later he may understand that you were helping his future.