I have a new student who started this morning. He is a middle school student who is in the 7th grade. He doesn't care. That is apparent. When I interviewed the family last week it was apparent. I don't know what made me think his attitude would change upon starting the program this morning (I still have hope, I am not as jaded as some may think).
He is upset because when I looked through his books I found various assignments that were not complete or quizzes he had failed because he turned them in blank. Needless to say, I added those to his daily assignments for today.
Since arriving at 10 am this morning he had completed the following: 20 math problems, a 10 problem math quiz, read 1 page of his novel.
This student is intelligent, he can easily do the work, he just doesn't want to. I will not sit right next to him and do the work for him. That does nothing.
As I sit here eating my fake Oreos (see previous post: I know Todd, they suck!) I have to wonder what brought him to this point? Does he not understand (I have told him several times) that if he fails here, he will be held back and all of his friends will move on and he'll repeat the 7th grade. Does he think that sounds fun? He won't answer me, just gives me a blank stare.
It's not like the work is hard. Part of an assignment he didn't do, but I am making him redo is labeling the western states. That's it. How hard is that? Would take him all of 30 seconds if he cared.
I wasn't an exceptional student, but I cared. I am not sure why I cared. I think I was afraid of disappointing my parents and my teachers. Do students not care about that today? I know we are all motivated by different things, but what if nothing motivates them? How can I make them see the path they are headed down is not fun. I have my older students (if they want) share their experiences in lock up and the justice system as a type of "scare" tactic for the younger ones. Usually it works, with this kid, he'd probably just shrug his shoulders.
So now I get to call his mother at work and explain my rationale and state that I am giving him one more day to prove he wants to be here (technically he doesn't have to be here, he chose to be here) or I will remove him from the program. I am not going to waste my time planning his work when he won't do it. I have better things to do with my time. I can devote my attention to a student who actually wants to work!