Thursday, October 21, 2010

Big Goals to Remedy Apathy

Hi y'all :) Just wanted to post a quick update. My kids are getting comfortable with me and have been pushing boundaries like crazy lately. However, my biggest concern has not been for my kids who are acting up in class (although that is a significant challenge), but with the large majority of my kids who are displaying total apathy at this point. I have so many students who come into my class, plop down in a seat near the back of the room, and immediately put their head down on their desk for a nap. Granted my class is their second math class of the day, but I still can't fathom how they think it's ok to sleep through any class and simply refuse to do their work. I've tried just about everything to get my kids excited about math and engaged in the work we are doing. I come in everyday acting almost ridiculously excited and enthusiastic about the concepts I am teaching. I've created math games and activities where they get to work in partners and groups or move around the room. All my students know that the expectation is that they will be "Stellar Scholars"- which means that they are attentive, focused, and actively participating. I've reminded them, danced for them, begged them, given consequences to them, offered them candy, and more! This same apathy has led to less than 10% of my students doing ANY of the homework I assign. Many of my students will flat-out refuse to do in-class work. When I gave out progress reports this week to my students, the ones who had a bunch of zeros and F's were surprised and upset with me! The average grade on my first unit test was a D :( I nearly cried as I graded the tests and saw all the students who simply scribbled in answers that they gave absolutely no thought. So I've decided to spend time every day this week re-visiting individual goals and marketing/selling my class big goal. We have talked a lot about the power of goal setting and we will be making action plans tomorrow- because a goal without action is just a nice thought. I shared with my 8th graders (who are my most apathetic) a little bit of my personal story about how I set goals with running and worked my way to a college scholarship. I think they understood how powerful I believe goals are, but I'm not sure if any of them have internalized the power of goal setting for themselves. I'm sure not going to give up on any of my kids, even though it is awfully tempting in light of where they are at right now. I simply can't allow myself to see the kids for their actions- I have to look deeper at the potential that they will pry out of them. I sincerely believe that once they get a glimpse of their own profound abilities that develop from hard work, they will be hooked. to facilitate that glimpse...


  1. Miss Meg...could you please send me your address? Thanks. :)

  2. Hang in there Megan! Keep praying for your kids and the Lord's leading through you. Know that one day more than one of those kids will look back on their 8th grade math teacher and be thankful for the encouragement and positive influence that you have given them.