Wednesday, December 14, 2005

failing kids

I don't know about you guys-but as we get on to the end of the year, I start to see the writing on the wall to the idea that some students aren't going to pass. And I started thinking to myself. Are we failing students who are failing? There are so many factors to this; but I start to wonder if there was something else I could have done. For the most part, these are students who didn't come to class, never made up work, or particiapted or did their work. I know it's not me for the most part, but I can't help but think of this. I give the grades, they earn them; and for some students I know that it isn't me-I find that many of our students, do not advocate for themselves and I do feel like I shouldn't have to run around and chase them so that they do their work. I also always tell my kids to come in for help if they require it; I am not telepathic, and when I ask for questions or clarification during a lesson and no one raises their hands, I assume that we are golden. It's just frustrating. Any other opinions on the matter?


Blogger Karl Fisch said...

In the end, the ultimate responsibility is on the student. There is only so much you can do. If you provide the opportunity and the support - and I know you do - it's up to them to take advantage.

Having said that, I do think that at times we (as a school) do fail the students. That's part of what this project is about - trying to make changes (some small, some large) so that we can reach more students. I'm not excusing the poor choices that students often make, but I think that at times the "system" as we have it setup is destined to fail too many kids.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Mr. Craig said...

I think that we are all in the same boat! Students need to take responsibility for their actions. There are many students that have had everything handed to them and they don't believe that they have to do anything. They are of the belief that someone will bail them out if the going gets too tough. All you can do is provide opportunities for students to do the work and come in for help. Maybe some of these changes that we are talking about will help change their overall attitude.

1:41 PM  
Blogger James H said...

I think that this is a problem that all teachers wrestle with at some point. I get frustrated when they spend 17 weeks doing nothing and then ask for extra credit before the final. So much for being at school for the learning experience for these kids.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Roger Hess said...

The main thing we can do is give every student an opportunity. Maybe in addition we can try to motivate them to take advantage of the opportunity. Beyond that, however, it is up to the student. Hopefully a students who fail a class can realize that they failed - they were not failed by the teacher (as long as what I mentioned above has occurred).

1:55 PM  
Blogger Davis said...

I do think that the students need to take responsibility, but sometimes they a) don't know what to ask, b) are embarrassed to do so aloud in front of their peers, and c) have given up believing they are the eternal 'poor' student. I am excited at our gradebook changes; the ideas Tony presented I think could give kids who typically have checked out opportunity to get their work done and feel successful. We'll see...

11:04 AM  

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