I think I am tired and ready for retirement. I think I am at the end of my ropes. It seems I spend more time begging students to be cooperative than anything else. My toolbox is empty of tricks.
I ask a student to copy down a math problem. He refuses. It's too hard. He doesn't do math. He doesn't understand.
No, I asked you to copy the problem. There is no too hard, no understanding, just copy down the problem.
Another student I am trying to help with a science worksheet. I underline the answer they need to write. I have to write ALL that?? she whines. Seriously, it is nearly half a sentence, word for word from the text.
Another is editing her memoir. Can you switch around this part to make it more interesting? I ask. You mean rewrite it? she grumbles. (and it is done on the computer so the fix is a 3 second job...) I will just turn it in the way it is. I don't care about the grade anyway.
Two students get suspended because of a fight in the hallway, so one of them convinces her best friend and her boyfriend to skip school the same 3 days. Five students gone for 3 days. And none of them will even consider taking their assignments from when they were gone. 3 days of learning, gone.
I've tried everything I know, all the tricks I have learned over 20 years of teaching. But it is like being slammed against a brick wall over and over and over again.
Hands on activities, connect it to their lives, work with them one on one, work to develop relationships, treat students with respect, acknowledge small gains, talk to parents, etc...
NOTHING works. NOTHING WORKS. Somedays I think I might be making a small in-road, but then, slam, back into the wall.
The paradigm of education has changed. Students are rude, disrespectful, unconcerned. Parents are too busy being friends with their children to set expectations. Curriculum is dictated and boring.
I give up..... I just can't stand the day to day bashing.