I came across this quote and felt that it accurately depicts a great many of my students right now. It’s sad. I don’t want my students to be demotivated. Teachers have told me my teaching hasn’t changed much since the first few weeks and say I continue to do a great job, so I’m left a little puzzled as to why my students are becoming less and less willing to answer questions during discussion.
I come back to the idea that maybe it’s not all me. If you take any group of students there will be a few that refuse to do anything. They simply won’t. You can give students seven or eight different interventions. You can force them to have pencil in hand. You can modify their standards so they need to achieve ludicrously little. Some will still not budge.
I can be stoned in academic and educational/political circles for saying this. Many chant “all students can learn” and act as if saying the words will bleach away the dirty stains of student apathy. All students can learn. It does not mean all will attempt to. I think the government is starting to understand this and education will be changing soon.
A solution I’ve been thinking about is to let high school be an option. Why not offer technical schools or vocational training starting right after middle school? I haven’t thought through all the repercussions, but this is what many European schools and Asian schools do.