I have to admit something to you guys, I have been pretty damn lazy today. It's been a long tiring week of getting back into the schedule of things with school starting back, and since I was not able to sleep in on Saturday, I have used today to catch up on my sleep. So I am just now waking up. I know there are people out there, who have natural alarm clocks and wake up at a certain time each day, generally go to bed at a certain time each night, but I have never been one of those people. Part of it is because I have always found it hard to fall asleep at night, then when I do, I find it difficult to wake in the morning. Today, I really had nothing to do, not that couldn't wait until the afternoon, so I slept in.
Considering my own laziness today, I wanted to ask my fellow educators out there how they deal with lazy students. I think that part of this has to do with the lack of manners and courteousness that I spoke of on Friday, but I have noticed in the first week of school that no matter what I try to do, my students begin to complain as soon as I give them an assignment. I try to make my classes fun and interesting, and I rarely give "busy work" just so they will have something to do. I find it particularly vexing with my 12th grade class. Senioritis shouldn't start until later in the year, but these kids have caught it way too early. By the way, for those who don't know what I mean by Senioritis, Urban Dicitonary describes it as thus:
Senioritis: noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation.Though most of it is very accurate, especially for Urban Dictionary, I hope that the only cure is not " a phenomenon known as Graduation." If that is the only cure, I am afraid that some of these kids will not graduate. They have required classes that they must pass this year, and even those they do not want to take seriously. I hope this will change soon, but I would love to hear your advice, dear reader, on what I can do. TIME Magazine published an article titled "How to Combat Senioritis" in May 2006, but this article did not seem particularly helpful. Kevin Quinn, a counselor at South Kingstown High School said, "Seniors need something to gravitate to and be re-energized by." So South Kingston High School began offering dual college enrollment. My students are far too lazy at this point for dual enrollment with a college. At least one last year during his senior year took some online courses with a state university, but I do not think that he is doing so this year. In this same article, TIME Magazine wrote: "The best cure for some cases of senioritis is a strong dose of reality. More than 50% of students entering college in the U.S. require remedial course work once on campus." The problem with this is that my students do not care about reality. Most of them are quite spoiled rich kids (I teach at a private school), and they firmly believe that their parents' money can literally buy them an education whether they do the work or not. I have tried to explain to them the reality of this, and the reality of not going to college for the few who do not plan on furthering their education, but they are too stubborn to see reality.
So, what have you done to combat Senioritis? How have you found the most effective way to motivate your students? My past techniques of making class more interesting and interactive, do not seem to be working this semester, so I would love to hear any suggestions from my readers.