My Students Have Their Say

Last week, I wrote about the dismal numbers my students had earned in the first half of the third quarter. Sadly, I was not the only teacher with such horrible scores so our principal is asking everyone to try and analyze and quantify the causes and issues involved. Yesterday, I asked my students why they think they are doing so poorly in class. Once you eliminate the duplicate answers what follows are their own words (typos and all). The range is interesting. At least one of my students (hi Latoya!) reads this blog and she told me yesterday that even though I do not mention names, she sees herself in here when I speak in a more collective sense, which I thought was interesting.

Last time I asked this, several put the blame on me for being boring or a bad teacher and I notice that has dropped off significantly so maybe, just maybe, they are beginning to take ownership of their own performance.

In no particularly order:

  • They have to follow rules in this class and others. Mr. Greenberger has to be way more strict because I have some of these kids in my other classes and hey don’t act like they do here because that other teacher would either call their parents with them there or take their cellphone…
  • Well, really get on them and students can help them and parents should help at home
  • They are p(l)aying because the classes are sometimes boring
  • I don’t know
    • They do not take the education seriously, they play around

  • This might be happening because the student are not understanding, or and the are not taking the class seriously
  • I’m guessing the ones that are failing aren’t fully applying themselves. They’re not showing as much effort as they can.
  • I think that 49 out of 92 freshmen in your classes failed because they simply don’t care and are too worried about their social life than their classwork.
  • They can stop talking to their classmates and not be on their phones.
  • Some people get distracted easily. I can pay attention more.
  • Some just don’t care.
  • Some kids do not have discipline or not have a household figure to look up to for guidance and support.
  • As a senior, I’ve messed up because I didn’t care; that’s why I’m sitting in this class now, Most freshmen don’t care and don’t realize the consequences.
  • They are failing because they don’t do no work. It’s not because they don’t know it. It is because they don’t apply their self and understand the importance of school.
  • Teenagers from the classes need to respect the teacher and let him talk and teach us. They can stop with being rude, because their the ones who are gonna fail, not the teacher.
  • People failing because the work to hard.
  • Sports and activities take a lot of time that you can spend on the improvement of your grades or to do homework.
  • I don’t know. Mr., all that I want is your help because I don’t understand all

What do I do with this information? Well, become more targeted in inviting students to after school coach class. Speak with the ESOL staff for their help where appropriate. If they want me to be stricter, I can certainly hand out more detentions and make more calls home. We’ll see if that positively changes things as we race toward the end of the school year.

One comment

  • A HS history teacher

    As a high school teacher, I hate calling parents. I feel that if you are in high school I’m dealing with YOU not your parents. I only resort to parents if all of my efforts with the student have yet to improve the situation (which hasn’t happened yet).

    As a parent, I think it’s important at this stage to let the reins go… this is the pre-college/pre-work stage of their lives… if they expect us to hold their hands this whole time then think they can make it out there with that skillset, they are sadly, sadly, mistaken.

    p.s. My recommendation for class behavior is using classdojo.com (free) to track behavior. Each week the student with the most points gets 1 extra credit point added to their lowest quiz/project grade and at the end of the marking period everyone with 95%-99% positive behavior gets an additional 5% added to their grade for “professionalism” (ie. participation). If they have 100% positive they get an additional 10%. Oh and I give parents access to it which then sends them get weekly reports.

    Once my students realized they lost out on a grade boost, they started giving classdojo the respect it deserves.

    OK, I’m done highjacking your comment section! 😛
    Tina

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