Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day 23 How Do I Make Them Care? #SOL17

How do I make them care?
Pencils strewn on the floor
Cast off, ignored, then swept away.
No pencil to write with, they tell me.
How do I make them care?

How do I make them care?
Notebooks home once again
Unprepared for the day's work.
A shrug when asked why.
How do I make them care?

How do I make them care?
Failing grades on math quizzes
Week after week after week
Practice your math facts, I ask
13 out of 25 didn't.
How do I make them care?

How do I make them care?
Talking, laughing, ignoring
the teacher trying to teach
Funny chats, lectures, 
good choice tickets given
Still... teaching interrupted.
How do I make them care?

How do I make them care?
Name-calling, fighting,
squabbles to settle all day long.
So many lessons on being empathetic
Yet they can't see the other's perspective.
How do I make them care?


I have really tried to get away from giving student's rewards and consequences, points and prizes. I want my students to pick up a pencil on the floor because it's their classroom and they care about our supplies, not because they will get a Dojo dollar for it. But....I can't seem to get many of them to do the right thing for the right thing's sake- not because a reward is strapped to it. And I'm feeling frustrated. I don't want them to feel badly about their grades, but maybe I want them to have more pride in themselves and their work and try a little harder, or a lot harder. When you get 3 out of 20 right on a multiplication quiz one week, wouldn't you try to do better the following week and put in more effort? 

How do you build an intrinsic desire to work hard and learn? How do I make my students care more about being their best and our classroom community? Tonight, I'm out of ideas.