How do you teach the unteachable?

Discussion in 'College' started by Kevin Smith, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    514

    Oct 8, 2017

    Have you considered trying to find a former student who flunked out due to laziness, worked at a crappy job for a while, returned to school with a vengeance, graduated with good grades and now has a good job in his chosen field? I would invite such a person to be a guest speaker in my class to help my students understand what is at stake and what college can do for them. Of course, allow for plenty of time for Qs and As. It's worth a try! Also, raise the issue at a faculty meeting to get some creative ideas from your colleagues.
     
    futuremathsprof and Obadiah like this.
  2. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    715

    Oct 8, 2017

    Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood would end each episode thanking the viewers for spending time with him. I realize this is college, not preschool, but we all need care and compassion, no matter what our age.
     
  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,000

    Oct 8, 2017

    K-12 teachers also are "delivering goods" as we are accountable for making sure students leave our classrooms with enough knowledge and understanding to succeed in college or in some cases jump right into the job market. While it is true that you might feel more guilty because the students are paying to be there, it's really their choices and lack of foresight that have led them to take out loans and treat their time in college frivolously. In a sense, K-12 teachers can feel very guilty as well if a kid isn't doing well in their class because it usually means more difficulty for them in the future as well, both in job prospects and where they might end up in the long run. I don't think you should compare the accountability and pressure on college professors vs. K-12. Both jobs have their differences and similarities, and I wouldn't venture to say one is more important than another or one job is held more accountable than another.

    Anyway you do make a good point that the stakes for them failing in college are much higher than failing at younger ages. This is why I think our current educational regime that "no student should fail" is a short sighted one. It usually manifests itself with administrators putting pressure on teachers to reduce their failure rates anyway they can, even if it means passing students who don't have the skills or knowledge to be successful in the next grade level or further on.

    "Fail fast" is a better approach, where we should allow kids to experience failure frequently and quickly in K-12 so they can learn from their mistakes earlier on, instead of cushioning them from failure as we are currently doing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
    AlwaysAttend likes this.
  4. AllCreatures

    AllCreatures Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2

    Oct 17, 2017

    When I've taught college courses, I've usually had far more diligent students who regularly did their homework. The students, who I had who didn't attend regularly or do their homework, dropped out of attending any of my classes, so it was very easy to give them F grades if they didn't withdraw prior to the grading deadline. I've had some high school students who fit this description of having high aspirations couple with a weak work ethic. The problem I found at the high school level was that I was expected and pressured by the administrators to pass these failing students with C grades, even when they deserved to fail the courses. At the colleges, where I taught, I was not pressured at all to pass students or to give higher grades to students.
     
  5. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    54

    Dec 23, 2017

    Hmm, Harvard along with some other well known prestigious universities has been known to in recent years inflate grades to appeal to its students and the media as well off schools. You can read about that online- grade inflation at prestigious universities.
    :)
     
  6. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    98

    Dec 24, 2017

    Hold them accountable. It is good that you want to work on it.

    Try not to see them as "unteachable" creates a bias that could harm you and students.
     
  7. Waterborne

    Waterborne Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    5

    Dec 24, 2017

    I understand that this really unconventional and I will probably get bashed for this, but here is my two cents on the off chance that it gets noticed on here (forgive me, I'm new). Teach at the level that fits those that you are teaching to. Do whatever is necessary to get them to like you and therefore the class. Make homework extra credit only and allow more advanced projects to be asked for, allow them to create their in-class projects for their grade, and give points for showing up. Yes, you may not be able to cover everything and will have to plan A LOT to make it concise, but that is better than not being And put everything online, everything. If they succeed, they will be more likely to try. Making a class easy and flexible builds momentum, while if a class is rigorous and strict an "unteachable" student is more likely to give up. You do not have to conform to the structure of a normal college class. You have tried everything but liberating them of the majority reasons why they hate class in the first place in the parameters of your class.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  8. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    143

    Feb 26, 2018

    "If there is a will, there is a way"
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,636
    Likes Received:
    979

    Feb 26, 2018

    Key word is will: If there is a will...” It doesn’t sound like the student has the willpower to learn...
     
  10. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    143

    Feb 26, 2018

    I was referring to the teacher, however, it is a equal effort input.
    Also, the students are in college.......so, I need to take that into consideration
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. i.heart.trees,
  2. futuremathsprof,
  3. YoungTeacherGuy,
  4. waterfall,
  5. Ima Teacher,
  6. TheGr8Catsby
Total: 342 (members: 9, guests: 303, robots: 30)
test