Learn from educator, psychologist, and author Allen Mendler about ways to make progress with your hardest to reach students.
Why students don't like school often starts on the outside—dysfunctional families, unsupportive parents, violence in our culture, garbage on TV, erosion of respect, and the list goes on, says Allen Mendler, an educator and author of the book Motivating Students Who Don't Care.
In fact, 70–80 percent of why kids don't care has little to do with teachers themselves, he says. Whether the problem is at home or in the schools, teachers can do a lot to inspire students, but such work is not without its challenges. One middle school alternative program that Mendler observed isolated its most troublesome students. Although their teachers "had their heart in the right places," he says, they were often overwhelmed by the collective neediness of such students.
Some were effectively limited to about 5–10 minutes of actual instructional time per class period as students straggled in late. These teachers also had to "walk on eggshells" around their students with poor attitudes, fearful of triggering negative comments and behavior.