One of my huge weaknesses as a teacher is letting students fall the crack. I'm going to be real vulnerable here and say that my default feeling is that students who don't try or don't show up or do nothing in my class, do not deserve my extra help.
That sounds bad. But part of that comes from the fact that I don't know what to do for those students. I feel like students who consistently try and show up don't fail. So that leaves me with those who don't try and so I solely place the blame on them. It's easy that way, right?
I have two students who have been failing my class all year. I keep feeling shocked that no one has done anything about this without ever putting the responsibility on my own shoulders. I've talked to both students' parents one time during this year. Somehow I've convinced myself that that is enough.
I always give students the opportunity to come in and retake tests and very few do. And the ones who need to do it never do. They don't come in for help, they don't come in and retake tests, they don't ask questions in class, and therefore I don't know what to do for them.
Obviously you will fail if you don't try. I have to make myself see beyond that and question why they aren't trying.
What kind of interventions can I do in the classroom?
One elementary teacher mentioned working with a small group within the class that are not understanding. Which I don't do. I feel that if they are too lazy to even ask for help, why would I devote my time to them? Bad, I know.
Another teacher mentioned preferential seating which I don't really do either. I rotate each group to a new group of tables each quarter and that's about it.
How do you get past feeling like they don't deserve help?
What do you do for students who put in no effort? What do you do for students who can't even begin problems or are missing middle school skills like reducing fractions or knowing factors of a number?
What interventions do you use in your classroom?
Update: I asked some more teachers about interventions and here's what they said:
- Parent Contact (early and often)
- Recommend for tutoring (narrow down specific areas that need to be worked on)
- Small groups
- Modified tests/quizzes
- Test/quiz retakes
- Break students into groups, send group to library to work and work with struggling learners in classroom