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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Lazy Student

     I have been a substitute at a local school district for about a month now. I am a district sub, so I will go to any building and grade level with in the district. The biggest issue I have noticed, no matter what the grade level, is lazy students. That's not only my opinion, the students actually say "I'm too lazy to do this"!!!!
     Too lazy...that's your excuse? You can't write your name because you're too lazy. You can't study for 5 minutes for test I'm giving later, because you're too lazy? This is unbelievable.

     What do you say to that? 

    I don't have the answer yet. But I'm working on it. Basically, I tell them that laziness is not a valid excuse. They have to complete the work and complete it well. This may work about 5% of the time, but at least I have annexed the lazy excuse and am showing no tolerance for the whining. What else should I do?
Where does it start?

     I'm going to assume that we, as an adult population, have started this problem. I feel that saying "I'm lazy" is a learned trait. Students are probably hearing a parent complain, "I'm too lazy to drive you to a friend's house today.". Or, someone is telling this child, "You're too lazy to go outside, you just want to play video games." and that is the end of the discussion. If we don't want students to use the excuse that they are too lazy to do anything, we need to change our own vocabulary and, as always, be mindful of how we are teaching them to perceive themselves. 
     A five year old should not think she is too lazy to accomplish anything at school. Lazy is a mood, a choice, lazy is not a health issue, never a valid excuse. 

Further Reading

     I found a nice responds to this problem at NEA Public Groups -- How To Deal With Lazy Students. I really enjoyed Barb's comments about looking at herself and her teaching styles as the problem. She suggested that we create opportunities for students to be in charge, give them teacher responsibilities. She also stressed the importance of scaffolding lessons and activities so that students are able to accomplish them, in the future they will feel more confident and thus be more motivated. Don't water down the lessons or making them "easier", just find steps to make them possible. 

In conclusion
     This is "laziness" is now a big problem in American schools (and well, everywhere) that needs to be fixed. I don't have the answer, you might not have the answer but we need to work to find one. I find it enraging, yet so sad.....what type of life is ahead of you if you're too lazy for Kindergarten. 


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