Sitting here watching a netflix documentary, I hear a teacher identify a student as “lazy” while comparing him to another young man who had better grades. Children aren’t lazy they lack the interest or motivation to participate in certain activities.
This was the first year in my teaching career that I moved up with my students. Last year, I had a student who was not interested in History at all. She would purposely come to class late and out of uniform. She refused to complete her assignmnets, especially homework. She was what people would label, (like the lady in the documentary) “lazy”. I tried hard to make her comfortable in my class. I found that she was also having a difficult time at home with her mother having cancer. I worked 1-1 with her just to get her to do her work so she could earn a passing grade. Even when helping her she would constantly make verbal complaints about the work load. It was draining at times, but I continued to support her.
This week I introduced our new Big History curriculum to my students. She was so exicited to hear that she was learning about the universe in history class. Even encouraging her peers to get excited about it. I never saw her so interested in learning prior to our first day of school. She inspired me to want teach this new curriculum, as I had my doubts about it.
One of the challenges we face as educators is getting our students to become interested in learning. I give students a personal survey at the beggining of the school year to learn about their likes and dislikes, using this information to spark conversation and create my lessons. It’s out responsibility to find ways to get them invested in learning.
Students are not “lazy”, they are simply uniterested.