February 7, 2011

Help Me Help You!

I have a student in my resource class that simply baffles me.  Despite being quite bright, he doesn't do any of his work - ever! 

Each day, at the beginning of our class, he has to report to the counselor's office where they review his assignments, and he is sent back to class with a list of things to work on. 

He never brings his homework home.  His brilliant excuse day after day?  He "forgot it" in his locker.  It is impossible for him to finish even one assignment in the 42 minutes I have him in my room.  Because unless I am sitting with him, watching his every movement, he is staring off into space or trying to sleep because he stays up all hours of the night doing who knows what.

He has no motivation to succeed academically.  None.  And nothing any of his teachers or his counselor try has worked.  I've tried being the good cop; I've tried being the bad cop.   

He's failing every single class.  Like with 30%... and does. not. care.  Just ask him! (but good luck getting him to talk to you.  He's also selectively mute.  Not clinically... just an observation. 

He is the fifth of six children, each a year apart.  I also have his younger brother in the same class.  They are complete opposites.  His brother always has his homework finished and doesn't hesitate to spend an entire day studying for his geography test that's a week away.  I know it's not fair of me to expect them to be the same... but I am amazed to think these two kids even come from the same family!

We even scheduled a conference with dad to discuss our concerns and come up with a plan to help him both at school and home but he never showed.  UGH!

How, oh how, do you help a student find the intrinsic motivation to work to his or her potential?

I'm currently accepting any and all suggestions!

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