Fatigued & Frustrated with "Who Cares" Students?

education Oct 17, 2021

Every teacher's faced them.

The dead fish eyes.
The paralyzed facial muscles.

The tired-toddler-in-a-highchair slump.

Responses include, but are most definitely not limited to:

*Trying to ignore said distractions. Easier written than done, especially when Miss Dead Fish sits in the center of the front row.

*Staging an impromptu P.T. Barnum charade, substituting hand gestures for flying trapeze swings and employing lab supplies instead of elephants.

*Adopting a military commander mentality, posture, and voice, ordering Mr. Shoulder Slump to "Sit up and wake up! This is important, young man! Your career is at stake!"

*Selecting a stance reminiscent of an indulgent parent with a stubborn four year old in the toy aisle. "Pleeeaaassseee...just complete the odd numbered questions and I'll give you a good grade."

*Moving into law enforcement officer mode. "I don't care that you're exhausted because you were up all night studying for a math test. I have a job teaching history, and it's my duty to see you learn it. Here's your detention slip. I'll see you today at 3:00 in the administrator's office."

I'm pretty sure students have experienced all of these from me at one time or another.


Good teachers always care more about captivating hearts than covering content which is why Miss Dead Fish and Mister Slouch can cause a teacher's own heart to wither and eyes water.

And while a colleague's cheers or commiseration may be appreciated as momentary bandages, devoted instructors want solutions, not soothing.

Tranquilize your heart too long, and eventually you'll teach as if existing on a ventilator, rather than breathing inspiration.

Today's post is short because I encourage (request, plead, beg, order -- oh wait, I'm reverting to the above response types) you to listen to the Must-For-Every-Educator podcast episode which addresses this topic. Truly, one of the best resources on the topic of Miss Dead Fish and Mister Slouch.

Check out Episode 191, "How to Motivate & Engage Reluctant Learners" on Angela Watson's "Truth for Teachers" podcast where she interviews Dr. Robyn Jackson, host of the "School Leadership Reimagined" podcast. If you want to skip the preliminaries, start at 3:30. You can read the show transcript, download as an MP3, or find on your favorite podcast app.

This won't be time spent; it will be a savvy investment!




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