testing header
Math Goodies is a free math help portal for students, teachers, and parents.
Free Math
Newsletter
 
 
Interactive Math Goodies Software

Buy Math Goodies Software
testing left nav
Math Forums @ Math Goodies
Math Forums @ Math Goodies
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Educator Forum
 Teacher Talk
 student apathy
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

galactus
Advanced Member

USA
1464 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2006 :  18:08:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
May I ask opinions on what one does with students who refuse to participate or show up for class?.

They are not spiting me, but I have a class of 9 in my stats class and have several which have not taken a quiz nor shown, thus far, for any class except the first.

I am going to wait and see about the first test, but if they do not show I am going to drop them. I am not one to do that, but they give me no choice. Why would someone pay money for a class and then not show or participate...as if it were nothing. Flaky?. Spoiled?. Want to waste money and time?. I do not get it.

I put myself through college without any help from parents, loans, etc. It seems all most young people care about anymore is cellphones and partying. A generation of apathetic pleasure-seekers?.

I do not want to appear jaded, but it seems to get worse all the time.
Go to Top of Page

Subhotosh Khan
Advanced Member

USA
9116 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2006 :  18:19:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you check whether they dropped out of the class or not - may be school administration failed to inform you.
Go to Top of Page

galactus
Advanced Member

USA
1464 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2006 :  18:33:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That could be, but they mostly need the instructor's signature. I will check. Thanks, SK.
Go to Top of Page

tkhunny
Advanced Member

USA
1001 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2006 :  20:12:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It will be a big problem when they come back whining for a passing grade because they have to get one to stay in the program.

Caring comes with a price. It will be worth it, but you may not notice right away.
Go to Top of Page

the_hill1962
Advanced Member

USA
1468 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2006 :  11:20:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I stopped going to a "History of Art" (maybe it was called "Art Appreciation" or something) after the first class. I THOUGHT I had dropped it but when grades came out for the semester, I saw a big fat 0 on my card!
Administration never told me that I needed to get the signature of the professor. All I did was fill out a card they gave me. Maybe there was something on the card that stated I needed the signature but I disliked the class so much I just wanted out as quickly as possible.
I remember the effort it was to remove the 0 from my records. The administration said "you have to drop a class within the first week...". It was like a viscious circle.
Do your student(s) a favor and check with administration. Maybe actually writing an e-mail to the student(s) would even be a good idea.
Go to Top of Page

royhaas
Moderator

USA
3059 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2006 :  11:41:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just dropped a student from my statistics class. She only showed up for the first session and missed the first test, with no advance warning. I can re-instate her electronically if she contacts me and works something out.

Most of my students are required to take an elementary statistics course, because they are majoring in health-related fields; the majority of them are in pre-nursing programs.

I've had students drop out and come back the next semester, too. If they simply stop showing up and I don't drop them, they will get an "F" on their record after the last drop date.
Go to Top of Page

sahsjing
Advanced Member

USA
2399 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2006 :  18:57:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It happens quite often during the first month. As far as I remember, students have at least a whole month as a grace period to withdraw from any class. Actually, I did twice in my graduate study. Therefore, in my transcript I got two 'W's.
Go to Top of Page

galactus
Advanced Member

USA
1464 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2006 :  19:14:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by royhaas

I just dropped a student from my statistics class. She only showed up for the first session and missed the first test, with no advance warning. I can re-instate her electronically if she contacts me and works something out.


I have the same exact scenario in my stats class. The first test is coming up. If I don't hear from her I won't have much choice but to drop.

Who knows, maybe she dropped and I haven't been notified.
Go to Top of Page

the_hill1962
Advanced Member

USA
1468 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  10:52:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So how did things turn out?
Go to Top of Page

galactus
Advanced Member

USA
1464 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2007 :  14:18:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My heavens, that was last semester. If I remember correctly, she dropped. In Stats, I have a great batch this semester.
Go to Top of Page

HallsofIvy
Advanced Member

USA
78 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2007 :  08:27:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You probably are able to contact the student through e-mail. (Many schools now use "blackboard" which has an e-mail address component for all students.) I would recommend sending an e-mail to the student pointing out that he/she has missed tests and asking what is going on. If you get no response, forget it, just go ahead and fail the student!
Go to Top of Page

galactus
Advanced Member

USA
1464 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2007 :  09:51:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had forgotten about this post until I started perusing.

My stats class is great this semester. That post was from last year

and is no longer relevant.

The class I teach is in the evening. One of those once-a-week, 2-3/4

hour classes. The students are primarily older and have fulltime

jobs, therefore, they tend to be more mature. The majority of them

are nurses who want to advance their degree to Nurse Practitioner

and statistics is one of the requirements. On a personal note, I

enjoy teaching stats a great deal. The college wants me to continue,

so I will.

Go to Top of Page

msakowski
Average Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2007 :  15:23:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As a community college teacher of 15 years, I could just about write a book on this subject! I deal with a lot of students that are not motivated to learn math. In fact, it seems that in recent years even my "A" students show little enthusiasm. I am suspecting that things are just a bit to dull in the classroom, especially when compared to the entertainment orientated society we live in today. I concur with you on your observation about the adult students attending at night - they are very motivated and fun to teach.

I believe students need to be shown the long term benefits on a daily basis. Also, I believe we as teachers need to modify our teaching methods although I am not suggesting any drastic curriculum change is needed. I am spending this entire year working on a sabbatical project to address these issues. Actually, I started work on this last year and have a fair amount of material posted at http://www.mathmotivation.com already. (This is a non-profit educational site) I was sharing this information with my students as well last spring. It did not seem to be sinking in and frankly I was getting a bit discouraged. Then, I received this email:

Hi Mr. Sakowski,
I just wanted to let you know that you're the best math teacher I've ever had by about 1,000%. The interest you have in math comes through in your teaching, and I loved how you would tell us actual applications.. I have always wondered and you're the first math teacher to mention the real world applications! I've never had such an interesting experience with math, or such a positive end result. I earned confidence over the semester, thanks to your clear and concise
explanations (and hard work), and most importantly, I learned how to reason. I don't think people usually thank teachers, but I think that when someone does an exceptional job, they should be rewarded. So.. Thank You.. I have never enjoyed math so much in my life! Have a great summer and sabbatical!


I will be expanding the above mentioned website 10-fold over the course of this year and feel free to use, copy, or distribute any materials you want in your classroom provided you include the statement "Materials From MathMotivation.Com, Copyright 2007 Michael Sakowski - Used With Permission". All materials are free to the public provided they are not republished for profit. I also will be adding lesson plans to this site over the course of this year. So check back at the site every few weeks, there will be new materials added.
Go to Top of Page

msakowski
Average Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2007 :  13:05:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
David I agree with you 100% and believe me I have failed plenty of students.

Most of the students I get these days are 18-25 years old and some think community college is an extension of high school. What is most troubling however is the lack of enthusiasm. Frankly, I would rather have a room full of enthusiastic B and C students than a room with completely bored A students. I am starting to see the lack of enthusiasm drift up into the older non-traditional students too.

I get paid a lot of money and I see a lot of money go down the drain. In fact, the amounts wasted due to students dropping out, skipping out, or failing out is staggering. We get state appropriations, we lose/fail the student, but we, like any other state-funded college, don't return the appropriation after the 1st week drop/add period. I feel an obligation to somehow reverse this. I don't plan on lowering standards. In fact I plan on raising them by teaching students how to reason rather than blankly rewrite what I write. And I will use my same testing I have used in the past. I also plan to motivate on a daily basis. There are no guarantees that what I am working on in this sabbatical project will succeed as I hope but I confident that it will not be in vain.
Go to Top of Page

Mrspi
Advanced Member

USA
998 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2007 :  22:03:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ughh....I wish it were so simple!!

I volunteer for an online tutoring service. I had a "college student" today enrolled in Elementary/Intermediate Algebra who had no clue how to determine whether a decimal could be converted to a fraction.

The student asked how 1.5 could be changed to a faction. I tried to help him/her. And all of my explanation resulted in this response: "huh???"

My guess is that this student has very little chance of having any success in a college-level class. So....WHAT in the world can we do here??

My first thought is to make sure that any student enrolled in a college class has a basic level of understanding. What this student was asking about is grade-school stuff. Do colleges just take the tuition money from kids who haven't got a clue??? Doesn't seem fair to me at all.
Go to Top of Page

msakowski
Average Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  09:01:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In most community colleges and even many 4-yr colleges, students are not turned away because they can not do grade school level math. "Developmental" Math courses are offered, the beginning level course being Prealgebra, a 7th and 8th grade level course. And, in Prealgebra, I have found 10-15% of the students can not even do 4th and 5th grade level work. They can not correctly add two simple fractions like 1/5 + 3/5 and have no idea what a decimal 0.135 represents. Since we do not have the time to cover the lower grade material, they often do not pass the course since they lack fundamental understanding. I have screamed about this for many years. I am tired of screaming. So I intend to create (or attempt to create) a "Mathematics Revival" with my sabbatical project that I intend to market and distribute via the internet and professional channels to as many parents, students, and teachers as possible.

It all begins with the student and parent. Especially the parent. If parents do not support a good solid curriculum with high standards, the k-12 teacher has a tough time.
Go to Top of Page

the_hill1962
Advanced Member

USA
1468 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  13:25:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
David, I like what you qouted from Dr. Phil [he gets bad remarks from people but what he says is very sensible for the most part].
I agree with you that what we are seeing is the result of the decades of change. It was once just the "egg-heads" that took advanced math courses. Long ago, operations with fractions was considered advanced. Probably the average person 5,000 years ago had to go to the "town mathmatician" if they had a problem that needed to be solved by using some operations with fractions. With the advent of public schools, EVERYONE was taught basic math skills. Of course, some students did not understand ALL subjects taught but they still graduated because they were able to pass most of the things taught. Over the decades, the subjects/concepts in school got more advanced. Today, we are seeing that Algebra2 (How long ago was it when it was called ADVANCED Algebra?) is required to graduate High School. Has the *human brain*(I elaborate on this later...) advanced enough so that ALL (most) can fully understand all the concepts of even basic Algebra? This doesn't even touch on the fact that not all people are even interested in math! So, in order to satisfy the politicians, schools are keeping drop-out/failure numbers low. How can drop-out/failure numbers be kept low and still increase the extent of knowledge/mastery/understanding (or whatever the correct buzzword is for your specfic school is)?
*Surely some people will argue that it is the "teaching of math" that has to be improved instead of pinning the problem on the evolution of the human human brain. I suppose that this could be said with any subject taught in school. But why is it that math, science and reading are the only subjects that are picked on in today's world? What not require ADVANCED skills for other subjects such as Physical Education, Art, Shop (cooking, woodworking, auto-mechanics, etc?)*
quote:
Originally posted by David

As Dr Phil says, [sorry], "They do it because they can." If you let them realise that it is over their heads, they will seek something within their capabilities and succeed there. If you don't tell them, it's like not telling someone they have a piece of celery stuck in their teeth. They will wonder why things aren't quite going as they should on that first date. One day, they WILL ask, "Why didn't someone tell me?
Students have the impression they have succeeded if they have marks, They don't think, not do many of their teachers, in terms of gain of knowledge or skill. They simply "passed the course." You are seeing the results of decades, perhaps a century, of change. Once, only the egg-heads made it to university. Now, "My kid takes calculus", and people take pride in the fact that they attended, even if they didn't pass first grade at that level... "I went to college too, you know."
The egg-heads are still there. They'll succeed no matter what. It's the rest that need nurturing and direction.



Edited by - the_hill1962 on 08/24/2007 11:39:22
Go to Top of Page

msakowski
Average Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2007 :  09:17:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
"I have screamed about this for many years. I am tired of screaming."

Don't. Christ threw them out of the temple, and look what happened to him. Not a good analogy, perhaps, but take care of #1, or you can not take care of others.

My last word on all of this, since it will resolve nothing, and there are bigger problems in this world.
Go to Top of Page


Well, if I do nothing about it, the frustration does not leave me. If I complain about the symptoms, it simply aggravates people and does nothing for removing the cause. It really is a big part of looking after #1 as you suggest since I really can't go on teaching a bored group of students nothing more than step-by-step algebraic methods that they hate and quickly forget once completing the course. I also can't go on teaching students with less and less motivation to learn mathematics.

So I choose to do something.

1. Provide Motivational Tools For Teachers, Students, and Parents. Give kids and young adults REAL reasons to want to learn math.
2. Restructure the way I teach. Make the class student centered. Teach the students how to deductively reason so they can construct a classical proof and enjoy doing it as well. Go to http://www.mathmotivation.com/lessons/lessons.html to see what I have so far. My hope is that this type of teaching will catch on, and we will be cultivating future Euclids and Einsteins in the process (See http://www.mathmotivation.com/deductive/einstein2.html ).

Yes, there are bigger issues in the world. But I am not paid to solve those. I am paid to be a good teacher of mathematics. And currently, while on sabbatical, I am paid to take advantage of this paid leave to develop valuable teaching resources for myself and my colleagues.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Math Forums @ Math Goodies © 2000-2004 Snitz Communications Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.11 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000
testing footer
About Us | Contact Us | Advertise with Us | Facebook | Blog | Recommend This Page




Copyright © 1998-2014 Mrs. Glosser's Math Goodies. All Rights Reserved.

A Hotchalk/Glam Partner Site - Last Modified 22 Apr 2014