So I teach three classes of seniors. This year, the senioritis has set in early, and hard. I have kids who are already starting to check out. And instead of finding a positive way to bring them back into the fold, I have just gotten slightly sour, slightly annoyed, and scornful. I don’t like when I do that (though I know sometimes it is necessary). The senioritis isn’t yet in full swing, but at least for one class, it’s impacting the fun and enjoyment I have teaching (and consequently, that the kids might have learning).
So for any of y’all out there, do you have any CONCRETE advice on how to deal with senioritis?
Do you have a come to jesus talk?
Do you get all draconian up in their grill?
Do you collect and grade homework daily?
Do you have a class discussion about the frustration? What would that look like?
Do you have weekly quizzes to make sure stay on the ball and focused?
Do you have an explicit reward system? (If I only have to remind you at most 3 times, we can have a team math contest with a special prize!)
Do you do a project?
Do you make things more group centered — where students work as a team?
In other words, what have you done that works? For the past two years, I’ve talked with my students about how I never lower expectations in the fourth quarter, that I care about them learning the fun stuff at the end of the course, and that they simply need to stay on the ball. But although that generally works for a majority of the kids, I still feel like more kids than I would like have their grades (and understanding) drop in the fourth quarter. I want to keep all of my kids (not just some of my kids) with me until the end of the year.
I will soon bring out a new class motto. It used to be “take what you don’t know and turn it into what you do know.” It is now going to be “BE ALL THERE.” I think I will get posters made and hang them in my classrooms, and point to them aperiodically.
UPDATE: I made my poster and hung it up in my classrooms