- Other kids seemed to learn...I've always taught like this.
- They rarely complete their homework or do any studying.
- They never come to see me for extra help even though I offer it.
- They're lazy.
- They're totally disorganized. They forget their work and materials all the time.
- They have a bad attitude and don't seem to care about school.
- They miss too much class time. They're late or absent so often.
- They spend too much time on extra-curricular activities outside of school time.
- They don't pay enough attention in class. They are too easily distracted by social matters and their cell phones.
- They don't take enough responsibility for their own learning.
But even if some of these comments are true of our students, unless we act on our comments aren't they nothing more than 'excuses'?
If we truly care about our students and their learning, I believe we should rephrase these comments as questions that begin with 'why'. We need to ask ourselves 'why' our student are demonstrating these characteristics.
- What am I doing/not doing that is causing my students not to learn?
- What can I do to help them learn?