How much more work [is] an unmotivated student is vs someone who does the work. One of my children is going through the phase of passing in a lot of things late or not reading the one page of prework before a class discussion because he thinks he can wing it. (No he can’t) We’ve tried all kinds of angles but right now, we are trying to get him to see what a pain in the …it is to have to nag people to do their work, show their work, do the prep, chase people to hand things in. Would love actual teachers’ perspectives on pet peeves or things kids do that make their jobs harder.
I mean, you can’t care more than the students do. That’s a mistake a lot of teachers make in their early careers. That energy is better spent on the kids who actually want to learn.
It is depressing and a huge waste of time. The whole point is to learn what you can.
I would actually recommend that he spend some time thinking about what is goals are for the class, even if his goals are just to get high enough grades to blow this popsicle stand. The better his grades are, the more options he will have. It doesn’t matter how good or how bad the teacher is– he should be able to get what he wants even without them cajoling. Even if they’re terrible at their jobs. That’s irrelevant. Self-motivation is important.
That said, late work is a pain to deal with– takes way longer to grade. I don’t accept it (unless there’s a true long-term emergency) and instead have a drop two lowest scores policy. Class discussions go poorly when nobody does the prework and go well when everyone does. Showing your work is important because when you’re out in the world people will need to be able to trust what you did and to replicate it with small changes. Not handing things in that you’ve done is a huge waste of everyone’s time. Just hand it in.
When I was teaching, I didn’t do a lot of what you’re describing– no nagging, no chasing, none of that. If my students turned in their work on time, they got the credit for it for the quality of work that they did. If they didn’t, they didn’t. Most kids did the reading by the night before– which I know, because I required them to send in responses to the reading by 10 p.m. the day before it was being discussed in class. And most kids turned in their work on time, most of the time. The very small handful of students who persistently didn’t, I warned once– I had them meet with me outside of class and told them that they were in danger of failing. At that meeting, I recommended that they drop the class before the drop deadline if they didn’t want the likely F on their transcripts. I only failed one person– someone who skipped class a lot, didn’t turn in most of their work, and who ignored the warning. I was unhappy about it because I didn’t want to give an F, but– the students earned what they earned based on what they did. The other kids I warned dropped the class while they still could.
This is probably not helpful from your point of view, but– for me, a student who was unmotivated to the point at which they were going to fail was very easy from an instructional standpoint. They didn’t give me enough to react to. I put my time and energy into the people who made the effort to show up and do the work. They may not have vastly improved by the end of my class (Freshman Comp), but they engaged. They tried.