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How to Deal with Apathy?

 
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: How to Deal with Apathy? Reply with quote

According to online sources there are 6 signs of Apathy:

Apathy is when you lack EMOTION.
Apathy is when you lack MOTIVATION.
Apathy is when you lack ENTHUSIASM
Apathy is the state of not CARING.
Apathy is the state of not WANTING TO KNOW.
Apathy is when you are satisfied with COMPLACENCY.

This can be an ongoing issue with some problem classes, the members of which are never going to 'get it' - the more you put in the more you get out - but sometimes I'll enter a class and they are just in a funny mood. It could be a telling off they just had, the weather, or something else going through their undeveloped minds. What ever it is the usual things don't work sometimes.

So what is your neat/quick trick to bring your better classes out of a temporary spell of inertia?
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roguefishfood



Joined: 21 May 2011

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Re: How to Deal with Apathy? Reply with quote

As a somewhat newbie teacher of sixth graders, I'm hoping people respond here...
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Re: How to Deal with Apathy? Reply with quote

JustinC wrote:
So what is your neat/quick trick to bring your better classes out of a temporary spell of inertia?


Youtube videos of people falling down. When I had really apathetic low level older students at my last job, I was mostly forced to do what the teacher before me did: just let them be. Nice, relaxing ending to the day as well.
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Tyshine



Joined: 04 Apr 2011

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: How to Deal with Apathy? Reply with quote

John Stamos jr. wrote:
JustinC wrote:
So what is your neat/quick trick to bring your better classes out of a temporary spell of inertia?


Youtube videos of people falling down. When I had really apathetic low level older students at my last job, I was mostly forced to do what the teacher before me did: just let them be. Nice, relaxing ending to the day as well.


I take a similar approach. You are not going to bat a thousand. I try to tell my kids the more they put into it the more fun it will be, but many times they just do not care.

As far as practical advice I try to mix things up, and keep a good energy level. Group activities, warm up games, and I like to throw some interesting pictures(I am at an all boys HS so pretty girls work the best, followed by funny pics) into your ppts. I don't put in pictures just for the sake of doing it, but use relevant pictures to the lesson that also make them laugh or get their attention.

Just try some different things and stick to what works and modify what doesn't.
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JustinC



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Location: We Are The World!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm covering occupations at the moment. I had a particularly sleepy class and was trying to explain the varieties of 'artist'; they weren't getting it so I put on a video of Jimi Hendrix Live.

I loved it, the Korean kids who were born about a century after Jimi's untimely death did not, ha ha.

But I enjoyed watching it, heh.

There's a really cool video I used to explain 'Lucky' - lots of people almost getting side-swiped by trains, cars, bikes etc. Erm ... oh, here it is;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKcFPnS9r8Y

I have GIFs in all of my PPTs, have done for the whole of this year (every single PPT has GIFs in it), but the apathy in my 6th Graders grows stronger by the day. Even classes that were attentive and worked hard before now just gawk at the screen like they're in a coma. It's not as though I make it hard for them to learn, it's practically given to them on a plate!

I'll have 2 or 3 kids at the front screaming out the answers like their lives depended on it and the rest can barely keep their hearts beating. I just want to throw my hands in the air and walk out, shouting "Why the hell do I spend all those hours planning these god-damn lessons when you're all going to just sit there?!" or words of that nature.

It's my first year teaching Grade 6 in Korea (my Grade 4 classes are still 100%), is it a symptom of the fact they'll be leaving the school in a month or so? They have their finals in 2 weeks, maybe it's that? Should I be less demanding in class now? I can try and ease off, have more Bomb games (I have dozens, all tailored to their syllabus), show more clips etc.

I just feel like as we get closer to exam time I should be applying more pressure, not less. They did much better at the end of the first semester than the year before had done, and they had lots of exam prep and didn't take their feet off the gas for a minute. If it's the 'Korean way' then I can ease up a lot, it's not up to me to change a culture. Not sure which way I should approach this, I won't be seeing them again after a month or so, so either way won't give me a problem next year.
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andrewchon



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Location: In my goshiwon cubicle. Seeking moksha.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: How to Deal with Apathy? Reply with quote

roguefishfood wrote:
As a somewhat newbie teacher of sixth graders, I'm hoping people respond here...

rogue style: my prayers go out to you. Good news is that they have less than a month of existance as elementary school puke. Show them movies. They want to feel they are older: talk about middle school life. Talk about puberty, voice change, anything to make them feel they are too good for this elementary my dear Watson. You can also try telling them you have nothing to teach them so they can stay in their homeroom. It does work sometimes.
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The Cosmic Hum



Joined: 09 May 2003
Location: Sonic Space

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the teacher poses this question to the class.
"Are poor grades caused by ignorance or apathy?

Kid at the back of the class answers.
"I don't know, and I don't care."
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YTMND



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Location: You're the man now dog!!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Youtube search for Jack Vale, Ed Bassmaster, and Tom Mabe Laughing

Friday Night Cranks is ok at times, but it's high school humor that drags on at times.
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