Sunday, February 12, 2006

Student Apathy is Making Me Apathetic!

You know, I'm not really sure if anyone really reads this blog. In fact, Ms. Monroe's post on my last blog nearly blew my mind. Anyway, just in case anyone is really out there surfing around on the internet, perhaps as a prospective applicant to MTC, an alumni of the program, someone who is trying to keep tabs on me, friends, parents, fellow classmates, teachers, and those of you who have absoultely nothing to do and just so happened to stumble upon a random blog, this blog is for you. Step into my world of stress, frustration and semi-organized chaos.

This entry is about student apathy, a stage I had hoped to conquer by now. The sad reality is that student apathy may actually conquer me. On Friday, I gave a chapter test on waves; three of my five physical science classes bombed it. Class averages were in the high 60's and low 70's. Grading tests like these literally makes me want to throw up. What am I doing with my life? Spending 70 hours a week busting my butt making worksheets, creating fun and interesting lesson plans (well, I think they're fun), reading online resources, grading papers, and calling parents? Is this my life? Is this what all my hard work throughout my own high school and college education boils down to? Being overworked and underpaid and worst of all, underappreciated? Well, yes, I think I just hit the nail on the head. This is my life in a nutshell and what do I have to show for it? A bunch of 60's and 70's for class averages?

My students don't care about Physical Science. Well, most of them don't care. I have a few standouts that offer me a glimmer of hope each week, but the vast majority of them don't study, don't do their homework, and barely pay attention in class. I've done breath-taking demos...well, as breath-taking as Physcial Science gets; ran through class experiments; and shown enthusiasm for my subject matter and still I barely get students to stir in their seats. I spend about 3.5 days teaching and 1.5 days reviewing before I give a test and students still manage to fail it miserably. What am I doing wrong?

Case in point: A sound wave is a longitudinal, mechanical wave. I must have repeated that 15 times and included it on every worksheet and both chapter quizzes. I demonstrated it with a slinky and had students draw it on the board. Still 54.7% of students missed that question on the test. What more can I do except tatoo it on their foreheads so that every time they look in the mirror, they realize that a sound wave is a longitudinal, mechanical wave!?

It's sooooo frustrating!!!!! Why don't students realize that education is fundamentally essential to their future well-being?!!

What do I have to do? Bribe them??? Hmm...I'll pencil that in for tomorrow.