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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Kids suddenly care

The end of the year is nigh...

At this point in the semester, a certain thing happens.

Kids suddenly care.

Don't get me wrong, some kids always care.

But a number who don't, or at least pretend not to, suddenly step up their game.

It is easy to dismiss their efforts.

To feel annoyed that now they want to try.

To reflect their lack of effort back at them.

To get resentful of their sudden demands for support.

I see the memes.

I can empathize.

I feel it too.

Then I remember a couple of important things.

The first is that I am the adult.

It is my responsibility to make sure kids have every opportunity to learn.

If they have rebuffed my efforts so far, well, that sucks.

And it is still my responsibility to provide the best opportunities I can.

I have an obligation to hide my irritation and give.

Even if a passing grade is virtually hopeless.

Even if I am beyond annoyed and busy.

Even if I just plain don't want to.

The second thing I have to remember is that procrastination is normal.

How many of us filed taxes on the due date?

How often are we planning just hours before a class?

How many times are papers being graded and entered the day grades are due?

Adults procrastinate constantly.

And it is not the end of the world.

My laundry gets done when I run out of socks...except the times when I go buy more.

We all have tasks we put off as long as possible.

It may not be the ideal, but so what?

Adulting is about getting it done.

Teaching kids to adult is about helping them get things done.

They might not pass.

It might be hard and a pain in the backside.

I definitely emphasize the need for different choices in the future.

I also honor the effort as best I can.

For the kids rocking a single digit percentage, passing is not a realistic outcome.

For some, those who have hovered in the 40s and 50s by doing the bare minimum, there is hope.

I actually enjoy seeing many of them step up their gain.

Even though I might be thinking, "Finally!"

I choose to see effort as a good thing.

At least effort directed at learning.

Maybe effort at task avoidance and jumping up and down on my last nerve, not so much.

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