Monday, January 30, 2012

Support Groups, Dropping Out & Boredom

(This article was first published as Students List Boredom as Reason for Dropping Out on Technorati.)

Students List Boredom as Reason for Dropping Out

Things lately have gotten so bad at school I even unfriended my yoga support group.

And, as if that isn't enough to engender a passel of bad karma, not only did I unfriend them--I felt pretty darn tootin' good about it. Yep, that pretty much sums up the kind of school year I’ve had so far.

I'm just tired. I'm not really sure when things went south, I'm just sure that they did, and I figure no amount of yoga musings can fix that. 

So I really am not in the mood for all these quick fixes people keep coming up with or reasons this study or that study gives to solve or point out flaws with our educational system.

For instance, recently there was an article in the Dallas Morning News about a study indicating students dropped out because they were bored.

Bored?

I wonder how that would fly in my job… or your job… or any job… "Gee… Sorry, I don't want to do that because frankly I don't find that very interesting, exciting, thrilling…" Oh, let's just use the buzz word du jour… engaging.

Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise who currently serves as the president of a Washington, D.C. policy and advocacy organization was quoted in the article as saying, "The results from that survey are born out by national surveys. Those are the issues listed. One that seems to be listed often is that 'I'm bored.'"

I'm not really sure what to do with all of that. Don't get me wrong, the drop out rate is a national crisis with 1.2 million kiddos checking out of school every year, according to the Broad Foundation. The New York Times reported that we had slipped to No. 21 in high school completion and outlines the high cost of high school drop outs.
Obviously, we need to do something about the drop out rate. I'm all for making school relevant, but sometimes relevant isn't terribly exciting.
I suppose we could form a support group, but then I'd probably get bored and have to unfriend you.

9 comments:

Ann Rodriguez said...

I'm surprised teachers are able to keep the attention of any students these days, unless they interact with you by way of video game controller, and you have some really awesome sound effects. :)

Bored at my job today...

Miss W said...

I think if we made students choose between school and a mandatory manual labor program (call it an apprenticeship), they would find it a little less boring.

teach_j said...

I've always thought that one of the biggest mistakes of public schooling is compulsory attendance. We should allow kids to just no attend if they are so bored. There would be a lot fewer discipline problems. But we should require a high school diploma to get minimum wage. Set a lower minimum wage for people without a high school diploma.

Clix said...

Richie, unrelated Q. Your students interview other students for your school's publications, yes? How do they arrange that? Does everything happen outside of school or at lunch, or does some of it happen during class time? and if the latter, how do they go about it?

God, I can't wait for this year to be over. :(

mybellringers said...

Clix,
Yes we do interview students. Newspaper kids have class fourth period which is during all the lunches. They interview there, but they also pull kids out of class for interviews and pictures. Of course, there are some teachers that don't understand and won't allow kids to be pulled out of class and interviewed or sometimes the kid is in the middle of a test or lab and we have to go back. If they can't get the kid during our class time, then they have to find them before or after school or during lunch. Yearbook kids have class third period so they are always pulling kids out of class. Again, it's up to the teacher whether they allow us to talk to them or take them for a photograph.

If my kids couldn't interview during class time or take photos during class time, I wouldn't/couldn't do this job.

Let me know if you need more info.

Clix said...

How do you work ad sales? Are your students required to sell ads? Is it for a grade?

*hugs* Thanks for the support. I try not to think about it too much, to be honest. I'm being forced to do something I love (well, USED TO, anyway) in a way that I hate. Sometimes I feel like I'm crushing my own dreams. :(

BUT! I am younger than any of these administrators. >;) So while they're here, I'll go back to teaching just language arts, recover from my trauma, and begin plotting...

Clix said...

Oh, forgot. Interviews - Do they just go to the other classroom, knock on the door, and say "hey, can we borrow so-and-so for a few minutes?" Or do they call? Or do they schedule it ahead of time with a note? Or something else entirely that I can't even think of? ;)

Melissa B. said...

I've been wearing my glasses all week. An indicator of exhaustion - and, yes, boredom - on the part of the teacher. I need to whack someone upside the head to get my mojo back!

mybellringers said...

Clix,
In the past, I have required yearbook kids to sell ads. Newspaper kids aren't. Although we do take ads, my school district funds the newspaper so I don't make it a requirement for them. With dwindling funds, though, we may have to start up again with that.

Staffers sell ads outside of school. I no longer require yearbook kids to sell ads, but they are required to call parents and sell those senior baby ads. The senior baby ad revenue takes the place of revenue from regular ad sales. We sell a ton of those. We split up the alpha list of seniors and the kids are required to call about 20 or so of those and document their calling. They get a grade for that. When I had newspaper kids sell ads, they had to sell a specific amount within one semester.

For interviews, we do all of what you wrote. They sometimes call the classroom and ask if a student can come to my room. Sometimes they go down there and sometimes they schedule. All depends on the class, teacher and student.

Let me know if you have any other questions.