Friday, May 18, 2012

The three students that struggle in my #flipclass

I have come to the realization that there are certain types of students that I just don't click with. 

One of the greatest benefits of the flipped classroom is the relationships you get to develop with students because you work with them one-on-one so much.  However, sometimes certain types of students just rub you the wrong way and the daily one-on-one interaction wears you thin. 

Here are the three types of students who have worn me thin this year with the Flipped Classroom.

1. The cocky "I'm always right" student

This student doesn't want to think. This student wants to get the math problems completed correctly and move it.  Understanding of what is actually going on?  This student doesn't need it.  Collaboration and conversation with peers to deepen the connections between the material? Not necessary.  This student is smarter than them anyways. Showing work? Not needed.  The right answer is all that's needed - why show the thought processes and the work behind it?  Make a mistake?  Oh, gosh, never. The teacher must be wrong, because this student would never make a mistake.  This student is satisfied sitting alone, mindlessly doing math problems, and moving on. 

2. The attitude "Give me what I want when I want it" student

This student does not want to sit in a group.  Although talented, this student chooses to work with the lowest students in the class.  Not to help them, mind you, because when they don't get it this student sighs and rolls eyes at them.  Rather, this student doesn't want to have to interact and share ideas with "same level" students because that would require more work and social interaction.  When this student has a question, the hand is raised and Mrs. Kirch is the only one who can answer the question.  When Mrs. Kirch does not arrive right away, or stops to help another student first, this student sighs, rolls eyes, and complains.  When asked to get up and ask another student the answer, the student refuses to do so and then again, sighs and rolls eyes.  When asked a challenging question that requires thought, or even when asked to just participate in class discussions, this student sits there alone and says nothing.  This student gives off the attitude to everyone around her that she is better than them, but doesn't want to help them in any way.  If this student doesn't get the answer desired immediately, some sort of attitude is given.  Conversations, conferences, and consequences only lead to more attitude.

3. The lazy "Let me cheat my way through this system" student

This student is full of excuses daily.  Excuses why the video didn't get watched.  Excuses why the homework is late.  Excuses why the homework is incomplete.  Excuses for off-task behavior.  Excuses excuses excuses.  This student writes crap down on almost every assignment and tries to get it signed off, not realizing that it's not about completion, it's about LEARNING.  This student would rather get the right answer, no matter if the steps make any sense at all, than actually understand the process.  This student claims tutoring will be attended weekly, but yet this student never shows up for the extra help.  This student fails concept quizzes again and again, but won't sit down to correct them to learn from mistakes made.  This student "completes" assignments to earn points, avoid punishment, but not to actually learn.  This student is entitled and lies to himself on a daily basis on what is actually understood, because actually realizing the understanding ISN'T there would mean that more effort (without excuses) would need to be made... and this student doesn't want this.

Do you have any of these students in your class?  How do you work with them?


  1. I have students just like this in my classes right now - I teach 1 section each of pre-algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus. I can see the cocky kid right now and it drives me nuts when the kid gets the right answer but can't explain to me how (I want that kid to make videos for me to get credit for his homework next year to talk me through what he is doing). Oh then there is the eye rolling kid - only Mrs. Belyea will do - and the parents think the same thing - learning is learning use all the tools you have and DO NOT DEPEND ON ONE PERSON. I, the teacher, am only one tool in that educational toolbox for a student. Use the other tools I give you - video clips,, webpages with practice questions, books on mathematics to extend knowledge, etc. DO NOT GIVE UP! Oh, then there is the lazy kid - I have several of these too who think they will get through high school by doing nothing and think that just doing the homework is good enough (even though assessments are 40% of their grade, homework 20%, other things 20% and readiness and participation is 10%). How can I help all of these students be ready to learn, able to use all sorts of tools to learn, and to be independent persevering students?

    1. Hi Carla,
      First of all, I am impressed - 5 preps must be crazy for you! Two is enough for me :)

      I think we all have these kids and I am just hoping that I make an OUNCE of a difference in their lives by the end of the year... that I make them think about something other than what they are used to... that I challenge them to think past what they have known. Even if they don't realize it during this school year, I only hope that they will look back and realize it later.

      I am only in my 5th year of teaching, so I haven't had the privilege yet of a student coming back from graduating college and having a career and realizing that something I taught them (*about life, not just math) actually really makes sense now even though it didn't when they were in my class. I'm hoping for that day :)


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