I have a question for all my fellow educators out there.
A little background: I teach 1st grade in a high-poverty, high minority, economically disadvantaged school. My kids go home and do not get much, if any, help with work or hear many positive comments made about school and education. Our town is brimming with generational poverty and lack of education.
I have one little guy which I think struggles with ADD/ADHD nothing diagnosed just a hunch based on work and classroom observations.
His biggest problem, however, is motivation. This poor guy has no motivation to do any type of school work. He is defeated before he begins. When I try to get him on track with his work, the first excuse out of his mouth is usually, "I can't....something" Read this, write, figure it out. His other go to excuse is, it's too hard.
While it's too hard may be a legitimate excuse for this child because he is working below grade level, I don't accept it because he does not even try. It would be different for me if I saw him putting forth some effort. However, what he chooses to do is sit at his desk and do nothing (some of this is his focusing problem) and then complain and say he can't do it.
He is more capable than he believes because he will work if someone sits next to him and holds his hand through every step of the process (which is not necessary because he is more capable than that).
So what all this comes down to, is what do you all do to motivate students in your classroom? Or what do you do to help students who are down on themselves believe they can do it?
Any thoughts or insights would great!