So how do I define success. My students at alternative school, summer school, and night school invariably fail. Well that is not entirely true. They aim for Ds and occassionally make it. The attainment of a D is cause for great celebration including, but not limited too dance, song, and high-pitched squeals.
I find myself often accepting the bar that they have set. A bar so low that it would be more impressive if they managed to limbo under it rather than hop over. I begin to wonder if there are people out there that are interested in bettering themselves.
Yesterday, in a journal I asked the students to pick their favorite fairy tale and tell why they like it so much. Most of them could not name a fairy tale and started mentioning movies such as Hoodwinked. I had to explain to one student that Pocahontas was a real person, and while doing so some other students asked me how I knew for sure.
I have never had a student say to me, "Is it okay if I right six paragraphs instead of five." It is always, "What if I only do two paragraphs."
Is it my fault that they are not motivated? Probably.