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How on earth can I motivate a whole bunch of older teenagers (almost twentysomethings)?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by anon3279, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. I've been pondering on the attitude of my students, and youngest son, this week.
    Most of my students are now 18+ (as is Son2) and they really don't seem to have much motivation to improve themselves. They're all pretty bright and some are even talented musicians but they still have problems getting up in the morning and organising themselves.
    I'm getting quite frustrated about it! I'm sure that some are playing XBox Live (or whatever it is)until the wee small hours etc but they ALL seem to sleep through their alarm clocks. Some, allegedly, have four alarms set for the morning but still sleep through them.
    Son2 sleeps through his. It's loud enough to wake the dead but not him[​IMG].
    I've tried encouragement, slamming them with our disciplinary code, intense monitoring etc. No real improvement.

    Any tips?
    (The getting-older, grumpy woman in me thinks that it wasn't like this in MY day..)
     
  2. I've been pondering on the attitude of my students, and youngest son, this week.
    Most of my students are now 18+ (as is Son2) and they really don't seem to have much motivation to improve themselves. They're all pretty bright and some are even talented musicians but they still have problems getting up in the morning and organising themselves.
    I'm getting quite frustrated about it! I'm sure that some are playing XBox Live (or whatever it is)until the wee small hours etc but they ALL seem to sleep through their alarm clocks. Some, allegedly, have four alarms set for the morning but still sleep through them.
    Son2 sleeps through his. It's loud enough to wake the dead but not him[​IMG].
    I've tried encouragement, slamming them with our disciplinary code, intense monitoring etc. No real improvement.

    Any tips?
    (The getting-older, grumpy woman in me thinks that it wasn't like this in MY day..)
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Allow them to make their own mistakes.
    Let them fail and end up in a rubbish job or unemployed, if they cant motivate themselves at 18, maybe they will when they are 25, its not your job to do it for them.
     
  4. No idea but if you find the answer let me know, as it might mean my 22 year old colleague could actually get his a.rse into work on time for a change.
    He has now been told his timekeeping is being logged as boss is so peed off.
     
  5. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

  6. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Except,nowadays, most parents prolonge such a state by letting their kids stay with them forever,therefore removing the need to take responsability for themselves.
     
  7. Yes, that's what I feel and I'm more than prepared to do that but....
    ...I'm in FE, times are hard and letting them fail is not an option in my manager's eyes. They'll all get through their courses and some of them might even do well but only because I HAVE to do lots of work to allow them to achieve that. I think my management really do see it as my job to do it for the, hence the plea for help[​IMG]
    I've even been suggesting old wives tales (bumping head on pillow just before going to sleep etc) because I'm so frustrated.

     
  8. Not entirely an old wives' tale - I'm sure I read something about how the focus on the time to get up does help a person to wake up at that time. I have no references to cite, though, so can't confirm that.
    But in the same vein, if any of them had something to get up for that they really, really wanted - like a game release, or a book signing, or whatever - could they still not do it?
    If they couldn't, there's a problem. If they could, they need to realise that getting out of bed for lessons is important.
    And there's the rub.
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I have every sympathy with you.

     
  10. It was my gran that told me the pillow-bump trick. I still do it out of habit and I seem to manage to get out of bed on time.
    Dereck - thanks for the sympathies but, sadly, I'm not alone. Lots of pressure on all of at the moment isn't there?
    I was pondering whilst at the cinema just now (Black Swan - I zoned out once or twice). I think it might be the computer/computer game thing. I think perhaps they live so much of their lives in a fantasy land that it's seriously affecting the way they live their real life. Or something like that.
    Whatever it is, I'm worried about it.
     
  11. You have answered your own question. Letting them fail is not an option, so they are never required to assess the consequences of their own choices. On the most minor level, disciplinary infractions go unpunished, chores are not done, parental admonitions are ignored (has any parent actually said "Why not play on your computer until 3 a.m. on a schoolnight, sweetie?" but I surely can't be the only one who simply removed the power cables, much to their annoyance). They are never meaningfully punished.
    Parents want to be their children's best friends despite spending record amounts of time out of their sight. Teachers have to meet targets on their behalf. Why would any teenager shift his own **** when there is a whole department of adults busting a gut to shift it for him?
     
  12. I might have answered my own question, Lily, but you've clarified it in a way that I didn't/couldn't. I think you've hit several nails on several heads, thanks.
    Actually, my students don't seem to have much parental input. We're quite "harsh" (apparently) with our older children - the old "whilst you're living under our roof" rule goes but I think we're in the minority, perhaps.
    Does make me wonder what the heck this group of young people will turn out like eventually.
     
  13. My husband was of the opinion that I was on their case too much - he said hassling them and making it impossible for them to skive off chores and homework and making them get to sleep at a reasonable hour was just as likely to make them not take responsibility for their time management as ignoring them.
    But who knows? It's not as if you can construct a parallel set of circumstances to test the hypothesis. They turned out OK. Son2 was particularly useless as a teenager but has never turned into work late, missed a deadline nor had a day off in adulthood.
     
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Burning the candle at both ends and at least three places in between is part of teen/student culture. Just let them get on with it and let them learn from their own hangovers. My eldest did the lot, drove us potty in the process, and still picked up a goodly crop of A Levels and a decent degree at the end of it. She arrives on time for her job and puts the hours in and that's what matters in the end.
     
  15. I remember as a teenager, particularly between about 15 and 18, I was a pain to get out of bed of a morning but I wasn't given a lot of choice. If I wasn't up thirty seconds after the alarm clock rang, my mother would charge into my room, rip off the duvet and bellow "Get yer lazy backside out of bed NOW!". Then she would make a point of going about whatever she was doing very loudly, banging doors and barking commands.
    So maybe it is natural for teens to not want to get out of bed. I was never, ever late for school.
    Strangely, as soon as I got to uni, I would be up first thing with no bother and no need for mother to bellow like a dragon first thing in the morn. I was never, ever late for a lecture.
    And I have never, ever been late for work - in fact, nowadays, I am in by 7.30 latest even though we have no fixed working hours.
    Nowadays, it is a habit - one that was (very loudly) driven into me as a teenie!

     
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    There are more distractions these days though than there were when I was that age. On a weekday a late night choice would be watch tv - 3 or 4 channels and then they ended at 12-1 o'clock or read. We didn't even have VHS.
    Can't the college put something in place for constant lateness? I have a year 13 class, the lessons are all single P1 or double P 1+2, which is great on the one hand, but two students in the class have particular "difficulties". One has never been there at 9, 9.10 is the best and 9.30-10 is more common, the other either turns up at 9 (usually) or 10, I hate to think how much time they've lost through the year. I'm not sure my school is even bothered but we're going to raise the possibility of an informal detention - stay behind and make up the lost work.
    I think largely it does come good in the end, youngest Mangle has gone to uni this year, while at home he was of the up to 2 or 3 on facebook, msn, games etc. etc. ilk, he hasn't missed a 9 o'clock yet (well he claims it anyway). Even getting up at 7 cooking a full breakfast and washing up before turning up early for his lecture! Though this is a highly vaunted abberation rather than the norm.
     

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