Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something of great importance. For children across the U.S., the main thing of “great importance” in their lives is education. Unfortunately, student apathy is a serious issue in schools across the United States.
Approximately 21% of public school teachers report that student apathy is a problem in their school. One of the benefits of private school education is a lower percentage of apathetic students, as only 4% of private school educators report this as an issue.
What can teachers do if students just don’t care?
“Last week, for the first time in my ‘career,’ I walked out of the classroom because I didn’t see a point in teaching that class anymore, and ended up crying in the principal’s office,” said an anonymous teacher on a recent blog post.
It’s easy to blame the teachers for a child’s lack of interest, but that’s not always the case. Kids all across the country are dealing with stressful situations that impact them differently. One kid might have trouble at home and it affects his or her educational performance. While another could have a happy and healthy life, only to be distracted by their iPhone all day long.
Luckily, since private high schools have a much more favorable student-teacher ratio, educators are able to closely work with each student and find what works best for them. Every child is different and requires various educational approaches, which can be difficult to implement in a public school setting.
Here are some of the main factors contributing to student apathy:
- Motivation — Motivation is very difficult to monitor and can be nearly impossible to manufacture — especially for children. One of the main benefits of private school education is more one-on-one time with each student, enabling the teacher to determine how to motivate each individual child.
- Embarrassment — All over the country, kids are battling anxieties and feelings of embarrassment. If students are unhappy with their work, they may not want to show it to anyone — including a teacher. Similarly, if the kid isn’t proud of his or her work, they might feel even more apathetic as the school year progresses.
- Self-confidence — Self-confidence is a crucial aspect of educational success. If a student often makes closed statements about their abilities, like “I’m terrible at math,” or “I’m a D student,” their confidence levels will take a significant hit. Private schools that offer summer programs are great for building self-confidence and combatting those negative thoughts.
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