ARCHIVED—Reaching the "Hard Tickets"
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Connecting with students who are completely disengaged from learning and school is one of the toughest challenges teachers face. Often, these"hard tickets" just aren't interested in learning, cannot see the value of it or have other things going on in their lives that put school at the bottom of their priority list. Unfortunately, they skip school or often get labelled as disruptive troublemakers, and sometimes teachers throw up their hands, not knowing how to deal with them.
The Prime Minister's Award recipients admit to having encountered their share of tough cases and have come to realize that teachers need to go the extra mile to reach them and make an effort not to judge them based on past behaviours. For many of these students, it's a major accomplishment just to get out of bed and to school every morning.
Teachers must find something to hook these students early on in the year and get them interested. Often, going somewhere outside of the classroom helps. Taking students to a different setting can help the teacher see them in a different light; perhaps more importantly, the students might also see the teacher in a different light.
Having passion every day is key. There has to be a cool thing every day - a moment - that strikes a chord with students. And yet teachers cannot be all things to all students, despite their best efforts. Teachers need to have faith that they are planting a few seeds that one day will grow.
The following examples show how some Prime Minister's Award recipients have met this challenge and have reached some "hard tickets".