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laziness in students




I just got home from work after a team meeting with grades 3/4/5. We are all finding that this year's kids are very lazy, cutting every corner they can, putting little effort into things. Are any of you finding this and what do you do to combat it? Looking for some fresh ideas.


Nicole E.

You too?

Your message popped out at me instantly! I have MANY students this year who exhibit laziness/poor pride in work. I also think many of mine are immature, and those younger,immature students seem to not understand the importance of hard work. I of course, make mine finish or redo assignments at recess, but what a hassle keeping up with all of that can be. I also call parents when the laziness becomes habitual. What can we as teachers do? I feel this is a learned behavior many of these students have developed since birth. How many students do you know whose mothers will clean their room for them, expect no chores of them, and will even do homework for them? I have little advice to offer here, but oh so much empathy. I will be anxious to hear what others do about this.



I acutally had a few students that just want to write the first letter of the word for the answer. So if the answer was "crust" talking about the Earth, they just wanted to write "c". I looked at them and thought they were joking. I was speechless for a few seconds. That's ridiculous. I'm anxious also to hear how others work through such laziness. I'm amazed some of mine can find the will to pick up a pencil at times!!!! :(


Junior Member

OMG!!! I felt like you were talking about my classroom. My team teacher (we swap classes this year) and I were just talking about this. We were saying that this is the most immature group we have ever had. Since she does math, she decided to do a graph on how many were oldest, youngest, middle, and only children in their house. My homeroom was exactly what we had expected...most were the youngest in their household. However, in her homeroom we were surprised. There was an equal number of oldest and middle and only a couple youngest and only children. So, basically that theory blew up in our face. We are also having trouble with students completing and turning in assignments. We have stopped giving them second and third opportunities to complete these assignments. They get graded "as is." I don't know what the answer is, because even with several zeros...some of them just don't care. It's amazing to me. I too am anxiously waiting to see what others suggest.

Becky Belew

I have the same problem with students, but it doesn't seem to be any worse this year than other years. Perhaps that is because I have taught junior high previously and they are the ultimate in laziness. Since I am also the junior high cheerleading sponsor and work closely with the coaches in other areas at my school, I remind my students that by 5th grade their overall grade point average must be on a certain level to participate in cheerleading or sports in our school system. I tell them of the many sad times I have had to tell students who wanted to try out for the squad or one of the sports teams that they simply did not have the grades to be able to participate. Of course I dramatize this highly for my third graders and it seems to help if only for a short time before I have to remind them again. We are in a small school system and this kind of thing is very important to these children. Many have older brothers and sisters and can relate to what I am talking about. Maybe something like this would work for you also.


Senior Member
teaching motitvation

when someone can figure out that answer they will be a worth millions!!!
We have many students that are very capable but will test low just because they are lazy and unmotivated. Parents could care less, why should they?

Nicole E.

It's me again!

Okay, first time I posted simply to whine with everyone, but here are the few measly ideas I have to combat laziness. First of all, I occasionally will do a special Friday afternoon activity such as playing in the snow, board games with room parents, a movie. I don't give advance notice. I simply take all those lazy assignments with any old answers or horrible handwriting and have the school aide take the lazies to a room to redo work while the rest of us enjoy an afternoon of fun. I show examples of quality work compared to lazy work on the overhead and comment on each. I heavily praise the hard worker and send notes or call home to applaud a hardworking student's efforts. I refuse to accept mediocrity and will make a child redo an assignment repeatedly when necessary. (However, this can be an especially draining task!) I sometimes send poor quality work home with a note attached requiring a child to redo it at home with a parent, parent signature required. I tell the child that the refinished piece is his/her only ticket to having recess the next day.
I really really would like some more ideas though, because despite the above, I still have some with no inner drive to succeed, nor the desire to be accurate.



I think it is our society these days. I have taught almost thirty years and see this ever increading. I wish there was an answer but I do know that we have to hold our expectaion high even if that means not being the popular fun teacher. I have stood by this all my years and I do generally get quality when I highly expect it. I always tell the kids, and we laugh and say it in unison, if your work is not done with quality you will have "The opportunity..... to do it again!" My kids know I'm a stickler and they rise to the occasion most times.... do I sound old fashioned??? I'm proud to say I am... I am the same way with listening, sitting up straight and being respectful.... now isn't that a novel idea???? :)

good luck!