Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

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Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby Repeekthgil » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:46 pm UTC

Hi all,

I'm a high school teacher and deal with "smart" but lazy teenagers most days... I'm sure we were all there once, I know I was.

I know I've read some not-so-witticisms about "what do you call a smart, lazy person" and something about unemployed being the punchline, but I'm curious about how people have dealt with this conundrum. Become programmers for Bill Gates?


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Re: Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:51 pm UTC

The hardest I worked in high school was when I was pursuing independent studies in topics I was interested in. What do you teach? What do these kids like? Maybe see about starting a club for some of their interests?
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Re: Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby Repeekthgil » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:05 pm UTC

I'm a math teacher, but it's not so much for my students, as for the 12th graders that are on my team in general. In particular a student who won't submit things for his English teacher because he says he's already done them, or something. We can't grade a zero.

I think I was just venting when I wrote that post this morning.

I'm not super active on this forum, but I've been a lurker (like comic 200~) much longer than I've had a registered account, and I've seen the noticed the subtle changes (whether real or imagined) in the long time members attitudes as we've all grown older (says the 32 year old...)

I just figured there would be some insights from others who have been in that boat.

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Re: Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby doogly » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:18 pm UTC

Not handing anything at all is worse than phoning in some lazy product, that's pathological. Is it just an extreme of laziness? Is there a fear? Fear is often the worm which gnaws at the root.
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Re: Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby Ginger » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:56 am UTC

When I was "smart" but lazy teen girl there were two causes: Femme shyness instilled in me by my parents, and fears, like doogly says. Fears about being not smart enough, not good enough to ace my tests or pleases my teachers... and femme shyness re: ever doing my best on projects or even trying hard at all 'cause like I'm only supposed to be good at kissing boys or girls not schoolwork? Some feminine thoughts and feels re: "smart but lazy teen girls" a la what I was like as a smart yet lazy teen.
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Re: Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby Mark_Cangila » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:41 pm UTC

I sometimes am lazy. I do my work but don't pay attention when the teacher is talking. My issue is that I know everything in the science class (and there is no advanced science.) I also do the worksheets in math while the teacher is going through the first few problems. It is really an issue of speed. My school has class that are at higher grade levels, but they aren't accelerated much, which is the real issue.

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Re: Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:59 pm UTC

Those kids are either bored because they are already ahead of the class, or just uninterested in the subject matter. Try giving them individual assignments.
A student that claims to already have mastered the topics being covered in class should be given the chance to prove it-a long essay, a report written in a foreign language, a presentation before the class.
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Re: Dealing with "smart" but lazy teenagers

Postby Teywer » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:24 am UTC

As a smart and lazy teenager myself, I would say that the best way to get me to do something is to give me competition. If I sit at the same table as some other smart person, I find myself pushing to do better than them. It may create a moderately unhealthy class dynamic, but it gives me a purpose to do work. Other than that, having an application for the stuff I learn is helpful, especially with the more abstract seeming calculus and such.
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