“The Work”

Every weekend, I get a report from one of our teacher leaders who supervises our Credit Recovery program at my current school.  This report summarizes the students who have completed courses over the previous week and gives a shout out to the teachers, aides, and staff members who have assisted in their progress.  Normally, I only give this email a rudimentary glance to keep my finger on the pulse of the work being done, but something jumped off the screen at me this week.  As I scanned the list, I saw the name of a student whose name was not unfamiliar to me for attendance and disciplinary reasons.  What struck me was the comment this junior student made about his rapid completion of a freshman physical science course online.

“I like science.  I just don’t do the work.”

There are many layers and levels to this statement, but as I peel this particular onion, I am left wondering two things foremost:

  •  What is “the work” exactly?  And…
  •  If the student likes the content area but just doesn’t do “the work,” whose fault is that?

One thought on ““The Work”

  1. I had a great conversation with the student this week before he withdrew to an online degree program. When I asked the student about this comment, he recalled this laboratory science class only had 4-5 labs in an entire academic year. The vast majority of the course was Power Point presentations, handouts, worksheets, and filling a binder with those materials. He regretted not continuing in our computer-aided drafting program after his freshman year, but planned to pursue a similar program in college. What he wanted out of his classroom experience at our school was practical, experiential learning, especially in his areas of interest.


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