The unfocussed student has very little passion for the lessons scheduled on a school’s syllabus. This student prefers to do everything else under the sun other than academic schooling.
He plays sports, video games, sends texts, listens to music, watches videos and posts on social media all day. But, when it is time to do school work, he becomes tired and easily distracted. He can be lazy, disruptive, timid or show little enthusiasm in the day’s lesson.
What makes a student unfocussed
An unfocussed student may be delayed mentally, physically, or behaviourally. He may have Attention Deficit Disorder or a short attention span which might be due to frustration or depression.
There may be a lack of structure in the home, for example, parents may allow children to have unearned privileges to play as much as they want without doing chores. Teachers are then faced with “spoil brats” who have no value for the “reward for work” concept.
Also, the student may be bored in a traditional classroom. Reading and writing notes, answering questions in writing and studying for tests can become tedious.
Instruction for the unfocussed student
Since this student may hold little or no value for academic work, the key is to stir interest. Relate the topic to the world outside of school. Here are some ideas for an induction to a lesson.
A teacher can present a clipping from a newspaper. Show a scene from a popular movie. Play audio from a well-known song. Or, talk about the objectives in a video game in relation to the topic at hand.
These introductions usually arouse the interest of the unfocussed student who assumes academic work is difficult, boring and unrelated to real-life.
Getting stern with the unfocussed student
When all peaceful strategies to educate the unfocussed student have failed, the last resort is to get stern. Some students require more than motivational speeches and interesting lessons to focus. They need tough love.
Students love their breaks, cell phones and freedom to do what they want. Whatever makes them happy, it should be given as a reward for focussing in the classroom. Getting strict may not offer the ideal constructivist setting for all students, but it may be the only solution to helping the unfocussed student.