I have a bright, articulate student whose ability to think abstractly and express his opinions has occasionally left me speechless.
He is failing my class.
He has no less than five zeros in my gradebook for this past quarter alone. The assignments he has turned in lately have been way below par (one was less than half of the minimum required length).
I do not know what to do. Nobody does. His father has tried to motivate him. The principal has personally met with him. I have appealed to him to step up and do what he is capable of doing. But the problem is apathy, and there is no external cure.
It is painful to step back and let him fail, but that is all that I can do at this point. I will pour my restless energy into praying for him. I will continue to encourage him when he does well (those opportunities are becoming fewer and farther between). Ultimately, his success or failure relies not on me (nor his father, nor the principal), but on his own attitude and his own free will.
In the meantime, I am interested to know: if you were an apathetic teenager who came out of it at some point, what was the motivating factor for you?