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Student Apathy Survey Results

Trevor Sharp, reporter

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Student apathy is commonplace at Topeka High. A lot of students just don’t do their work, don’t care, and don’t succeed.

In a survey sent out to Trojan Times across Topeka High, 60 out of 120 students said that they were failing at least one class. That is a reported 50% failure rate. (even if it is a small sample size, it is diverse).

Associate Principal Paula Riley said that one of the main reasons students may be apathetic towards school, leading to them failing, is that something outside of school is distracting them or that they don’t have the support from home.

On the same survey, students were asked to rate how much their home life affects their school-life on a scale from 1-10. The average answer filled in was 4.4. Many students filled out 7-10. Many of the students who reported 7-10, reported that they are failing one or more classes.

The classes the survey-responders reported they struggled the most on were the core classes.

“[English] does not intrigue me, and I am a slow reader so I get behind and when I get behind I lose motivation to keep going and then just give up,” one student said on the survey for why they struggle with English classes.

“I find Math very hard to pay attention to, since most of the math problems are very complicated to answer,” said another survey-responder.

Solutions to students not engaging in the curriculum and not caring about class are different from period to period, teacher to teacher.

Ms. Riley said that one way to help students care more is to care about the students, to really try to help them by understanding their situations. Mr. Moore said that you have to hold students accountable, allowing their spark to come on their own.

Motivation comes hand-and-hand with engagement, and keeping a student motivated is just as hard. Real-life implications are one of the most common attempts at doing just that.

“When I am shocked or excited I am more prone to understand/want to understand what the teacher is teaching,” a response said to the survey. “Also I get the motivation to do my work because I know that a high GPA throughout high school increases the chances of me getting a good job.”

The good news, though, is that the Topeka High staff is making progress. According to Ms. Riley, in the fall of 2017, 450 fewer  Fs were given out than in the fall of 2016. This was a 4% drop and one that meant progress from the administration.

To continue this trend, some students put their thoughts on what some teachers could do:

I feel like we should be more hands and less with paper and online assignments.”

“More discussion, less lecturing, more interactive aspects of the class. Nap time after lunch.”

“I think teachers should have activities that can help students understand the lesson better, and let them have fun at the same time.”

“Actually act like they care. A lot of them do not.”

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