The Thought of Failure in a Student’s Head

The lack of motivation in high school students.


Dana Mohamed, Staffer

No, the students actually choose to fail or is it the overwhelming feeling and the thought of failure that makes them less motivated. But maybe we can fix that according to Kathleen Sheil. “I don’t know if they are choosing to fail but I think that they are finding the assignments disengaging and not useful to their life outside of school,” she adds.

The students only realize what they’re doing when they see zeros in their grades. “The zeros motivate some students but I’ve gotten away from giving zeros to the not handed in 50 percent, that does motivate some kids but the majority aren’t worried about their grades,” Sheil said.

“Some people I know fail just because they’re always on their phones and just never pay attention to the teacher,” Fabian Miramontes said (9). 

There are kids who don’t understand how to do the work and they ask for help, they try. But there are others who just choose not to do anything while in class and try to get help the very last week of the semester.

“Drama inside or outside of school can affect your motivation because it takes your mind off things, and that will be a struggle, especially for the kids who get easily distracted,” Miramontes said.

Not being able to do something and convincing yourself you can’t do it are two different things but people seem to get them confused. “I don’t think they choose to fail they just get anxious and convince themselves that they just can’t do it,”  Elise Wollesen said.

Wollesen teaches math and has gone through this struggle and has had experience with these types of students, especially because students seem to struggle with math the most.

“When I email parents the reactions are always different because sometimes you get supportive parents that help you or not,” Wollesen said.