Roots of Apathy

Michael R. Hicks

Apathy! Perhaps the greatest challenge facing schools in America today. Teachers, counselors and caring adults are laboring to save students from failing, but despite all their efforts, many teenagers just don't seem to care about school. Though tugged in the right direction, some are determined to "crawl" themselves through the proverbial cracks. The symptoms of apathy are familiar and include things like chronic absenteeism, lack of motivation, being disorganized, inattentive, unprepared, abrasive, disrespectful, distracted and lethargic, to mention a few. Educators prod, lecture and admonish these teenagers to take school serious and to be responsible, but nothing seems to stir interest or kindle their desire to achieve academically. A lot of research has been done to address the problem and school districts have implemented a myriad of intervention programs to meet the need. Much of the focus however, is on outward symptoms and the obvious is often overlooked...apathy has roots! In this book we will look below the surface and into the subterranean world where struggling students think, feel and live. Original stories, written by students about their own lives, will help us learn how teenagers often lose their way in school. We will let "them" tell "us" how they slipped into the "I don't care" fog we call apathy. In Roots of Apathy we will explore the powerful impact of factors like divorce, violence at home, drug and alcohol abuse, neglect, poverty, the loss of a loved one, the lure of unhealthy friendships, insecurities, frequent moving, addictions, sexual abuse, shame and how these factors lead to debilitating emotions like depression, discouragement, anger, grief, bitterness, hopelessness and fear. These companions of apathy are often the real culprits hidden beneath the surface of the struggling student. Though hard to see at times, locked inside the apathetic teenager, is a beautiful young person with all the hopes, dreams and aspirations that we had when we were their age. But for many of them the road has been hard. The storms of life have turned their world upside down. What we see on the outside is often their desperate attempt to cope with what we don't see on the inside. For some, their problems feel so heavy they can't carry anything else, not even school. In Roots of Apathy we will rediscover what it's like to be a teenager living through difficult circumstances and then explore ways to connect with them. Some will need our help learning to persevere through adversity, rather than just hunkering down and simply enduring suffering. Others will need help learning to forgive the people who've hurt them and let them down. Nearly all struggling teenagers will need hope to believe that the horrible things that have happened to them can have meaning; that surviving storms can uniquely equip them to help other struggling souls one day. If you are looking for another book with lots of pedagogical jargon and references to research studies, you should pick up something else to read. This is not that kind of book. In Roots of Apathy, the stories of students themselves drive the narrative. Some parts may make you smile, while other parts make you cry. I hope when you finish reading you will be inspired to keep loving kids and to care relentlessly for the ones who so desperately need us to not give up on them.

Book tags: roots, apathy, epub, download, epub, michael r. hicks

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