Why Students Don’t Try By:MM

bad grade

If I don’t try my best, I’m going to fail. The fear of failing is the ideal mindset that students should have in order to be successful. However, what are students actually thinking?

At some point before the beginning of the school year my friends and I get together to talk about classes. Someone typically asks the question, “Is that teacher easy?” It occurred to me that this question is asked because students want to receive good grades while doing the least work possible. In school we don’t have many kids that fail. Therefore, kids aren’t motivated to put in effort to keep their grades from slipping. If implementing the fear of failing made kids work for their grades, then teachers need to fail poor performing students to motivate the rest of the class.

Mary Sherry, a teacher of adult literature and a mother wrote, “My son finished Senior English with an A after almost failing.“This came from her story of her son in high school as a senior. He almost failed his English class because he was constantly slacking off. But, his senior English teacher talked to Mary about wanting to fail him if he didn’t start to work for his grades. The story that Mary shared gives an example of how implementing the fear of failing can actually improve students’ ability to learn and score well.

An article quoted Gavin Dykes, a well known education and technology advisor, ”Frequently educators think failure is not allowed” (Dobo). Others may say that failure is not an option, but I argue that motivating students to work, by failing the slackers, would bring up the classes’ GPA. Furthermore this would improve learning for the majority students.The number of slackers would lessen because students would be scared to fail.

In my school, students say, “I don’t feel like trying today. “Why do students think they don’t have to put forth effort? Students are likely not afraid of getting bad grades because they don’t know many people who have gotten F’s. If teachers failed students who didn’t earn their grades, then others would be afraid of failing and help them reach their full potential.


Picture credits:  Hruzek, Robert. Bad Grade. Digital image. Flickr, 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.