I understand this concept of teacher action leads to student action pretty well. I realized today that because I was not completely prepared for my lesson, my students did not understand the concepts and did not perform well when it came to assessment time. It's interesting to see the two different types of reactions; one is apathy and one is quiet confusion. I don't know if students have trouble voicing their concerns or if they are simply uncomfortable in front of the entire group, but many struggle with varying topics yet don't attempt to correct the situation. The lack of a proactive attitude is something I have to realize and create the investment needed to change this behavior. Circling back to teacher action, if the student wants to do well and wants to progress forward, they will not be apathetic or quietly confused. My checks for understanding will not simply be a "Do you get it?" or "You look confused," but instead will challenge the students to prove their understanding. This push, I think, can cause a desire to go into the educational future and professional world.
My students today were crazy. Some of my best behaved were influenced by the students around them quickly and drastically. Trying to be a part of that elusively and exclusively cool group took over the environment, something that I had not for seen. This interest in appearing a part of the group can influence their interest in the material and their interest in succeeding. And that, my mind chirped today, means investment, investment, investment. The leaders of the pack, when engaged, create an environment of desire and competition to succeed. When these "influencers" are disengaged so are most other people too.
How will I create this investment in a high school student who is graduating in a few short months? How do I create a feeling that they should apply to college, go to college, and finish strong in their last year? This feat will be something I have to do from day one. It's almost more important than the content for those first few weeks, because without a commitment then, I may lose some forever.