Three of factors limiting tenacity in students are: Fatigue, Personal Expectations and Social Media.
How are you seeing a lack of tenacity and optimism impacting your students?
Fatigue, personal expectations and social media, put them all together and you have many concerns. The impacts are huge. I feel, students are always busy, busy doing hours of nothing, time wasting looking at social media, losing sleep and reinforcing unrealistic expectations. A lack of tenacity and optimism are impacting our students interpersonal relationships.
definitely they are constantly tired and expect to be entertained at all times.
Social media and the constant need for reassurance and feedback is challenging and adds a lot to the workload.
certainly does Helen.
Social Media….the new drug of choice?? Its addictive, affects your mental and physical self and as much as you know its wrong you just cant stop scrolling!
It so difficult to change the monset of students re social media and constant contact with people.
The amount of time students spent on social media is definitely affecting their sleep, but also their self-esteem (how many likes, has someone not responded, left ‘hanging’ etc.). It plays with their mental health state and is worrying. We can only do so much in the short time we are with them in class to see how they are coping with everything, but being engaging and caring as a teacher is more important than ever.
This is definitely present in many of my students. There is a constant need for feedback and a dependency on being ‘spoon fed’ at times. Many lack the ability to accept failure as a challenge or learning opportunity. There is an expectation that turning up is good enough and success is the consequence of attendance.
Yes…the struggle of having to do work outside of class times is very real!
Hi Sharryn, yes the need for feedback and constant reassurance is real.
It has a negative impact on education outcomes and perception of self and their ability to achieve results
I agree and the constant need to look and be perfect because that’s what they see on social media must be taking a toll
Seemingly perennial tiredness which occurs due to a zillion unnecessary distractions.
All my students arrive tired. Normally its gaming all night that is the issue. I also think after many months of home schooling, patterns of work & sleep were just thrown out and new patterns emerged
I see the factors of limiting tenacity in my students as; ” always distracted with unrealistic expectations of life and with the use of social media I see Instagram and Tiktok as a tool of greed as the students in my option choose to waste time and then they often say that they are so busy!!”
I do believe that the constant ‘fear of missing out’ is the issue too. By the time they do spent time on assessments, they have so many posts/tik toks etc. to catch up on….there are new ones added constantly.
They can never really switch off and it is not good at all for their mental health.
Fatigue for both staff and students is a huge factor. There is so much going on, and genuine fatigue means that coping with anything is more challenging. I addressed it in the previous blog comment, but students are no longer optimistic, as they feel like their efforts will not lead to success, the bar keeps moving. It’s hard to start a new task when you are so tired, you don’t think you can complete it properly, and there is no time to master it before the topic has to change. And the teachers have it no better, I see some negativity addressed at the laziness of students, but that could be from their own exhaustion as well. There are always going to be lazy people, there are always going to be pessimists, but when that’s all we see in our cohorts, the problem can’t be just them.
Yes, I would agree, so much going on with unrealistic expectations one this current system of learning
Hi Amy, this is so true. Fast paced learning and need to absorb and the hard part for them is retain it all. I often spend time going backwards over content before i then add more to that expand on the topic.
Yes, always doing busy work. We are all too busy and constantly on.
Covid fatigue is a real thing for teachers and students
Yes, I would agree fatigue is playing a huge toll on the current situation as face to face learning is a prefered system of learning according to all my current students
I see the factors of limiting tenacity in my students as; ” always tired & so busy!!”.
Agree Leanne,busy ‘being busy’.
… and poor time management
Lack of tenacity and optimism seems to be on the rise in students in general. But often with dedicated time and attention things can change for the better – unfortunately this is often outside our “work-hours” as teachers.
Absolutely, time is the issue. We could do so much more good, if we didn’t have to rush off ourselves for commitments…if we could invest or follow up even more with students.
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I do not see fatigue as a problem but rather laziness, some students are down on themselves when they do not achieve competency at the first attempt and can be encouraged to persevere , the biggest problem is mobile phones with students continually interacting or engaged in some form of social media which is distracting to their learning.
I see this also Ian. There is not the same commitment and drive as there used to be.
I have not seen fatigue as a problem but rather laziness , some students are down on themselves when they so not achieve competency at the first attempt which can be encouraged to do better, but the biggest problem is social media where the phone is glued to the students hand in constant communication.
I agree Ian
I see it as part of the modern culture we live in
It is an interesting point about expectations and comparisons. Social media and traditional media, have cemented this as a pervasive and damaging norm, its unsurprising, albeit incredibly problematic, that we have generations of students stuck with a fixed mindset and pessimistic internal monologue.
It is difficult when it is the only reality they know and have inertia to change.
I agree that tenacity can be developed but it’s difficult to do this in a school setting – it’s really something that needs to be taught consistency throughout a life. I can see that some students have that tenacity which makes me wonder whether it’s come from their upbringing or a genetic predisposition. Perhaps a bit of both.
I absolutely agree, this needs to be a consistent systemic approach.
I really agree-the school system is responsible for more and more, when it needs to be from all aspects of life. This pressure to be the change in students is causing teacher burnout, too. I think the education system needs to change.
It has been very interesting to listen to all of what has been discussed. Particularly around if its hard – so often we see the student making statements its not for me. Also the fact about how social media can have a big impact on the students ability to manage and cope with what is in front of them.
I agree, Colleen. It scares me how much of an impact social media is having on students’ need to feel accepted and worthy. I’d love to see schools implement a ‘failure is just part of life’ type philosophy.
yes i agree with you both. I’d also love to see ‘mastering emotions’ in schools – exploring how and why we feel particular emotions – not in order to suppress or control the emotion, but to master how we react to life’s harder moments.
I am enjoying reading all the comments – we can learn so much from each other
I have seen this exhibited in students – fatigue plays a huge role in a student’s ability to cope and function daily. Likewise, their personal expectations. If it is too hard, seems like it “isn’t me” it’s not in their wheelhouse – they don’t bother trying
Join the discussion…We are also seeing this in our young adult students particularly when life is tough with dealing with their children that impacts on their ability to complete their own study. Often you will hear comments like I don’t know why they are doing this to me – I cant focus on this right now. Life does throw obstacles at us and it is how we get over them that is the issue
Seems like there is also a social element, a ‘shame factor’. Not only do they fear failure, but they also fear other people’s opinions of their failure.
some of my students admit to using a device to early hours of the morning they say its because they cannot sleep and a few have said they are depressed. I concerns me that the depression is being ignored and wonder when there will be training of the mind to help sleep
I have noticed for quite some time now an exact reflection of Micheal’s statement about students, in that if they face adversity that give up without any attempt to overcome it, they are unfamiliar with the joy of success.
It is like they throw their hands in the air and walk away Join the discussion…
Yes and I find students are quick to assume if they have a challenging task that they struggle with, they are quick to dismiss it as a personal slight and throws them often into a depressive mindset.
I find fatigue definitely impacts the quality and standard of submitted assessment events. Optimistic students put the time and effort into assignments and assessment events, even when juggling time management. Those that lack tenacity, tend to submit limited, poorer quality assessments that often need returning to the student for review and adjustment.
but they also will often see it as it being the teachers fault that they are receiving the assessments back. ..
yes…..the teachers!!…..pointing the finger at someone else – looking at it like it is not their fault…..always someone elses!!
Yes, I agree Leanne.
Phones pinging is a huge distraction and breaks concentration, not only of the recipient, but also of others in the class.
I suspect the phones ping all night which leads to fatigue and lack of concentration – which leads to not meeting expectations.
Join the discussion…I could not agree more
the mobile phone has become a real problem too much interface with rubbish on utube or facebook causing lack of attention and distraction.
I agree. I witnessed it, & continue to see it, with my (now adult) children 🙁
I am impressed how much my students pull off. They work, have HSC exams, play sports and active on social media. I have them 5 hours in 1 class, most have a short attention span so I try to accomodate that. A 20 min. lecture is stretching it so I try to engage them by asking questions.
They are ver optimistic about their outcomes when it comes to completing the course but some need reassuring a lot.
i concur students attention span is minimal especially when they are repeatedly looking at or distracted by their phones
They have so much on their plates! I think everyone has a shorter attention span now, myself included! Everything is happening faster now, we have to be on call all the time at work, it’s almost like the social media is preparing them for that.
I see fatigue when students are studying full time and sometimes working 1 or 2 part-time jobs.
I have talk to student that do late shift work that have trouble getting up for morning classes.. They struggle to complete assessments set to complete at home. Some of the hardest working students have young children and responsibilities at home. They have time management problems, but get their work done in the end. I was not the best behaves student in my younger days, so I can be a bit flexible when needed.
Tafe has a no phone rule in classroom and laboratories. I very rarely have to ask a student to put their phone away.
One thing I have noticed with young school aged students is the amount of after school activities they have. With the actives, school, homework, meals no wonder they are exhausted by the end of the week.
I have noticed the same, they have a full agenda next to school and jobs.
Well said. 🙂
Fatigue and personal expectations have an impact on students’ motivation to aim higher. Fatigue naturally results in lack of desire to work towards something, that seems difficult for them to achieve. Personal expectation can be both negative or positive, and that can be the best or the worst impact of social media. It can encourage them to desire, or discourage them to aspire. Education that can build their self-esteem is crucial to motivate them. It needs to show them the possibilities for them to achieve, what they might want, and what they think to be within their reach.
I agree, it is a circle isn’t. Fatigue, motivation, desire, failure. If the circle does not get broken by enough sleep, it is a challenging situation.
I feel that there is little off time for our students from social media . Many suffer from FOMO so feel the need to be continually checking devices
Agree – Just can’t ignore it or turn it onto silent for an hour or so.
I also agree. It seems that ‘ping’ from a device is more important than those that are physically with you.
I agree. Some students cannot cope without their phone. Their obsession with realising someone has seen their post and then not commented. The constant need for external validation – day and night, interrupts their self, mucks around with their true understanding and sense of self and their intrinsic motivation
Is all this device use and poor sleep creating spontaneous anger towards each other in the class room.?
I agree, Fiona. This is often something they see happening at home, so it’s a natural progression. As hard as it is, we try not to check the constant pinging of phones at home for their sake.
In out classrooms our students suffer fatigue but more so from a busy lifestyle – trying to study full time and work or be a mother and having to run children around to school and to after school activities. Thankfully not many want to use their phones though some will take calls in class (leave the room) – I feel like saying – let people know your study timetable and call you when not in class.
I know with my son he is on his phone all the time checking social media and YouTube – but when he has study to do he listens to music or may put his phone out of reach so as not to be tempted
At Tafe we have a no phone rule in class. I teach Microbiology a very practical unit. So the students are up and moving. They tend to be engaged and interested in getting good results
unfortunately in bakery/patisserie we have had to modify this to allow students to take pictures of their work, thus at times opening the door for external distractions, I have countered this distraction by putting the responsibility back onto the students, for example if they burn a baked good or overheat their chocolate their work suffers.
I find that students are fatigued in class due to being on social media late at night.
In learning English, social media can play a role, but it can also distract them.
Students are not confidant to answer questions in class. Social media is big in class rooms
I find fatigue and social media play a huge impact my learners
that is in most of the classes
Yes Gw, the not so good benefits of being on Social Media all the time.
I find the worst distraction in my classroom are the students phones. Constantly checking their social media. I even had students just leave the classroom upset because of a negative comment they got on a post. The fatigue is also a big issue. Both obviously impact on their learning in a major way.
Yes checking of phones is huge in the class room. even when asked not to use phones students will then leave the room to do so
The feel that they must check and must reply amazes me.
Lack of initiative,
Blaming others for one’s misfortune
I agree Romi – though often they blame the teacher when they make an error in their assessment rather than take ownership of the fact they didn’t research or do any study beforehand.
A lack of ownership for their decisions is becoming a big problem as well as blaming others for their misfortune. This is a very pessimistic perception set.
Personally I totally agree that a good sleep boosts tenacity and optimism.
A good night sleep is constantly disrupted due to technology, that expects a reply instantly.
Limin I agree, the research available on the impact of screen time prior to sleep time and how this impacts quality of sleep and restoration is remarkable
Lack of sleep can have the same effect as being drunk. I student with their head on the bench asleep is very frustrating.
Having an optimistic mindset and being able to relativize a situation, to see problems as temporary setbacks rather than permanent ones is key can makes such a difference to how you approach life and how you influence others as well. If we reframe what may be considered an academic “failure” to a setback, we can teach students tools to adjust to setbacks in their everyday lives.
Agree that temporary setbacks keep us going and permanent setbacks lead to hopelessness and desperation.
Mon, you have commented on optimistic mindset in a very realist way. Optimism is a concept that very few people implement and pay heed to.
As an exercise with a group of young first time Tafe students ,i ask the students to place their phones into a box at the front of the classroom ,some gasp some panic .they give it a go and realise that without the interruption they can concentrate and learn more, I have done this now for 2 years and the students actually agree it works. I explain if they take this and apply into personal time the benefits with increase.
A very good idea really
I totally agree this is a great idea
Love this idea!
It is a great idea, and we can make this as a contract between the students and the teacher, but TAFE prefers to have numbers, so sometimes it is hard to follow these rules.
Great idea. Students at our local high school have had to do something similar recently by putting their phones into a locked pouch for the day. Initially students were upset, distressed, hesitant etc (some parents as well) but I have heard from teachers that students are now playing handball, soccer, touch footy at break times again. Improved communication and interaction skills.
My students, a group of adult learners from different backgrounds and nationalities, struggle to be focused due to the fatigue as a result of the past harsh experience and actual family issues. However, an invigorating environment in the classroom created by the teacher can resolve this issue relatively.
Fatigue plays a role and personal expectations is quite low to high depending on their age, ethnic background and desire to achieve. Some are happy with pass and can’t be bothered with getting a perfect outcome.
As teachers there are some great things we can do to help tired students. I take my vocational classes on short walks, outside, several times a day to help get fresh air. I make a point of finding things to look at and discuss. The change in students, even though only short lived makes it worthwhile.
It also helps use some of their energy from consuming unnecessary energy drinks!
What you said is exactly right. So the teacher should create a positive environment. You have a good point.
Learners of all ages are very hard on themselves. The amount of negative talk astounds me. I figure if the only thing students retain at the end is how to “help themselves” and troubleshoot an issue, I’m happy. People seem very cautious to try for fear of saying or doing something wrong. Constantly need to have mental health check-ins to make sure they are ok.
As with many of the comments I have read student fatigue has certainly increased as social media has developed – it becomes a crutch for many of our students and the need to be supplied with information or details of of their idols on tap has washed over into all other aspects of the students lives – the need for immediate success is one thing that I think students grapple with – just because you don’t get it right the first time doesn’t mean you are hopeless – which seems to be the to go to for many of our students. I have heard a number of times -“why should I learn that – I can just google it?”.
And if they have googled it once…they can just do it again when they need the info again. So no need to remember it
Yes, I totally agree – very limited drive to research and learn new knowledge and information as it is there at the “touch of a button”. I have also noticed limited ability in critical thinking capabilities and problem solving.
I totally agree Wendy ,with an entire online platform full of interactive resources to support their course they still think Google has the answers to it all
These factors can be limited on how we set up the culture of the classroom – which believe me isn’t always easy
But now reviewing what I have learnt from this course, I am beginning to understand the generation and the impacts these have on their overall learning and self esteem
I agree Paul
Yes, Paul as you said setting up the culture of the classroom isn’t easy but don’t forget as we have learned the former Australian Prime Minister said life isn’t meant to be easy.
so true, it seems many people o all generations have forgotten your point.
I can see Fatigue and Personal Expectation as a massive impact on a personal level with a son in this age category. He doesn’t sleep enough, because he is on games and social media all hours of the night, then struggles to get to work. He has virtually no coping mechanisms (don’t get me started on that one ☹ when it comes to running out of cereal, toothpaste…) and wants to be on the top of the tree already, aged just 22, and feels he is sick of just being a cog in the wheel working day in day out. He, like so many of my students, has mental health issues, caused by the self-esteem movement. I have students who struggle to keep their heads off their desks as they are so tired but when they are sitting up, the phone is in front of their face rather than listening to what we are doing in class. Then they get further behind.
So sad Fiona, and I see the same problems you mentioned with this generation, but not all – I see some students who have great coping mechanisms, and I don’t understand why
I guess it is up to us to help these generations to realize the folly of being totally connected and realizing that what is being perceived through the screen is not always real
Hi Fiona I have a son in the same situation, it seems the instant gratification of social media etc means they want it now and someone needs to provide for their desires immediately. It is good to be able to understand the why of the issue but how do we improve the situation
many students come to class tied. Saying they had a big night last night or they just couldn’t sleep
I try to work with students to reach their maximum potential. I know that fatigue and social media is impacting their personal expectations. I promote a good diet, sleep, rest, exercise, limited social media time, interests, setting goals, etc etc. I place importance on providing the body with the best “fuel” to achieve maximum results with not just learning but life in general. This a mindset and promotes success for every part of your life (including life long learning). I believe this and it works!! (for me also!!! as a role model).
So much easier said than done Suzanne. They have been taught how good they are (aka: smarter than us) so what would we know. It would be great if we could get them to sleep more, set realistic personal expectations and switch off but they are just not doing it yet. Perhaps some social media influencers need to start setting some of these goals themselves so their followers will follow.
I agree this is the best way we can have a positive impact on the students ,advise on sleep healthy food, lifestyle everything in moderation.