How do I deal with a lack of student interest?

I am returning to teaching after a 30-year absence and find that discipline is once again my biggest challenge. Among other negative behaviors, lack of interest seems prevalent. Do you have any suggestions?

Let students know that if they decide not to learn, that is their decision. You will not even attempt to force learning; it can’t be done. But at the same time, you will not allow any student to disrupt another person’s learning.

In this mini-lecture, let your students know that no one suffers from their lack of learning but themselves. If they decide to put forth the effort, they will be better off, more satisfied, become more knowledgeable, and more pleased with themselves.

The decision to learn (or not) is for them to choose, not you. Don’t be surprised that when you use Discipline without Stress, a non-coercive approach, more students will choose to put forth effort.