Try finding out what it is that makes the student excited. If the student really loves animals/life sciences and you are teaching an english class, perhaps have them write an essay about an endangered animal. The more you can connect the students own drive and passion into the subject that they are struggling with, the more likely they will begin to enjoy it and/or see it has worth.
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Obviously, find out what they like, but more than that, explain what you like about your subject- and tell them that a little at a time they need to step up their interest by raising a hand at least once a day ( while promising that you won't always call on them). Pick them to do something for you- like pass out papers, or pencils,mor collect things. Give them a book about what they do like, or connect with a sports team- ask them to explain it to you. Ask who was their favorite teacher ever, and have them explain why....Be persistent. Check with all their other teachers. See how they act in those classes. Kids test you to see if you are just attempting to manipulate them or actually care.
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