No, they are not hopeless but rather their hopes are buried under fear,
depression, circumstances or???
You have asked them to write about their dreams for the future
and this student either has none, is afraid to share what it is or feels
junior high humor is the only safe thing to express.
Tell him it is unacceptable and give him an opportunity to do another or to
write a speech/poem at home to turn in(perhaps a safer environment for him)
Explain that not doing it is not an option and not doing it seriously is not
an option. If he chooses not to take your options, give him an "F" on
the project. Show love, support and absolute firmness.
PS I spent many hours of my first year of teaching in the janitor's closet
crying over my classes and how difficult it was. I have now taught over 20
years and I love it. I rose from the ashes of the furnace room and you can
too Stacie. Hang in there! We're here for you.
Errr...What do you do when you ask your students to write a speech/poem
or rap about their dreams for the future, and they write about wanting
to live at the Playboy mansion? I'm really trying not to give up on
these kids, but it's becoming difficult!