Location: Philippines

Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher

I am a teacher in all boys school in the Philippines and I would want to ask opinions of parents and educators: CAN YOU DISCIPLINE BOYS WHO DON’T LIKE READING?

As a teacher, I have been struggling in letting the students LIKE reading, much more LOVE reading. I have this one student who really has no love to read. He goes to class everyday. He sits on the second row and chats with his seatmate even when there is a discussion.

We spend at least about 10 minutes to read from the textbook every meeting. I would notice him lazy in getting his book, turning the page to the ic and reading. I would approach him to tell him to read. He would read. Then I would move around to check other students. When I take a quick glance at him, he then would be chatting again with his seatmate or fiddling on something else.

When recitation comes, he would not recite and not be interested in the discussion because he has no idea of what we have been talking about because he hasn’t read the ic. Other students have been engaged in the discussion but not him.

I was able to talk to his mom a couple of weeks ago and she would say that her kid spends a lot of time in video games and goes out to play basketball with his friends. But his mom also makes it a point that she tutors him at home, aside from his regular tutors. Whenever he shows a failing mark to his mom, he would be grounded. No games, no cellphones, no going out. Her mom says that this still is not effective to make him study.

I asked my colleagues about this particular boy and they would tell their experience of him. It’s practically the same as mine.

I know there are a lot of factors that make students not like reading or studying per se, but this I say, KIDS WHO LOVE READING ARE EASIER TO DISCIPLINE. Can you help me out with this student of mine? How can we discipline boys who don’t find reading appealing?


~~~a stone is not carved by force but by constant friction~~~


13 replies




Location: Philippines

Try to talk to him like you were just friends. Asked him why does he doesn’t like to read or to study, either? And the next step depends on his answer. But don’t lose hope on him, I know with your support and attention, it’s not impossible for that student to love reading in few days time.



Location: Setif, Algeria

Positions: Classroom Teacher Administrator, English Teacher

Hello Chuck; I like to help you dealing with this student so I’ll give you good advices, just try them:

-Find what does he really love to do (his hobbits and interests)

-Try to bound with him talking to him as a friend not as his teacher.

-Because you can reach his parents so try to advice them on how to control their child.

Finally I’ll give you a link for a story of one of my students that have the same situation.




Location: Philippines

Position: Parent

Teachers can only do as much. It’s the parents responsibility to put the kid in his right place. The parents should confiscate the distractions i.e. gadgets, computers and let the child understand that studies come first. Teachers would have difficulty disciplining the kids in school if the parents of these kids control their parents (read: what little Jimmy wants, little Jimmy gets.)



Location: Kerala, India

Positions: Parent Administrator

Hi Chuck.. What I feel is that this boy is more interested towards games and is very much addicted to it. Best thing you can do is to get close with him, find his likings and encourage him. Along with try to cultivate reading habit in him. You can see how things will change. I had a classmate while at the Upper Primary section who is verymuch similar to this boy. This was the treatment given by our teacher and eventually he became the rank holder for our school. But one thing Chuck.. please be calm and patient. you can’t expect a turnaround overnight.

best regards




Location: Philippines

I agree with girishpn, Chuck. It’s a process. I remember my nephew’s story. He was named by his teacher a “problem child” (just because he was a little bit talkative and sometimes lazy doing his assignments) on a parent teacher meeting. He was really affected by the term “problem child”..But when he transferred from another school, and found a new teacher that later become a friend, he changed a lot.

Just be patient…



Location: Rhode Island, USA

Position: Parent

I agree with the rest of the folks here about having patience but also feel that he cannot be allowed to disrupt the rest of the class. If he is sitting chatting with the student on the side of him he is taking learning time away from the other student. There is a time that you have to be stearn also to keep the rest of students at a point where they are able to get the most out of the study going on.


Thanks, Debby



Location: Colorado, United States

Position: Classroom Teacher

I’m wondering if he is just not confident in his abilities and so he’s trying to get out of reading so that he doesn’t get embarassed. One thing that I’ve done in the past is to select a passage that I am going to have someone read aloud to the class, then tell the boy ahead of time, “Tomorrow, I’m going to have you read this section aloud to the class.” Then I allow him to take the book home and practice the section so that he can read with confidence when he is called on. None of the other kids know he’s been prepped, and he can build a little confidence. (Sometimes I’d let him pick the passage that he likes best to practice and read to the class.)



Location: Rhode Island, USA

Position: Parent

That is a great idea allowing the student to prep. How do you tell the difference it its a matter of having trouble reading or just not wanting to read in front of peers? I was always lucky to be good with reading but I hated to read in front of the class. I would actually feel my face turning red as I read the words. I have a son who is also like this and I know he is a great reader.



Location: Philippines

Position: Parent

Hi Chuck,

Each child has his or her own pace. Forcing a child to read early will only dampen his confidence. But this principle doesn’t apply to higher elementary students because they are already expected to read by this time. What I am referring to here are the preschoolers or from Grades 1 to 2 at the most. Punishment in this case will not yield the best results. It’s best to investigate and observe.

Just my 2 cents …





Location: Philippines

Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher


First of all I would like to thank everyone for helping me out in my difficulty with this particular boy.

I would like to go over the comments and the things I did during the past week and the things I plan to do when I meet this kid again.

I have befriended him already. I know what games he likes to play. He even lent me a PS2 CD. I have started talking to him on a more casual basis, outside the classroom.

Thanks Rose, its true, teachers can only do as much. EDUCATING STUDENTS IS IDEALLY A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT OF THE PARENT AND THE TEACHER, not just the teacher.

I’m trying to be calm with this kid but at the same time there are 40 more kids inside the classroom which I have to attend to. (Trying to be a hero… lol)

Thanks jwwage, I’m going to try your suggestion next week.



Location: Philippines

Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher

Just an update on this particular kid I was telling you guys about. We had a school fare last weekend and I was doing my rounds and saw this kid. So, what I did was talk to him for a bit. Guess what he was doing? He was playing PSP but he was also with some of his classmates. Their class was assigned to this particular booth. I was just saddened because I saw him alone in his world instead of enjoying the company of his classmates that day.

I’m still not giving up on him. I’m keeping my hopes up!


keith at ela

Location: England UK and Philippines

Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher Boy who could not read

I don’t want to sound like a broken record but has anyone taken the time to see if your problem student is Dyslexic, Sounds like he could be to me. Sounds a lot like me when I was at school.

I worse thing you or a parent can do is punish or discipline a boy who will not read to your standard.

Please take the time to find out and don’t think they should all study at the same pace.





 Location: Setif, Algeria

Positions: Classroom Teacher Administrator, English Teacher

You’re right Mr keith at ela I think the past of the child can participate in his future life specially his eduactional life.

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