I just started student teaching in high school and the majority of all the students don't turn work in on time or do it correctly, talk to each other or play on their phones all class, and are completely disrespectful. They act as if they've never done any assignments before and have no idea how to do anything, and a huge percentage of them plagiarize all their assignments again and again, even after being told that they're going to receive a zero on it. Simply, the vast majority of students just don't care.
I know this isn't completely my fault because their regular teacher has instilled in them that this behavior is acceptable, but I feel like I've failed them and there has to be something I can do. The teacher just tells me it's them, not me. But as a teacher it's my job to take responsibility for students failing and there has to be a way to win them back.
Basically, I'm looking for a solution that doesn't just push them academically, because many of them are way below grade-level. I need something for them to do to show them that I acknowledge that they all have individual strengths and talents and that I'm on their side.
What can I do to motivate them? I will take any ideas. I am just sick of hearing "You're trying your best, it's all on them." The school system has failed them and I don't want to be just another part of a failing system.