Rants & Raves


In my nearly 10 years of teaching I’ve realized that there are many parents and community members who seem to think that teacher=punching bag, or at the very least that teacher=lower-class citizen.

I think I understand where this line of reasoning originates, but I’m not sure … I’ll write more later, and share some stories too. Meanwhile, have anything to add? Your own ideas about this topic? Or some good stories?

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Me: Okay, class, next we’re going to work on our Social Studies activities. Tomorrow we are going over activities 1 and 2 as a group, so make sure you have activities 1 and 2 done before you do anything else. After you finish activities 1 and 2 you can work on any of the other activities you choose.

Student A: But you said we were doing Activities 1 and 2 together?

Me: I said we would go over them together tomorrow. You need to have it done by then so we can go over it together.

Student B: So, if we’re already done, what should we do?

Me: If you’ve already completed Activities 1 and 2, then you go on to the next step from the directions.

Student B: So, if we’re already done, can we do a different activity?

Me: You can answer your own question.

………………………………………………
I hate to repeat myself. In fact, I usually don’t. I hate to repeat myself.

It seems that so many students today though are never required to listen to and remember a simple set of directions … they’re constantly bailed out and enabled to be irresponsible. I ALWAYS give every set of directions like that verbally and in writing … you’d think that would hit 99% of the students. The problem, it seems, is that students have a question in their mind BEFORE I finish giving directions, so they never actually get the directions because they’re too focused on their individual question … if they’d just learn to wait, they could get their question answered by themselves nearly every time …

Add one more description to the teacher’s role: Broken Record.

I actually had a wonderfully written post about parent-teacher conferences written … but when I published it disappeared.  I’m not sure if it’s wordpress or the network configurations … but whatever the case, for now, let’s just say I survived.

Every class seems to have one.

Every year.

And they reveal themselves every day … sometimes more often.

The “one time…” kid.

It doesn’t matter what subject we’re covering, or even if we’re having a discussion.  Something will get mentioned, read, or discussed and the “one time…” kid has a story.  And the stories typically start with “One time …”

While often related to the current topic of classroom discussion, they’re just as often irrelevant to the other 25 students in the class.

The hand shoots up, and because you encourage questions and discussion, you feel obligated to calll on the student … the problem is that the student usually has another story to share, and their story often reminds another student of their story, and the domino effect is initiated.

It all makes for some seriously frustrating and drawn-out classroom discussions and activities.

One time …

I’ve been teaching for a handful of years now, and every year right around Labor Day it happens.  The honeymoon ends.

It’s too bad it’s over.