A county nearby has let 120 teachers and staff know that they will probably not getting a contract next year. Looks like we are starting another round of seeing how low we can go. Ah, teaching limbo style!
I am obviously not doing schoolwork but am cruising the Internet. I read Bob Greene's article on the Slave Narratives, a series of interviews of former slaves taken in dictation during the 1930s by the WPA.
Bob Greene is an excellent storyteller and this article is no different. I did some searching and some of the narratives are available online - here and here and here, for starters.
Since the stories were taken down 65+ years after the Civil War, the tellers were old - and very young when they were slaves. Very much worth reading.
The student called. I made him talk to me about what he wanted out of life, what his goal was, where he thought he was headed. (In other words, I had a conversation and prompted answers by asking questions.) I did the on-line recommendation. I did not send an email to the mother telling her I had done it.
Today I get an email from the mom saying "I failed to make it clear that the letter of recommendation isn't one that you need to draft. The program will email a questionnaire online to submit."
I was going to reword that, but I don't think I could make it snarky enough.
There were a lot of rating questions on the online recommendation but there was also a place I had to write my recommendation. Or, draft one, to use her words. I find it easier to do so if I have some idea what the kid wants. Jeesh.
A "thank you for your time" would have been appreciated and completely unexpected. I did not answer her email.
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Had another post in mind - then I read my email. Understand, most teachers I know (apparently) do not read their emails over the weekend. I know I email stuff on Saturday morning that I do not hear back about until school starts on Monday.
So, a mom emails me, asking for a letter of recommendation for her darling and ends with " Limited space is available for this camp. A timely response is much appreciated to improve the chances of acceptance."
My first reaction was to send her the link to this blog.
Instead I replied that generally students ask me themselves and here is my phone number.
If the student wants my time, the student can call me and ask for it.
OK I need an opinion. My policy is if you are in class you take whatever quiz or test is being given. I post when they will be in advance (If this is Friday it must be a quiz). I have certain students who are out A LOT. They do not come to tutoring. And they never ask later to take a test. They just do nothing on the one you hand out.
I have no place to send them during the assessment. And I have no way to teach three students on 3 different levels (been out a week, a day, 2 days) while teaching a class of 37 others in a shortened time period.
Am I unreasonable that at 16 and 17 you have to be responsible for learning what you missed and learning it or asking for help? I am available in a bazillion ways.
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What you do and what you say is who you are.
Apparently, I am an angry.
I was told yesterday by several non-performing students that I do not teach. I don't know what they think I am doing when I am standing at the white board, writing things down and telling them to write it down, work it out, ask questions. According to several of these non-performers, I am selectively talking to just a few students - I guess because I have stopped yelling at them to be quiet (not productive).
I have written on the board (several times) that in order to learn math you will have to do it AND I will not talk over them. If they want to talk, then they will not hear what is said.
I am teaching exponents to an algebra 2 group. They have had this lesson every year since middle school and refuse to learn the rules - and they refuse to work the problems. And they refuse to look up the rules they will not memorize. "My calculator can do this. Teach me the buttons to push." Yep, they do not want to think and they wonder (not really) why they are failing. See, they know. It is because I do not teach.
Coming to school is apparently optional. Listening certainly is.
I have one who will be yelling at me soon about her non-A - who does not know this material but thinks she can study for a history test WHILE I AM TEACHING and still get an A. Did I mention that studying for the history test involved another student holding up flash cards for her to answer out loud?
I know I cannot reach them angry but I can not reach them with logic or pleading or understanding either.
I repeatedly tell myself I am teaching the students I chose - but I am feeling worthless.
The kids tell me they are almost adults and should be able to come to class when they feel like it, talk the way they want to (cussing), wear what they want (hats, bandannas, pants to their knees, pants with holes all over) because they are going out into a world that will let them and I should get over it.
They cannot grasp (apparently) that the choices they make are limiting their future options.
But, hey, tree-fort boy (preceding post) gave the class a half hour lecture on getting food stamps because this way he could eat while living in his parents' backyard. Another student (who receives foodstamps and assistance for the baby she had with another high school student) explained his misconceptions. And that was probably the most he learned all week.
A student has been complaining about his parents all week - he wants to become an emancipated minor. Today he announced that he wants to be an emancipated minor and live in a tree house in the back yard. I think I see a disconnect.