Obviously, I have been a bit busy since my last blog post…like five months worth of busy.
Ahhhh…the life of a teacher. It must be so good to your summers off! You’re right, it is absolutely wonderful to have my summers ‘off.’ I just sit around lounging by the pool…er…oh wait…
No. That’s not exactly how most teacher’s summers are spent. Instead, I:
Tried to catch up on home repair jobs…..paint touch-ups, the piece of crooked moulding, actually clean the corners of the room….
Cleaned out closets, trying to sell all of my childrens’ old clothes, shoes, toys, books…
Actually cleaned out the mass of emails that had been clogging my account….
Read some new material to use this fall…
And yes – I did plenty of planting flowers, mulching, tending strawberry beds, and nursing tomato plants.
But, here we are – back to school. Actually a month back into school. I’m already amazed.
I don’t want to become ‘that’ teacher….but at times, I feel myself slipping to that place. I try to hold it back. I try to rely on my colleagues…but then…it creeps in….the “The students these days.”
Ugh. Dreaded words spoken by 30 something teachers who SWORE they would never utter such profanity. I said it. I’ve said it every week this year.
Odd though, I have not said it about my Freshman. Instead, it’s about the upper classpeople that I have in class. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?!?!?! Yes, that is me raising my voice. I am just trying so hard to understand this sort of laissez faire attitude that I see from Jr/Sr students. They turn in crap. I’m not joking. In fact, I recently told them that their work was SO poor that it didn’t even deserve a more educated adjective than ‘crap.’ That’s what it was, and I had to attribute it to something – because that’s how I roll. Always. Always trying to find the reason. Here is what I came up with…
1. Lazy. Somehow upperclass (as in Jr/Sr not as in the Kennedy’s) have become lazy. They are tired of college. They are tired of assignments – so they have entered a state of apathy.
2. Sloppy. They don’t care? I’m not joking when I tell you that their writing wouldn’t have been acceptable to a High School English teacher. I saw that with the most respect to my HS English teacher friends. Then, I thought it was just me. So, I took a couple papers down the hall to my colleague in the corner. She read them…then gave me a quizzical look. WHAT?!!? Then we both laughed. She also couldn’t understand the prose. Sloppy worries me the most – because that means they have a lack of pride in the work they produce.
3. Students really don’t know how to write well. In some ways, I hope it was this – because at least this can be ‘fixed.’ I encouraged students to reach out to me or the writing center for help if this was the case. I want them to be better, I need them to be better (my husband needs them to be better so I’m not so ‘wired up’).
Here is the thing…after my ‘scolding’ I had two of the 15 students who did F work contact me, reach out for help. Does this mean the other 13 are lazy or sloppy? Which is worse?
It may be a long semester in that class…I just have to keep reminding myself that every day is a new day. Give them another chance. Maybe by bringing these items to their attention they will have an awakening? A new dawn?
Maybe, just maybe the next assignment I receive will be amazing. Wonderful. Maybe their words will jump off the page, make me nod my head in agreement, while shouting, “Yes! Yes! They get it…they really do get it!!!” (In the style of Sally Field of course)