Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Letter to Myself......

Dear Bragger:

It's that time of year. Students are tired, teachers are tired, parents are tired of their children, teachers are tired of the students AND the parents, teachers are tired of each other [I'm looking at YOU], administrators are tired of the teachers and the parents AND the students, and it feels like it should be way later than Tuesday.

It's going to happen every year, particularly in the nontraditional educational setting in which you work. The good students, the motivated ones (wait....let me see..... yes, there were a couple) have long finished their work and don't have to come to school anymore.

Guess who that leaves? Yes, I can see the light dawning in your tired old eyes. It's the ones who have been playing all semester, the ones that don't have a prayer of graduating or finishing their courses this semester, the ones who may not be allowed to come back to this school next year, the ones who have perfect attendance because their PARENTS DON'T WANT THEM AT HOME EITHER.

Yet every year you revert back to the old ways, the traditional school ways, where the teacher stopped teaching when she reached a certain point in the curriculum, reviewed for a couple of days, designed a test to cover said material (a hard-as-hell test if she knew what was good for her), and the last week of school flew by. You keep thinking the last week of school is going to be easy, laid-back, calm, quiet, peaceful.

I should schedule this post to appear next year at this time so you will remember how it really is.

You should know by now that in this nontraditional setting, where students work at their own pace (and by their own pace, some think that means no pace at all), you are always going to have one or more of the following occur at the end of the school year:

  • A student you haven't seen for at least two months will show up, first in the police blotter, then at school in the very last week and think he can still graduate in four days. He will have completed 25% of your course when he returns.
  • One student will be faced with the fact that they really do remember that lost textbook from when she was at the traditional school and learn that she can't graduate unless she pays $171 (the cost of the book plus a cap and gown, which should have been ordered WEEKS ago). 
  • A student who still thinks she can finish your course (and has done NONE of her seven essays) will talk, take a nap, stare at the ceiling, and walk out of class ten minutes before the end of the day. Her mother will email you at 9:24 PM and ask if you can give her a quiz retake. 
  • The same students who have wandered in at 10:00 AM every day will continue to do so right up to the end. They will not exhibit (even if they experience) any sense of urgency whatsoever.
  • A student who only needs three credits to graduate, and has completed most of those three courses, will drop out to get her GED so she can take a promotion at her job at Wally World. She will use one of her precious new days off, since she doesn't have to go to school, to get an elaborate new tattoo.
  • Another student will ask you how to submit an essay to the online curriculum. His excuse for not knowing how will be that he has never done it before. There are three days left in the school year.
  • The student who asks to go to the restroom and stays gone for twenty minutes, then needs to go blow his nose, then needs to go get water...... will ask that you please allow him to take his highest test grade and move on. His highest test grade will be a 54.
You know these things will happen every year, so stop being surprised when they do. Don't let it affect your blood pressure, and don't let it put you in a bad mood.

And while we're having this little discussion, let's talk about that blog post from last night.

Two words: LAME. O.

If you're too lazy to write a decent post, just don't write. That was tacky.

Your Self,


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