Sweet Mother of Herman Melville!

I think I’m caught up!

Well, technically I’m only caught up on the grading for my high school classes – I still have annotated bibliographies to assess for my college kids – but having all that paper OUT of my briefcase and into my grade book is such a thrilling feeling!

PHEW!

Things are a little mixed at CHS lately.  There seems to be a pervading sense of, oh, I don’t know; I wouldn’t call it ennui, exactly, but it’s not “let’s go get ‘em!” enthusiasm, either.  More of my students are doing their work, and there’s certainly something to be said for that, but those who still aren’t still don’t get it, and I’m getting the feeling from a couple of them that they just don’t care.

I left this message in a student’s notebook this afternoon.  This kid had about 11 missing assignments, and he decided to “make them up” by writing about eight words for prompts that would require at LEAST a couple of paragraphs (if not a couple of pages) to answer with anything approaching competence.  I made a point to send the message home, too, to let his folks know that I’m more than happy to help him, but that this horse just ain’t drinkin’ the water I’m leading him to…

Jeff, this is wholly insufficient.  If you continue to resist the writing, it is going to continue to be difficult for you.  Telling me that you can’t do your homework because you’re so far behind because you haven’t done your previous homework is not a convincing argument at all.

I am more than happy to help you. I am not, however, willing to chase you down. You’re making choices here, and when you decide to start making different choices, I’ll be here ready and willing to help you.  The motivation to do well has to come from you, though; until you decide that you want this, there’s very little else that I can do to help you.

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7 Comments

Filed under compassion and cooperation, concerns, dumbassery, failure, I love my job, student chutzpah, Teaching, That's your EXCUSE?!, You're kidding...right?

7 responses to “Sweet Mother of Herman Melville!

  1. Improbable Joe

    You should have been in my English Lit class today. The teacher asked general plot and character identification questions, and the class immediately started whining that they didn’t “understand” the 5 page story that we were assigned. As soon as they started answering the questions, it was clear that they didn’t READ the story, since they were talking about characters and plot elements that weren’t in the story at all.

  2. “Mike, this is wholly insufficient. If you continue to resist the writing, it is going to continue to be difficult for you. Telling me that you can’t do your homework because you’re so far behind because you haven’t done your previous homework is not a convincing argument at all.

    I am more than happy to help you. I am not, however, willing to chase you down. You’re making choices here, and when you decide to start making different choices, I’ll be here ready and willing to help you. The motivation to do well has to come from you, though; until you decide that you want this, there’s very little else that I can do to help you.”

    NICE!!! :)

  3. I’m trying to make up work in my English 451 class. Technically, it’s not *late* but I have definitely fallen behind many of the other students in reading. I made up some ground tonight and hope to be mostly caught up tomorrow. I’m writing longer replies than most of the students to show some effort, unlike your Mike.

    Please don’t send an email to my wife saying that I’m a slacker. =)

  4. You were that nice? Damn no wonder they like you. I am going to have to teach you “Mean teacher” tactics one day.
    Tough Love works sometimes.

  5. Can I steal those last two paragraphs to use with my own students? Sheesh! I had no less than three students approach me for “extra credit” the day AFTER grades had been closed out for the grading period. And this, after I had informed them the day before in class that my grades were being closed.

    Besides, extra credit isn’t for making up the 20 missing assignments you chose to have. Doing the homework when it’s assigned pretty much takes care of that problem!

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