Because, Of Course, “You’re a Racist” Was the First Thing I Thought…


Remember the kid who decided to do a different exercise than the one I assigned?  I turned his ungraded paper back to him yesterday with the note on it explaining why he got no credit (he only got it yesterday because that was the first time I’ve seen him since the assignment was due).  He sent me this email last night:

I answer the assignment on a speech I’m more comfortable with. The specific statements that will help me improve in building many passionate public speaking challanges.

The reason I did not chose Obama’s speech is based on his views of policy not that he has black skin or based of creed. I don’t discriminate and would like to go over this papers subject mater in more depth. I made clear views and also learn on organizational method to improve my deliverance that is within a speech. I explain very clear and thoughtful ways in building a verbal understating on not just Obamas speech but as well many others from all kinds of differant backgrounds.

Thank you for your time I will review the visual speech many times until it’s preferred understanding the class audience and what they find important.

We’ve got two weeks left and I’ve seen no improvement in this kid’s written or verbal communication skills.  He’s not going to pass the class.



Filed under about writing, concerns, dumbassery, failure, frustrations, General Griping, rhetoric, speaking, student chutzpah, Teaching, Yikes!

9 responses to “Because, Of Course, “You’re a Racist” Was the First Thing I Thought…

  1. One wonders how some kids manage to get so far in the educational system…

  2. kizzbeth

    I’m having a really hard time picturing this kid giving a speech. Does he talk the way he writes? How does anyone know what the heck he’s on about?

  3. I feel your pain. I just finished reading a student’s essay in which he told me that “. . .Obama, being as he cant help but be a minority of a figure to me, can’t know or understand or figure out what I want, because basically theres no way, I mean, how could he, not being like me?”

    Sometimes, I think we’re doomed.

  4. Melissa

    Mamacita, at least your student was making sense. He was writing the sentence in the way he would verbally speak it, I imagine, which is what many of mine do as well. Heck, I’m impressed that he used commas to break it all up!

    Mrs. Chili’s student sounds like a severe case of dysgraphia or something similar.

  5. sphyrnatude

    heyo Chili!

    Sounds like he’s missed the clue train yet again. How many times do you think it will take before he figures out that “F” mean “flunk” and not “fair”?

    Sad, but sometimes you just have to accept that some of them are lost causes. Consider him a source of amusement rather than frustration – you’ve done everything possible for this one, and now you need to just let him go….

  6. It must be frustrating to see no improvement at all. It’s like he didn’t absorb anything. Does he seem frustrated or at all concerned that he’s just not getting it?

  7. CTG, that’s exactly what *I* wonder, too. HOW did this kid pass the prerequisites to get into MY class? WHO was his composition teacher, anyway?!

    Kizz, I have to be careful with my facial expressions – I’m sure I’m the dictionary illustration under the definition for “WHA?!” (though, judging from the looks on my students’ faces, none of them is getting it, either…)

    Mamacita and Melissa – I almost HOPE this kid has some sort of diagnosable disorder – at least then there’d be some hope for him. At this point, though, he’s not availed himself of the extra attention I’ve recommended; if it’s up to him to make himself better, I think he kind of IS doomed…

    Sphyrnatude, I’m SO glad you’re back – I’ve missed your blogging voice on my computer. Yeah; I’ve not “given up” on the boy, but I’m not killing myself about him anymore, either. I’ve literally done everything within my responsibility (and then some, really) – the rest is out of my hands.

    He DOESN’T particularly upset by his lack of progress, Dingo, no. I got an encouraging email back from my boss, though, who essentially told me to not fret about it as I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing for this kid (and I’ve got all the paperwork to back it up). Still, I won’t be at all surprised when he comes back at me mad about his grade…

  8. dkzody

    Welcome to my world…these are the students I have in an inner city high school who think their work is just fine the way it is and I need to change my perspective. There are thousands of kids out there, just like this one, and in 20 years of teaching, it seems that they are not improving. I’m sure the college teachers wonder what the high schools have been doing just as we at the secondary level wonder about the elementary education.

  9. I swear, EVERY time you post something written by a student, I think of

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