Quick Hit: So…. How’d it Go…?

It went well!

I loved being back in front of the classroom again, even if it was only for an hour (and first thing in the morning… and focusing on a topic that most kids find dull as dishwater…).

I got a lot of good information out, a bunch of kids actually interacted with me of their own accord, and I think some of them even enjoyed it.  The dean who sat in on the class seemed pleased, and I’m hoping that means something.

I got a chance to meet with the woman teaching English there now (let’s call her Rivka).  I was told that she feels like she’s in way over her head when it comes to writing and grammar instruction, and the impression I got from her was that that that characterization was not far off the mark.  I told her that I’d been asked by Dr. Wong to help, but that I had absolutely NO intention of “muscling in” on her class.  She asked me to muscle in; she seemed relieved to have some back-up when it comes to the composition studies part of her teaching, and I think that we’ll work really well together.

I’ve been asked to come back on the Wednesday after next (we’re all on break this coming week) to work with the English class.  I’ve emailed Rivka with some ideas of where to pick up where she last left off, and I’m expecting to spend at least one day during the vacation putting together a couple of weeks’ worth of lesson plans to get the kids moving toward some solid writing and grammar exercises.

I haven’t actually been offered a job… yet.  I really do think that’s coming, though.



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4 responses to “Quick Hit: So…. How’d it Go…?

  1. Tee

    Hello Mrs. Chili. I don’t know you personally. I came across your blog while doing a last resort Google search online about how to deal with lazy a*s students. I am not a teacher, but a very concerned, a*s riding parent that wants the best for my child. I will refer to my child affectionately as “the kid” from here on out. I have been desperately reaching out to almost anyone to get ideas about how to better motivate the kid more. The kid is very intelligent, but has decided that he is bored, lazy, or just doesn’t want to do the work–all his words. I have been asked if he is using marijuana, and even if he is having any emotional issues–the answer is NO. He has just hit a lazy point in his teenage life. And with this laziness comes bad grades that are unacceptable in my house. I am a very involved parent, but it is only so much I can do. I mean, when the kid shows up to class and is asked by the instructor to simply take notes, and the kid decides he doesn’t want to; OR, when he has a big assignment due he doesn’t complete it UNLESS I drill him about the assignment…what the hell am i to do? I am from the old school, i got my butt spanked (no matter the age) when my only job was to go to school and make the grade and I didn’t…and this has passed on down to the kid. My question to you is, being that you are in the classroom firsthand, do you have ANY suggestions on how I could improve communication with the kid as far as school is concerned? How can I be more motivating towards the kid’s school work? I have had these same convos with the kid’s teachers, but I would like to get more info from others as well. I am tired, but refuse to give up on him. He is a freshman, and did extremely well the first half of the year. Everyone keeps telling me, “boys are just lazy like that.” Well Mrs. Chili, that is a cop-out if you ask me. I have a family, full time job, AND full time school load of my own…there is no way in hell that I will accept this recent lazy behavior. Please help! Any suggestions will be accepted!!



  2. Oh, Tee; if only we knew how to motivate unmotivated students!

    I honestly don’t know what to tell you. I think that each kid is an individual case; some kids respond to rewards (meet this goal, get this thing or this permission), some respond to disincentives (this gets taken away until you meet this goal).

    Some kids do well in some things but really not in others, and there’s a balance that can often be attained by using that which the kid does easily and well and applying it creatively to that with which they’re struggling (using art in language classes, for example, or games in math or science).

    For some kids – and this is where it gets complicated – it’s about how the material is delivered (and, sometimes, by whom). I’ve known students who struggle in a subject one year but ace it the next because they “click” with the new teacher.

    My best advice would be to take the kid to the doctor to make sure that what’s happening isn’t more than normal disaffected teenager stuff. Once that gets sorted out, see if you can put him in touch with someone who can help him figure out how to find his spark, because it may well be that you’re too close to be of much help at all (I’ve found this to be the case with my own daughter – she responds much better to adults who aren’t me. That IS a normal teenage thing, though, so don’t fret about that).

    I hope this was at least minimally helpful, if for no other reason than you know you are SO not alone.



  3. Tee

    Mrs. Chili,

    Your response helps. While I have tried the reward method and “I’m taking all of your sh-t you enjoy & selling it ” method, at this point he just doesn’t seem phased. I think that because of the small town environment we’re in there isn’t much offered to motivate young teens, but I’m changing that as we speak. We’re moving to a larger city and I am going to try to get him more involved in activities and hopefully have him get a small job that will hopefully give him more to look forward to. Because right now the people (other kids at school) he’s surrounded by are pretty much doing the same things.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.


  4. Any news yet? What are you thinking? Anxious and curious friend and fan.

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