Thursday, January 13, 2005

Notes From The Education Underground: The TeachWonk Diaries

Just Another Brick...
Today in one of my seventh-grade classes, I called for the students to pass in their homework (Which takes about 10-15 minutes to do.) As usual, there were two or three pupils that hadn't done theirs. As always, I asked each child if he or she had a reason for not getting it done.

Every one of my students know that if they bring a note from home signed by a parent that there was some sort of extenuating circumstance, the homework may be turned in the next day.

The first two kids said that they had forgotten to do the assignment. So I told them that they would need to come in after school and get it done.

Neither of these two students came after school. Our school's administration chooses not to think of this defiance as an infraction of the disciplinary guidelines, so all I can do is give the kids an "F" and call the parents. So much for student accountability.)

When I asked the third student why she didn't do her homework, she yelled to the entire class, "Because I'm stupid!!" (The kid was not being serious, just disruptive; it was a simple assignment.)

This provoked an even worse disruption in the form of a loud outburst of laughter. (If I were a kid, I would have laughed too.) Of course, I had to keep a serious expression, as this was a major disruption of my lesson.

Naturally, I told the kid to report to school for detention. She didn't show up. The school's administration does consider this to be a (minor) infraction of the school's disciplinary guidelines.

We have been told by the administration not to send students to the office for this. We have been directed to give the pupil, "Another chance" to serve the detention. (I wish that I had a dollar for every time some school administrator told me that; I could retire.)

To be continued...

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