Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's Wrong With Me?

I should not be this tired. I was thinking the other day that for someone who has no children I have no business being this tired. I mean really, what do I have to be tired about compared to those people feeding and changing and burping? But I am. Tired that is.

It really sucks. I feel as though I can't even think, let alone write, and for that I apologize. I have had no "thinks" of any real substance this week. I will do better next week. I promise.

I did, however, have an interesting run in with some of my Grade 8's today. I have waited to (read: put off because I didn't want to) call home for a few of my students about their lack of progress and completed work since we cam back from break last week. I decided today I could not wait any longer. So I called home while the class was working on their biography assignments and outlined for their parents the work that was missing and the fact that we are currently half-way through our research assignment on their biography topics and I have seen no completed work. I explained that although we are still quite a few weeks from reports I don't foresee too many good results unless things change drastically.

During my last class of the day I pulled the students aside and let them know that I had called home as I didn't want them walking into something unawares. They were SHOCKED,  I mean seriously stunned. They sat in their desks in complete shock that I had called home and told their parents they had not done their work. I am talking serious shock. At this point I got very upset and angry.

I marched back over to their desk and asked them, in no uncertain terms, just why they had any reason to be shocked by this. I believe my exact words were:

"Why are you shocked by this? You have not handed in the last three assignments that were due and I have given you 2 weeks to get them to me. The tracking sheet is posted right here behind you where you can see it everyday and your names are still unchecked for all three assignments. I could have called home last week but I gave you an extra chance to get the work to me. You sit here every period talking about anything but what we are doing in class. You have failed History for this term, we are doing and have moved on to Geography. I suggest you get over your shock, start working on your Geography assignment and try not to fail that class as well."

Harsh? Maybe. True? Yes.

So many of these kids act as though because they were in the room they are entitled to pass the class. I'm sorry but real life is hard work, and they need to figure it out sooner rather than later because I can't imagine any boss out there that is going to hand them a pay cheque on a silver platter for incomplete work.


Maybe I have spent too much time teaching adolescents? Maybe my tiredness is just getting to me? Either way I was not happy.

4 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

Molly said...

OH MY --- It must be in the air!! This has been a horrible week for me with my 8th graders (I teach 7-9 and 12th grades). It was so bad on Tuesday that I nearly quit - literally. I desperately tried to find a substitute for Wednesday so I could have a mental health day - but to no avail. Now I am just hoping that I can get through tomorrow.

I certainly feel your pain - and hope that next week is much better!

PS - I'd be curious as to the parents' reactions to your phone call. Were they supportive of you?

English Teacher said...

Molly, I reached two of the three parents I called. The third I left a message, but yes they were. I believe one mom's reaction was, "Oh no she didn't! No work? We will discuss that, you can be sure." And I when I went on to say I was concerned about her daughter's behaviour in class because she has seemed so disengaged and lifeless, but that it wasn't attitude necessarily, the mother replied, "Oh I know she has an attitude!" Gotta love supportive parents.

hcmurdoch said...

I so totally get where you are coming from on this! Now all these studies are coming out that our brains are fully developed to understand consequences until we're past 18. I understand that a bit, but my 9 year old understands what happens if you don't do the class/homework! Perhaps that's because I am a teacher :-)

It's Friday...get through the day and do something relaxing and for YOU this weekend!

SB said...

hey girly -- it's the new generation of 'I'm entitled' don't ya know!

we are the unfortunate teachers who have to somehow deal with this shitty new approach to life learned from media? parents? who knows. why does no child seem to really take time for and pride in their work?

On a side note: don't be so hard on yourself for being tired yet childless. YOu have likely 90+ children. That's just as hard, if not harder!

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe