Saturday, September 3, 2011

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. - Mark Twain

Well then.

Why is it that my capacity for remembering pretty much each and every conversation with my students is greater than several of the students’ capacity for remembering one sentence that comes out of my mouth?

You’ve been absent more days than you have been here. Here is a list of your missing work. I highlighted the assignments you will need to do in tutoring so I can help you. Please get started on the first one (as I hand it to him) and let me know if you have any questions or need help.

Three minutes later.

Miss. Ahhh. MISS.

Excuse me...

Mrs. Pseudo, I need help.

I get up from my desk and walk over.

What am I supposed to be doing?

The assignment I handed you.


Phone conversation with irate mom.

Why does my son have a “0” for not turning in the form for free or reduced lunch?

Because he did not turn it in.

We don’t qualify for free or reduced lunch and there are a zillion forms at the beginning of the year. It takes me all night to fill out the ones he has to turn in. Why should I bother with something that isn’t mandatory?

I totally agree with you on this. Unfortunately, I have to keep a record of each of the zillion forms for every single one of my homeroom students. Otherwise, the front office sends me memos with lists of students I need to hound for those forms. The free or reduced lunch one is important as the powers that be use them for the data on the percentage of disadvantaged kids. The points are a way for me track if and when each form comes in. Besides,the points for that form don’t count for real. I told your son that.


Whole chunks of my memory (I think it was good stuff too like names of cool people and random encounters) have gone missing to make room for the 10,000 conversations I have daily with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators.


Lisa said...

School has started! I smiled at your label why I"m not blogging :)

Brian Miller said...

oy...hope the start of the new year is gentle on you...

Anonymous said...

Shit. I didn't fill out that form. I wonder if my kid will get a 0 for it...

Enjoy your long weekend.

Bill Lisleman said...

Mark Twain had great ideas.
I don't understand the process of memory but I'm sure you need to start with some focus which appears to be lacking in many kids.

creative kerfuffle said...

since i have friends who are teachers and family members who retired from teaching, i try to keep stories like this in mind : ) i may grumble when i'm filling out 10,000 forms, but i do it. and how does a kid miss more days than he's been there?

Kristan said...

Lol. Oh man, I do not envy teachers... Y'all do such important work, and have to put up with so much unimportant stuff. Thank you.

Casey said...

I cannot even imagine some of the things you say or hear from these kids. I loved hearing the strange conversations high schoolers had back when I was working in one. Oh, and I still remember your story about the girl who used the C word to describe the weather. Not cold either.