Saturday, December 17, 2005

Not that there's anything WRONG with that. . . . except when there is.

You know, I really think that a teacher who devotes half of every period to free reading*, assigns a textbook chapter to be read as homework but won't go into explanations or examples or drill or anthing about it, glosses over it for a few minutes, (maybe) "if there's time after the free reading," and then tests the students over it, isn't doing a very good job.

*I'm not putting down the free reading; I love to read and I would have enjoyed having free reading every day in English class; the grammar and actual lesson part came easily to me and I did that all on my own anyway. This method would not have worked in any of my math classes. This method does not work for most students in any class.

But don't you think that if a student is going to be tested on a particular subject, and if an adult has been hired to make sure the student knows and understands this subject, that this adult really ought to put forth a little effort to do just that? I do.

Whutever. I've got a student coming over for some tutoring today, and I'm really looking forward to it. He's one of my favorite people!!!

He's brilliant and creative and hilarious, and he catches on fast and learns quickly. Who could ask for a better combination? One of my favorite students of all time. And when HE is struggling with something, then I know something's rotten in Denmark.

Besides which, a student who is a hard worker and who doesn't have a ton of absences with makeup work he refuses to do and with an intelligent kind understanding mother and not one missing assignment, who asks for help? That is, or should be, a teacher's dream job. It is the sum and substance of what we stand for, and love to do.

When that isn't happening, then somebody's job shouldn't be happening.

I suppose some teachers do a lot of reading themselves, during class. I've had teachers who knit or did needlepoint while we were reading. It never bothered me, but I thought it was odd. I still do.

But who am I to talk. I used to do beadwork while my students were reading or testing, so I'd have cool bracelets to give as prizes. I just didn't do that every day.

I was one of those 'roaming' teachers. I walked around the room and stuck my nose in their bidness while teaching. I've been known to put toothpaste on the back of a sleeping student's neck. Once, a class and I got so annoyed with a chronically sleeping student that we tiptoed over to the clock, moved the hands to 3:45, went out into the hallway, and one of his friends nudged him and said, "Hey man, you going to stay here all night? The bus is gone, man!"

I'd never seen a human being jump that high before. It was fantastic. Oh, and he never slept in my class again. He told me he was afraid to. Astute.

Besides, when they fall asleep, it hurts my feelings. It happens more now, with adult students, than it did with the young students, because my students, for the most part, work full time and have families and are working school in, among, and around all their responsibilities. They're exhausted, and I feel their pain. I wouldn't do the toothpaste thing now. Don't tell them, though, because I use that as a threat sometimes and I don't want them to know how soft I really am.

Oh, and the party last night? We had a GREAT time. Thanks for asking.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:11 AM | |


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