Monday, May 23, 2016

Heads up, I'm no one's mom.

Seniors finished up last week and on the last day, five minutes before the bell rings, this happened:
Kid: M, you're not my mom anymore!
Me: Uh, I've NEVER been your mom...
Kid: But we've been together all year, it's sort of like you're my mom.
Me: No, it's not even a little bit like that.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Damn, I'm young!

"You are NOT 34 years old!" is an thing that was just yelled at me in class today. Somehow my one of my classes was under the impression that after 9 months together a) I've only been teaching a few years, and b) I'm 26. 

Thanks, I think?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cry me a river...

Yesterday one of my students, who was born in 1998, told me his mom named him Justin after Justin Timberlake. So basically I have to quit.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Potty Humor

An email from reader S:

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We are currently on a "hall freeze" (no students out of class except for extreme emergencies), today is the last day for seniors. So far in just ONE class I have had:

1. A student change his shirt, completely taking one off and changing into another.
2. Same student complaining because he need to go to the bathroom, but refusing to work.
3. A student ask to go to the bathroom, when I said there were no passes out, he asked "Can I pee in that jar?"
4. A student ask I would write an office referral if he just walked out of class to go to the bathroom.
5. A student threaten to call their mom so she can tell me to let her daughter go to the bathroom.
6. A student threaten to open my exterior door and pee outside.
7. Girl student: "I have to pee, but I'm a man, so I can hold mine in until the bell rings."

What is it about being "locked down" that makes these kids go crazy and all of a sudden all of them have to go to the bathroom?!?!?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Some Reasons to Stay...

Maybe you saw this HuffPo article last week, "7 Reasons You Might Not Want to Teach Anymore". I agree with a lot of what she says and there are so many reasons to get out of the classroom, way more than the seven she lists. But I'm not ready to go yet. I'm here for the long haul. So here are some reasons to stay...

1. It's not going to get better unless we make it better. We need to keep voting to right people into office, taking a stand on propositions that affect our jobs, and talking about issues that affect our classrooms. We need to not give up.

2. Technology is making me crazy, but also crazy happy. I hate the obsession with cell phones. But, on the other hand, I love technology in my classroom. I like the infinite resources the internet provides me. I like how I gave give a poll in class via phones. I like that I can text kids reminders at night and they don't have my cell number. I fucking love and how it helps me find cheaters. I found a box of overhead projector sheets the other day and laughed, because I haven't touched that relic in years. I love my Proxima. Yes, sometimes technology makes our jobs harder, but it also makes life easier, and if that means accepting our eventual robot overlords, then so be it.

3. There is a way to assess if you're good at this job. Are you doing your best? Are you never giving up? Are you helping the kids who need it to the best of your ability? Then you're good at this job. That continual struggle is what makes continual professional growth so important. No matter what my yearly evaluation says (OK, so they're always really good), I know I'm good at my job because I love it and I feel effective. Kids learn in my classroom. Kids grow in my classroom. A decade later kids come back to me with grammar jokes on Facebook, or a reflection on a book we read, or a something they saw in the world that reminds them of me and my class. I know I'm good at my job because I've turned thousands of kids out into the world, and though they may falter and have missteps, they've learned from me and are becoming better people in the world for it.

4. We're making the next generation smarter and not just in the 2+2=4 way. We're introducing them to literature, history, scientific theories, etc. that will have a lasting influence on their lives. People often say what you learn in high school doesn't matter in the real world, and I don't think that's true at all. If I can get one kids to fall in love with a book, thus fostering their love of reading, I consider it a win. If a business teacher teaches someone to do their taxes, if a science teacher introduces someone to animal biology, if a Spanish teacher creates of love of languages, we've all done something to have a lasting impact. I hate inspirational teacher shit, but there are moments where we change lives.

5. We're making the next generation better people. Someone needs to talk to these kids about the world, because sometimes they're not getting that at home. They need to understand the world and personal responsibility, and sometimes it's our job to teach that. Tolerance, patience, real world behavior, these are a big part of being an adult and a decent human being. We're not just making kids smarter, but we're making them better human beings.

6. We're in the trenches together. I say it all the time, but the best thing about my job is the group of people I work with. I would walk through fire and find a hill to die on for them, and I know they would for me as well. We support and want the best for one another. We make each others' days better when bad stuff happens.

7. Teenagers are ridiculous. They are. We know it. But that's why we love them. They say stupid shit that's enlightening and hilarious and for that we come back every day.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Wait your turn, please.

An email from my coworker S:

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Subject: I ran an experiment
So I was tired of students in my third hour interrupting and speaking over me, so I decided to do the same to them. All it took was one student and two minutes of me interrupting before he was like: "Okay I get how this is annoying".
[From M: teaching them lessons like this is my favorite!]

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Yeah, I sign yearbooks.

The other day a girl came up to me and asked all timidly, "Do you sign yearbooks?" Like I'm famous, or just a bitch who refuses to sign yearbooks. I told her of course I did and was happy to sign hers.

Is that a thing, teachers refusing to sign yearbooks?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Well, whether you know it or not, it's correct.

From reader S:

Student: My computer keeps auto-correcting, but it's wrong. [He brings S his computer.] See look, it's changing "womens" to "women's" but that would be "Woman is" and that's not correct.
S: It's not women is, it shows possession.
Student: Oh, well, I don't know about all that. That's just stupid.

Friday, May 6, 2016

I'm not saying she's entirely wrong about the Electoral College, but still...

An email I sent to a coworker in the history department, who teaches government, and was this girl's government teacher in particular (fyi: the girl failed his class...):
[A girl in my class] refuses to register to vote because:
a) She can't find her social security number (it's too much work to ask her parents)
b) Getting her license plate number is too hard (she meant driver's license number...)
c) Voting doesn't matter

She then went on a tirade about the electoral college and how stupid it is. I wanted to badly to just ask, "And what grade did you get in government last semester...?"

Thursday, May 5, 2016

So fucking profound...

Email from coworker S:

"I just had a kid who was discussing profanity say 'The use of profound language...'"