My Son is a Very Good Kid!

my son has never been in trouble

Ah, parents. They live in an insulated world of fluffy fantasy, like Candyland. I imagine pink puffy cotton candy floating in front of their eyes, blinding them from the reality of who their children really are.

I’m a parent, too. I remember the night my child called me into her room the fifteenth time and I made the connection: she was only four years old and manipulating me!

“Do you think she might actually be trying to avoid going to sleep?” I asked my husband.

“Well, DUH,” he replied.

So, sometimes our view of who our children are does not always overlap with reality. Teachers are parents’ greatest allies. We know so much about their children…who their friends are, who they’re dating, how they break rules and lie about it to cover it up, how they cheat, what they really think about their parents, how they feel about their families, what they did over the weekend (what they told me they did, what they told their friends they did, and what their private confiscated notes indicated they really did), and what their goals, interests, and aspirations are. I just wish that sometimes parents would work with me instead of against me so that we can both help their child to become the best person possible. How can they help their children if they don’t even know who they are, or believe me when I tell them what the child needs?

Warm and Fuzzy

love more than parents

I know it kind of looks like the teacher is about to smack the kid upside the head, but I just need to work on drawing hands. She’s supposed to be raising her arm up questioningly, like “why?” and the student is supposed to be lifting his hands in a shrug, like “I don’t know.” The text below reads, “Sometimes, students feel like you love them more than their parents do.”

So today, on Black Friday, know that even though our world is crazy, commercialized, violent, and sometimes downright unpleasant, remember that you really do make a difference. You might feel like a cog in the corporate machine, just another number, a faceless part of the masses out shopping today, but remember that someone at school thinks you are special. Some of your students look up to you and know you care. You mean something to someone…or quite a few someones. 🙂

 

Paying Attention

never had a problem paying attention

Ah, these students. So easily distracted. They remind me of my 9 month old baby, who was looking all around the room as I was on the third page of the book I was reading him. If only the students could focus for a minute as well…imagine how much knowledge I could convey to them!

I have asked students to time the lessons I give to them. I will say, “Give me your full attention for five minutes so I can explain everything about literary devices.” They smile and agree…then 35 seconds into the lesson, I will always find someone’s attention drifting away and point it out. They will all laugh, but inside I cry. Poor little text-web-tablet-device addicted little souls. Add the toxic cocktail of hormones and there’s no hope. 🙂

I Went to College for THIS?

went to college

Sometimes, we have lofty aspirations when we attend college. We may believe we can change the world through the power of education. We may think that we can remedy injustice by promoting equality and fairness.  We may even believe that we can be a source of light in a world of darkness.

However, one of the many ways that teaching slowly wears down idealism is the inconsiderate kids and how they will often throw their trash right on the floor. My pet peeve is that they are not permitted to eat in my class and then they sneak their candy and toss the wrappers right by their desks.

Another thing they eat in class is Hot Cheetos, which have a fluorescent red powder that remains on their fingers. They often drop these snacks or wrappers on the floor and then when you ask if it’s theirs, they hold up their red hands and say, “No, they’re not mine!” They were caught red-handed and still deny it!

Still, I recommend teaching. Go get your degree. But just be mindful that there are some challenges. Some days are just better than others.

Special Guest Cartoonist Today

moms work

It may be a little hard to read but the dialogue reads like this:

Teacher: “Go back to your seat!”

“Some Kid”: “No, Ms. C.!!!”

Teacher: “NOW!!!”

My 6 year-old daughter drew this comic to illustrate the stories I tell her about my students. I think she will be a better artist than me as she seems to understand the complexities of relationships and the humor of the situations. 🙂

Blonde is only one syllable.

blonde syllables

OK, I admit that poetic meter is probably something that students aren’t as excited about as their English teachers. But they do try to understand and often will write surprisingly good poems when they apply the knowledge they learned in class. I’m not sure what will become of poetry writing with the new Common Core standards, but it was fun while it lasted. Most days. Maybe not most days, probably some days. Well, at least one or two days…

Thirty-seven Unexcused Absences

Image

Attendance in school really matters. Even Joe, above, earned some points just for being there on the day the class worked on group projects. Parents should know where their kids are. One parent called the school to meet with me last week and said she was “shocked” that her son had been ditching. Funny thing is, our computer program (which parents can log into) shows attendance for every class. The progress reports also show how many absences and tardies the student has accumulated. Of course, children of high school age should know enough to come to school, but ultimately, if anything happens to the child when he is not there, it is the parent’s responsibility.