Diapers and Dragons

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now, The Kids Are Gone (Almost)

September is a lovely month, filled with the sweet hopefulness of school beginning once again. I feel my creative juices stirring; I look forward to the faces of new as well as familiar faces in class again; I enjoy the thrill of those "ah ha" moments that come along when students get an important point. By the time the end of the summer comes along, I'm itching to get back into the classroom where all things are New for another year.

But it's not September.

Oh no, it's June. And right now I Hate My Students.

I cannot wait to kick them out of class today. My last class of brats is sitting filling in scantrons, struggling to find answers in the mishmash of what used to be their brains. It's one hour and twenty minutes (as I write these sentence) before I am free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last! Except for the student who has to come in and finish her exam because she had an allergy attack last night and took Benedryl and overslept and was only in class for twenty minutes for an essay exam that took most students at least an hour to complete. She's lucky I'm semi-fond of her, even now, because it would be awfully tempting to say Tough luck, girly, you shoulda gotten here on time! The quality of mercy is most definitely strained by the end of the school year, gotta say.

It doesn't help that my honors tenth grade students turned in a batch of final research/analysis papers that were, overall, so sloppy and poorly formatted and poorly written that I was taking a savage joy in (for once) using a harsh red pen rather than my usual purple to scrawl nasty comments all over the pages. Cite! Cite! I wrote again and again in fury. You'd think they'd never written a paper before. You'd think I hadn't spent days going over the details, that there was no such thing as the Student Writing Handbook, that they didn't have resource after resource at their fingertips.

A college professor friend of mine commiserated with me this weekend (we were chatting privately in World of Warcraft--doesn't matter we've never met in person, she totally counts as a friend) about the increasing sloppiness of student work and the increasing tendency of parents to want to bail them out. I can't grade effort, she wrote. I can only grade the final product. I asked her what she would do if given a paper with sloppy formatting--sloppy, mind you, I'm not even talking about missing citations, which I already know means a big fat ZERO, thank you very much (that's plagiarism, folks, doesn't matter if it's intentional or not). I'd give it an F, she responded. Sloppy formatting means sloppy note taking, sloppy writing, sloppy thinking in general.

And there you have it. I'm done with the sloppiness this year. I'm done with the snarkiness of students who think they're entitled to getting As because I turned it in! I did it! regardless of the quality of work. I'm done with kids disregarding rules about wearing hats and texting and listening to I-pods during class and cheating and wandering about the school when they were just supposed to go to the bathroom. I'm done with kids not bothering to show up with basic supplies, much less their books or, dear sweet sanity preserve me, their homework completed. I'm done with kids being mysteriously ill for Every Single Quiz and then expecting to be able to make them all up the day before grades are due.

I'm done with Brandon C.: if I hear that name even once during the summer, you'll find me in the corner banging my head into the wall. One hour and six minutes before he exits my life for a few months--at least until Mythology next year. I might be able to put up with him by then, at least enough to avoid reaching for the stapler every two minutes. Though I think his parents might thank me if I sealed his mouth for at least a little while. I know my other students would.

It's a Good Thing that we have summer. It takes that long for teachers to recover from the trauma of dealing with Real Live Students the rest of the year. I think if we ever switch to year-long school, there might be an increase in crime. That whole "Going Postal" saying might have to switch to "Going Educational."

Just sayin'.

I have exactly twelve weeks from today to purge myself of this end-of-year hatred, twelve weeks to find some sort of positive emotion towards teaching teens again.

It happens every year. But every June, it seems like an impossibility.

Only 58 minutes left. Not that I'm counting.

8 bits of love:

Aludra said...

YAY Congratz on Summer Being Here.
You may be surprised how quickly you forget about that annoying student.
My friend also teaches High School (Math) and had a student in the 07-08 year that she really couldn't stand. She felt especially tortured when after she had thought she was rid of him in that March, he came back to school at the end of April. Then this year she was complaining about a different loud mouth, and I said, "Is he as bad as that kid from last year?" And she said "What kid?" She didn't even remember him less than a year later!

sAm said...

Oh, yes - You.Said.It. I am so done. And I've gotta say - I can name all those kids. I don't think I'll ever forget. I still have 8 hours left of them (2half days). Not that I'm counting, or anything mind you.

Kathleen said...

:). (Please note I'm smiling WITH you because you are, by now, probably done--not AT you. OK, well, I'm smiling a little AT you too because you're funny.)

The Kampers said...

Oh man...I don't miss that...the September part yes, June, no.

Heidi said...

I miss summers off - this corporate working life is sucky that way!

Arby said...

I certainly understand your frustration with the writing, although I cannot say that I ever longed for with such ferocity the approaching end of the school year. I do hope you recover, as there are more students who will need your dedication come September. Enjoy your summer!

GingerB said...

TeacherMommy, I am so glad you stick to your guns and set high standards for your students. I used to teach for the University of Phoenix and I although I love teaching I gave it up beause I hated the students (grown adults!!) feeling entitled to an A for just showing up, and the department chair wouldn't really back teachers when a student challenged a grade. I feel for you, honey.

Kelly said...

I don't see how people do it--teaching, that is. I would be in jail! just kidding, sort of.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Wait! Where Are You Going?

Wait! Where Are You Going?
Clicky Web Analytics