Thursday, September 17, 2009

What didn’t we do yesterday?

I’ve toyed around with the idea of not trying so hard on this teaching thing anymore. I mean I’ve got sixteen and seventeen-year-olds for the most part. It is not like I’m going to make them any dumber. Unless I give them misinformation that is—juxtaposition is a karate stance, Jim in Huck Finn‘s name on his driver’s license is “Negro Jim,” but he is “Nigger Jim” to his friends, and stuff like that. But that would be just be as much work as actually teaching, so what’s the point of that?

Besides it’s not like these guys are listening anyway, and I think that is what is exactly discouraging me to work so hard. Or another way to look at it is encouraging me to trying so little. You decide.

Take Jason, for example. He came up to me and asked what we did in class yesterday. In my classroom I have an Absent Folder. It contains assignments and objectives for previous days of the semester for anyone who has missed a class. They also have an individual folder where I put the needed materials to complete the work missed. The objectives and homework for the entire week are kept on the board. Daily, I remind all my students of the implementations for getting caught up on any missed work, in hopes that using these devices will become routine. Yet, Jason comes up and asks me such a question.

Some of you may encourage me to keep going. It is early in the year, so more time is needed for students to be trained on how to be self-sufficient in obtaining assignments after they are absent.

Jason was here yesterday. I pointed that out to him.

“I know, but I didn’t feel like doing anything.”

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