Monday, October 15, 2007

Are we doing anything on Friday?

There is a point at which you just want to answer "No", and laugh about it when the student sees all the work they need to make up. Today seemed like a massive amount of "Are we doing anything tomorrow/Friday/etc", and my comment was always "Yes. I'm still trying to figure out if the question is actually that demeaning, if maybe the student is trying to gather some valuable piece of information that might keep them in my classroom. The problem is, this is school, and most of the time the kids are going on ski trips, going camping, and generally not making school any sort of priority.

This is even doubly disturbing because the quarter ends this Friday and students are well aware that the grades are simply awful. Out of three classes of Government students, totaling about 90 kids, I have two A's. Two! The student with the tenth highest grade out of all three classes has an 83%! What in the hell is going on here? And students want to leave on more vacations?

Serious analysis into the grades sees a very simple trend; low quiz scores, turning in only some homework, and absences. The impact of Homecoming this year was devastating on students, as most had no focus, totally bombed on the quizzes, or didn't show up at all and didn't do the make-up work. One student told me on Friday that "Homecoming was so not worth it. Everybody worked for a nothing event that means nothing for everybody. I wish it didn't even happen."

And now comes the attempted exodus. One of classes has a large population that feel that the class is too hard, that they have better things to do than study, and they want out........now. I'm at a point now of letting them go without any kid of battle, because these are not students that want to be here and have the potential to negatively impact my class anyway. Seriously, by the time they are Seniors in high school, why should I force 18 year olds to sit in class if they are doing everything to resist? You can only put up with so much "Fuckin Mendo 707, man. Smoke 24/7, bro. How come you got such a high test score? You have no fucking life. Party up." Jesus, I thought I was done teaching freshmen.
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