Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day 4 (S1, Q1, Wk 1)

I am REALLY liking this new 15-minute break the principal has instituted (between block 1 and 2). It's a perfect time for student conferences. Or for "bathroom detentions."

I need to do some parent calling tonight. I'm just ... I don't enjoy it at ALL. I want to put it off. But I know that if I don't address the situation now, things with my disassociated students will only worsen. (They may worsen anyway.)

Some of the student responses I got back were very insightful - even helpful. They gripe about having homework EVERY NIGHT but I have to admit, I enjoy reading their responses.

Mrs. Chili, I am not sure that I agree with the conclusion behind "there are always going to be students ... who are not going to care." I think, in fact, that MOST of my students do not care. Some of them, however, are willing to do enough of the work to pass the class. Others are not. And I believe that every student has what is (to them) a valid reason for not doing the work. I have one student who plans to be a farmer. He studies very hard for his Agriculture course, because he sees the application in what he has planned for his life. He already understands most of the material we're covering in class and feels no need to learn the more abstract stuff (like sound techniques used in poetry). And he doesn't particularly care about getting credit for any of his courses (even Ag - what he cares about there is learning the material). I haven't sounded this out, but I think he may be failing ON PURPOSE so that he can spend MORE years in high school and take the business/computer courses once he's finished the Ag curriculum and not have to pay for the instruction!!! This is one smart cookie.

So we talked today during homeroom and I pointed out that the equipment he'd see in an Ag Science course at a college would be much better than anything we could provide at the school, and we discussed potential scholarship opportunities and even options for getting English credit in ways that wouldn't require sitting through class.

We will see what happens. I don't expect to be completely responsible for the students' learning; as I told them, I can't learn the material FOR them (if I could, I would!) and there's no benefit to doing the work for them. I do, however, aspire to be the best teacher I possibly can. I don't think I'm there quite yet.

I'm pretty darn close, though! :D

1 comments:

DrPezz said...

I had a student four years ago who had the sole dream of becoming a construction worker like his father. However, he did not want to learn anything else. Nothing. His father was at his wits' end when something horrible happened: the father fell from a roof and broke his back, not paralyzed but would never be able to do his normal job again. The student immediately began to study hard and improve greatly. His father wanted the student's tool to be his mind and not his back.

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