Friday, September 6, 2013

Mean Kids

Today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  That might be a little dramatic, but it was a bad day with some sprinkles of goodness.  I like to give surveys occasionally throughout the semester to gauge where my class is and see what I can do to be a little better.  Honestly, the survey's are usually a big confidence booster with a lot of homework complaints and a few constructive criticisms.  I truly feel like the survey's make me a better teacher.  Today was a survey day.  As I was handing them out I said, "be brutally honest!  I teach for you and if I'm not meeting your needs, you need to tell me."  Survey's are also always anonymous so students aren't afraid to express themselves.

First hour ends, I collect the surveys, and take a seat to start reading.  The first survey said something about slowing down and doing more practice together.  Mental note: slow down.  The second survey also said something about more practice, but I was more focused on his answer to the question

Q:  What can I do to be a better teacher for you?

A:  Teach the material better.  You mess up A LOT.  If I had a dime for every mistake I've noticed you made since school started, I would probably have enough money to get a new bag.

I think my eyeballs popped out of my head!  I frequently have people ask me how I can handle teaching high school kids because they are so mean.  I hear the occasional I hate you, I hate this class, I'm never coming back here again, and your outfit doesn't match, but man oh man!  I'm not sure what kind of bag this kid is buying, but I'm assuming it's more than a few bucks!  I happen to know who wrote this comment because he was the only person in class that used pen on his quiz and also the only person who used pen on his survey.  I debated writing "you owe me $0.50" on his quiz and circling the mistakes.  I've also debated going to the bank and getting a roll of dimes to give him Monday morning. Or a possible a "mistake jar" on his desk where I can deposit dimes during class.  The only problem with that is that I would have to carry change all the time and I hate change.  I guess it really wasn't that bad of a day.  Having my AC break when it was 110 degrees outside wasn't stellar, but worse things have happened.

Last year, week 5 was the week that I decided I would be better off in the hospital after a severe car accident than in the classroom and that belief extended to halfway through October.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that my bad Friday in week 5 is not going to be followed by another 5 weeks of thinking severe injury/death is better than teaching, because let's be honest, teaching is the best thing that ever happened to me.

This students response made me feel like I was living a scene from the Academic Decathlon in Billy Madison.  Luckily the 82 surveys that followed were much nicer and made me feel like I wasn't a fly, stuck in a piece of gun, stuck on the asphalt, melting in the 120 degree sun of Phoenix on a July afternoon.

No comments: