Monday, January 21, 2008

Tomorrow, I begin Anew

The school where I teach is on the type of block schedule where one quarter (we call it a "term") is equivalent to a semester on a traditional schedule. This means that tomorrow, I will get all new students and will teach Spanish 1 and 2 instead of 3 and 4 as I did in the fall. I am busily preparing my day, including revising my parent letter/policy sheet that I give out at the beginning of each class. I am struck by the things that bug me. Every teacher has things that bug them and others that roll off their backs.
Here are some things (student behaviors)that aren't huge and I'm not proud that they do, but that bug me anyway:

1. Yawning really loudly during instruction. Very rude.

2. Students who incessantly taptaptaptaptaptaptap on their desks.

3. Students who put their notebook, workbook, reams of paper inside their textbook, thus s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the binding of our already-decrepit-books. Reminds me of that old folktale "The Mitten", where all the animals take shelter in this one, lone mitten.

4. Doing homework in a rush at the start of class, when it's due, instead of taking the time to do it at home, where they can process the material.

5. Tests or other work handed in done in anything other than black or blue pen or pencil.

6. Kids not putting their first AND last names on their papers.

7. Thinking they are getting away with texting in class. Here, I once again turn into this man.

8. Make up work in general. I want to forge ahead, and yet, I must constantly go backwards.

Here are some things that bother others, but I don't care so much about:

1. Scooting into class as the bell rings.

2. Students asking to use the restroom. Classes are 90 minutes long, the bathrooms only have 3 stalls, we have a big building - 7 minutes of passing time is sometimes just enough to push through crowded hallways. Sometimes, they gotta go.

3. Chatter. I've developed a tolerance for this during work time in class.

4. Not having proper headings.

5. The pencil sharpener. (Really. I know someone who had theirs removed from the classroom altogether and requires the students to bring their own little twisty sharpeners.)

What teacher things bug you the most?


Blogger MsAbcMom said...

When the kids call me teacher. Why? Don't know. I don't mind being called by my name, Ms. V and surprisingly, I don't mind it in Spainsh, maestra. "Teacher" drives me batty!

Oh yeah... and when kids expect me to tie their shoes. Like I would do that for a 2nd grader!

1/21/2008 10:42 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

I get irritated when I explain the instructions and they ask me what they are supposed to do. I guess if I thought that I was sort of hard to understand, I would understand, but I try to always give a couple examples.

That and when they talk while I give instructions. I am not sure why that makes me go from 0 to homicidal in 6 seconds. okay maybe i exaggerate slightly.

I am very poor at oral instructions, so I should be more sympathetic. I suppose that is why I go around and explain it again at least 3 times patiently. More than 3 times I again get sort of irrational.

pencil sharpening while i am talking

being barraged with "can i drink water/go to my locker/go to the bathroom" by 16 kids at the start of class. the answer is "no, no, no, no, no, no and no."

I do however let them go once they have gotten to work, because I am not a toilet nazi, unless they stay in there for like 30 minutes.

when they sit and spin in my chair. this is a new one. my high schoolers never would do this. middle schoolers think it is all the rage.

i altogether feel i have alternately more an sometimes less patience with middle schoolers.

1/21/2008 11:28 PM  
Blogger girlfiend said...

Elementary school upper grades (suburban, but with a large ghetto population)-
Kids who still cry and hug you for comfort then wipe their noses on you.

Middle school (wealthy, suburban)-
Armpit farts

Girls who leave their $400 purses (because 12 year olds need $400 purses) in their desks.

High school (ghetto)-
Students who use the phrase "tap that ass" to describe sexual relations between teachers then try to justify their inappropriate discussion by saying the teachers shouldn't be dating anyway. True, but it sure does make phonics instruction difficult when the image of Mr. R "tapping" Ms. Z's ass is stuck in your head.

1/22/2008 6:49 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

1. The tapping! - OMG - this drives me nuts!

2. Asking to go to the bathroom JUST as I'm starting to teach the lesson, when they just had 15 or so mins during warm-up time to go!

3. Commenting on everything I have to say, like we're having a conversation when I'm teaching or giving instructions.

4. The student in 1st period who walks as S L O W L Y as she can to my desk to get a tissue, then stays up there, standing slightly behind me, trying to communicate with the student who sits right in front of me, then walks as S L O W L Y as she can back to her seat. When I point out what she's doing, she plays dumb, as if she has no idea what I'm talking about.

1/22/2008 2:12 PM  
Blogger HappyChyck said...

My students were so OFF THE HOOK today--probably because we only have a three day week thanks to teacher in-service on Friday. So we started off the new semester with:

1. "What are we suppose to be doing?" Really? You didn't say anything when I asked if there were any questions.

2. Commenting on e v e r y t h i n g I had to say either to me or a neighbor. New seating chart tomorrow!

3. "What if..." when I'm giving an assignment. Anticipating and shooting down potential "what ifs" keeps me up at night. OY!

4. Restroom passes. Sometimes I get so depressed because I spent all those years in college and all they want from me are my hall passes. Sometimes I beg them to ask me a question about the content.

On pencils...I only use hand-held sharpeners in my classroom. It's so peaceful that I don't even notice when they do sharpen their pencils.

1/22/2008 5:59 PM  

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