Monday, April 23, 2012

What I want to say...

I have a colleague who tries very hard throughout the year to keep up the spirits of her fellow teachers.  One of the ways she tries to break through to us is to text out inspirational or funny quotes every morning.  You can count on her like clockwork.  As a matter of fact, I do.  I know when her text comes through at 6:30AM, I have another 20 minutes to hit the snooze button before I am running late.  Recently, she sent out a message to those of us on her text list and asked what did we really want to say to parents and students.  That got me thinking, and writing.  What exactly do I want to say to students, parents, administrators, and the clueless?

Scenario #1:  Student asking to turn in work late.
Student:  I know this project is due today, but I can turn it in next week?  

What I say:  You've had 2 weeks to complete it. 

What I want to say:  Are you fucking kidding me?  No, you can't turn it in a week late.

Student:  Yeah, I know, but I was going to do it this weekend.  But, my mom wouldn't let me use her computer.

What I say:  You did not need to use a computer to complete this project.

What I want to say:  Are you fucking kidding me?  Just because you got grounded does not give you a free pass to not do your project.  No, you can't turn it in a week late.

Student:  But, I wanted to type it up, so it would be really neat, and pretty.

What I say:  I'm sorry, no, you can not turn it in next week.  You can bring it to me tomorrow, for 10 points off, or next class for 20 points off.

What I want to say:  Are you really fucking kidding me?  Hell no you cannot turn it in a week late, and that excuse is lame.  At least have the decency to put some thought into how you plan to lie to my face.  Now, get out of my face.

Scenario #2:  Parent conference regarding student's poor performance/grades in my class
Parent:  I don't understand how [Precious Baby] could get an F on his report card.

What I say:  [Precious Baby] did not turn in the rough draft or final draft of his research paper.  He has two very low test grades, of which one was an open book test and one a take home test.  Also, he has 6 missing homework assignments.

What I want to say:  [Precious Baby] is lazy, and cannot handle the rigor of an Honors level class.

Parent:  He told me he tried to turn in the final draft of the research paper, but you wouldn't let him.  Now, before I get too angry over this, I want to hear what you have to say for yourself.

What I say:  [Precious Baby] asked me 3 days ago if he could still turn in his research paper.  It was due 3 weeks ago.  I told him he could bring it to me the next day, but I would deduct 50% of the grade, because it is so late.

What I want to say:  Why in the hell should I take whatever crap [Precious Baby] is going to copy and paste off of the Internet?  The paper was due 3 weeks ago.  Why would I take it now?  Are you fucking kidding me?

Parent:  I think that is too harsh.  What is wrong with you?  You are supposed to be a TEACHER, and understanding, and compassionate.  No wonder he can't learn from you.  You do not have what it takes to be a good teacher.

What I say:  You are entitled to your opinion, and I am sorry you feel I am not doing enough to help [Precious Baby].  However, I have asked [Precious Baby] repeatedly to come get help during my tutoring hours, I have sat down and done one-on-one conferencing with him concerning his writing, I have volunteered to stay after, or come in early, any day that would work for you and [Precious Baby] to help him with his paper, and I have even given him a chance to re-take the exams he scored poorly on.  All attempts were summarily rejected by both you and him.  Perhaps, at this time, it might be in [Precious Baby]'s best interest if we look into moving him into another teacher's class, or leveling him down out of Honors.

What I want to say:  Bitch, please.  Don't act like you are a concerned parent now.  It is April.  Where have you been for the first 7 months of the school year?  Why did you not care the first 20 times I called or emailed you regarding [Precious Baby]'s complete and total failure as a student and human being?  And while we are on that topic, where were you when [Precious Baby] was getting a blow job, during school hours, in the conditioning room last month?  If I'm not qualified to be a teacher, you are not qualified to be a parent.

Scenario #3:  Administrator asking for "volunteers" for after school tutoring.
Administrator:  Okay, we need 2 teachers to volunteer for after school tutoring.  It is a paid position.  I think it is $25 an hour, and it is for 1 hour after school.  You can pick the day you stay.  Any volunteers?


Administrator:  I only need 2 teachers.  And this is a good way to help some of the students who we know need the extra help and struggle with the content.


Administrator:  Well, I'll just come around and ask some of you individually.

Next Day:
Administrator:  Ms. Teacher, you did the after school tutoring last year, would you be interested in doing it again this year.  {TRANSLATION:  Please, no one else wants it, I know you need the money.}

What I say:  No.

What I want to say:  Are you fucking kidding me?  HELL NO!

Administrator:  Are you sure?  You work so well with these "at risk" kids who are on the cusp.  {TRANSLATION:  Oh please!  If you don't do it, I'm going to have to, and I have better things to do with me time.  You don't have kids, or a family, or a life.}

What I say:  Sorry, but I just can't this year.

What I want to say:  Are you fucking kidding me?!?!  FUCK YOU!  $25 is not enough to deal with the trouble-makers who show up thinking that just by gracing me with their presence is enough to make them pass.  They have no motivation or desire to do any work that might actually lead to them learning something.  So, no.  I do not want to run after school tutoring.

Scenario #4:  Student asking to do "extra credit".
Student:  Ms. Teacher?  Can you give me some extra credit or something.  I gotta get my grade up in your class.

What I say:  I'm sorry, but I do not typically offer extra credit.  It is usually built in throughout the year.  

What I want to say:   Are you fucking kidding me?  You did not do half the "regular" work I assigned this year.  Why on earth would I think you would do any "extra" work?

Scenario #5:  Student claiming ignorance (HA!) Part 1
Student:  Ms. Teacher, I wasn't here last class when you did the test review.  Do I still have to take the test today?

What I say:  Where you in class the 5 days I taught the material?  Yes?  Then, yes, you need to take the test today.

What I want to say:  Are you fucking kidding me?  Yes, you have to take the test today.  What would putting it off one or two more days earn you?  You won't show up for after school tutoring so I can review the material.  You will schedule to make up the test after school 2 or 3 different times, failing to show up each time.  In 3-4 weeks from now, I will finally force you to take the test before grades are due for the marking period, by which time you will have forgotten everything, and fail the test.  What will putting it off earn you?  Nothing.  Now shut the fuck up and take this damn test. 

Scenario #6:  Student claiming ignorance (HA!) Part 2
Student:  I didn't know nothing about having to take this state-mandated test today.

What I say:  What do you mean?  We've been reviewing and prepping for this test for over a month now.  It has been on the announcements, letters have been sent home, I've made phone calls home, and I went over the testing schedule in class twice.  How did you not know?

What I want to say:  (wait for it...) Are you fucking kidding me?  Where have you been the last month and a half?

Student:  I wasn't paying attention to any of that.  Do I still have to take it?

What I say:  Well, that is a shame.  But, the whole school district is taking this test today.  So, yes, you still have to take it.

What I want to say:  Are you fucking kidding me?  Why would you think you wouldn't have to take it?

Scenario #7:  Student claiming ignorance (HA!) Part 3
Student:  Ms. Teacher, I don't get it. What are we supposed to do?

What I say:  Well, I just explained it, but did you read the directions?  Come here and I will go over all the directions with you, again.

What I want to say:  Are you fucking kidding me?  What were you doing the last 15 minutes while I was explaining this in detail?  Did you even bother to read the directions yourself?

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