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You know how we sometimes fantasize about being brutally honest...

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You know how we sometimes fantasize about being brutally honest...
Old 07-12-2017, 11:46 AM
 
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What if we could be honest with our back to school theme?
I was thinking a bb covered in flowers with their pictures in the center and big sparkly letters that say, "Suck it up buttercup-You're not in first grade anymore!"
I also want the back to school letter to say, Dear Parents, I am not buying your child's school supplies. If you won't send tissues they will use rough brown paper towels. Glue sticks are 25 cents at Walmart right now so go get several. If your kid refuses to work I really will give them an F.

For the first time in 18 years I am not excited about going back to school. The back of my SUV is still heaped with school crap that needs to be put away. I have a PILE of professional journals our principal wants read.

As I read this I sound mean and defeated, so I am tempted to delete it. But it is my truth right now-five weeks into break and I am still exhausted.


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Old 07-12-2017, 11:49 AM
 
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I get it. I had a rough year and have to go back in 3 weeks. I am so not ready! Honestly, I could quit/retire and still be happy/be happier than I am when teaching. First year I've felt this way (did I mention I had a rough year last year?).

I, too, am still putting stuff away that I brought home in MAY from my classroom!

I hope you feel rested by the time you have to go back.

I totally understand!
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:05 PM
 
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I have three pens attached to long strings and a laminated 5x8 index card. They hang from the front board so a student needing to borrow must come up and get one. It amazes me how students can't bring in a writing utensil or borrow one from a friend.
My welcome to class letter this year will include the sentence "Please note: Extra credit is not offered in this class at any time." I had an awful time with that this past year (as in parents and students nagging me about offering extra credit and me still never allowing it in the 20-ish years I've been teaching).
Did I mention that I teach in High School?
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Honesty
Old 07-12-2017, 01:40 PM
 
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Ahh. . . it seems wonderful, doesn't it? Unfortunately it seems the world doesn't want honesty anymore, just appeasment.

By the way, love the extra pen idea. I may need to try that only in middle school I need to tie it on to something much larger as the laminated index card will also disappear.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:07 PM
 
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What about, "I'm so happy to meet most of you. The rest of you I wish would move to another district."


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Old 07-12-2017, 03:10 PM
 
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No Snow Flakes Admitted

Helicopter Parents Sign Up Sheet - for a free trip to the Sahara desert

Last edited by anna; 07-13-2017 at 05:07 AM..
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Truth.
Old 07-12-2017, 03:38 PM
 
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I'd like to omit my parent info packet and all letters I send home and just let parents who want information contact me. Most don't read it and do as they please anyway.
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People
Old 07-12-2017, 04:44 PM
 
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want honesty as long as it doesn't interfere with their right to ignore whatever we tell them, disregard our suggestions, or hold up a mirror to their impression of either their child or their parenting.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Please note: Extra credit is not offered in this class at any time.
I taught in HS in a former life. I explained at the beginning, middle and end of every grading period that students who had NO zeros typically had As and Bs. I didn't provide extra credit either. Extra means above and beyond, not instead. If you have zeros then you didn't do what you were supposed to do in the first place. End rant.
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Can't stop laughing
Old 07-12-2017, 06:20 PM
 
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I'm giggling like a fool at some of your comments! The dog thinks I'm crazy!! Thank you for a good laugh tonight.


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honest
Old 07-12-2017, 06:54 PM
 
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I'm glad you didn't delete it. I got a good giggle out of it!

Seriously, I had a rough year as well. I keep reminding myself that every year is a fresh start, but it still stresses me out to think that I could have a repeat.

I want to send a note to all parents that says, "If your child is on ADHD meds, he's on it for a reason. If you choose to take him off of it, keep him home."

Needless to say, there were several parents who took their child off ADHD meds last year.
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Hang in there
Old 07-12-2017, 08:27 PM
 
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The longer I teach, the longer it takes to feel refreshed. I'm at 5 weeks now and I am just starting to feel halfway decent. You'll get there.

I job shared once...6 weeks on 6 off. I was halfway through my time when my co-teacher popped her head in and said, "Oh, I miss some of you." Her face then went horrified and she corrected, "Oh wait, I miss all of you."

Jeez, what pressure we face. I hate thinking about how excited the kids are to come back and secretly knowing I don't want to. Makes me feel so guilty.
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Love it
Old 07-13-2017, 07:12 AM
 
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That bulletin board idea is the funniest thing I have read in ages.

Here's what I'd like to post in my high school classroom:
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:32 AM
 
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tyrex,
I love that poster! It reminds me of a few exchange students who have gone through the high school where I teach. (Maybe around three or four that I can clearly remember.) They complained of boredom and that the classes were insultingly easy. The reactions of the local students were all priceless!

I also like the No extra credit quote but I'd love to add afterward......."so don't even ask!"
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Extra Credit
Old 07-13-2017, 11:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Extra means above and beyond, not instead.
I love this!! I don't have a huge problem with that, but I do have some parents (3rd grade) who'll decide at the end of the term that their snowflake should have a higher grade and could they do extra credit? How about just making sure they do the work in the first place? I send home graded papers weekly and grades are checked online as often as a parent wants. It's no secret at report card time.

I'm really going to use this quote!
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I'm in year 16, so I get it...
Old 07-13-2017, 03:21 PM
 
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This was pretty much me by January of this year. We moved to a semi-departmentalized model (meaning not having my "own" class for the first time in 16 years of teaching), our kids were AWFUL--just arrogant and nasty and stuck-up--lots of "I KNOW this already" snootiness, but then they'd turn around and fail a test. I suspect this was due to the previous year's teachers doing lots of gross, fake confidence-building "Oh, you only got 1 out of 20 right? You're SO smart! Wow!!" Their parents were hateful and awful. Due to spending 2nd grade hearing how brilliant their children were, they were absolutely shocked to see F's on progress reports and report cards and they all insisted their children be tested for the gifted program. I think our highest scorer had an IQ of 84, so yeah...They'd also call the principal and demand their children be given extra credit or have their grades raised. It was a rough year.

So in February, when contracts came out, I went to my principal and said, "I do not want to inherit any more of these 3rd graders who think they're amazing and can't read," and I asked to be moved to Kindergarten. She agreed and THAT turned everything around. I was able to get through the year and now I'm actually excited about next year.

TL-DR Maybe you're due for a change!

Last edited by maestradeb; 07-13-2017 at 03:22 PM.. Reason: Wacky formatting
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:07 PM
 
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Their parents were hateful and awful. Due to spending 2nd grade hearing how brilliant their children were, they were absolutely shocked to see F's on progress reports and report cards

I could have written this. I am in a one classroom per grade level school and the 2 grade levels before me are like what you described. It really is a challenge getting students (and their parents) up to grade level. This will be my 5th year in this position and I'm not sure how much more I can take being 'the mean teacher' who actually has appropriate grade level expectations and hold the students accountable. However, by the end of the year and I show parents how much growth their buttercups have made it is a little easier. But, each year I have to start over with a fresh batch of 'lil punkins' and their parents. 4 weeks until ....... NOPE! It's still summer and I'm not going there just yet.
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Oh I needed this .LOL!!!
Old 07-13-2017, 05:13 PM
 
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My theme this year for the adults only:
"No b*&^hing past this point"
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extra credit
Old 07-14-2017, 03:07 AM
 
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I head this off at the pass at Back to School Night. My response to the extra credit question: What a great idea! I think that since your child did not master the material the first time that spending time learning would definitely be in their best interest. However, you will understand that this will not change the grade because that was given based on previous data...but again, doing more work will definitely help your child learn, which as we know is much more important that a grade. How lucky they are to have you in their corner. Whatever reward you choose to give them because they do this is up to you...maybe a movie or dinner out?
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High School English
Old 07-14-2017, 07:47 AM
 
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This is the brutally honest speech I've wanted to give countless times to the affluent, hand-wringing moms and dads who claim my Senior English grade is the only thing keeping Junior out of Harvard [or insert whatever fancy, prestigious institution of higher learning you wish]:

"Listen. Your son may be a savant in Math and Chemistry. I wouldn't know. I don't teach in those subject areas. I teach English. And here's the plain truth. Your son is a crappy writer. He never has an original idea. Despite hours of thoughtful, differentiated teaching in the area of argumentative writing, he persists in stating the obvious and summarizing the plot of whatever the assigned or chosen text is. He never proof reads. He procrastinates with writing tasks and then rushes to hand in his first draft. It is always riddled with embarrassing errors I'd expect a middle schooler to be able to spot and fix. He displays not a shred of intellectual curiosity toward the literature studied. Regardless of the genre of book assigned (and even if there is choice in the selection of said book), he approaches it with all the enthusiasm of a patient about to undergo a root canal. I suspect he skims when he reads and supplements with online book summaries. Despite repeated offers of help from me with his writing, and despite frankly heroic efforts on my part to spark an interest in at least one genre of literature, he seems unwilling to even meet me halfway. He has NEVER in four years gotten an English grade higher than a very low B (and last year's grade was a C). He shows no sign of even attempting to improve this situation. He is a non-reader and seems determined to remain a non-reader. The Ivy League simply does not want specialized, intellectually lazy non-readers, yes, even among STEM students. Sorry, but this English mark is not something I am doing to him to be mean and inflexible. It is he who is inflexible and seemingly comfortable with his lack of intellectual engagement, abjection to reading great literature, and refusal to become a passable academic writer. The only person who can possibly make any impact at this point is your son, and frankly, he's the only one not present for this conference. No amount of recrimination, anger at me, or hand-wringing and tears from you is going to improve this situation. Sorry, but if your son's dreams are predicated on his getting an A in a subject he dislikes and refuses to improve at, then it is time to rethink those dreams."

If only.
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