Saturday, January 26, 2008

Teachering Indignation

Thursday: Last day for students to get help before finals. Thirty two students decide they need help THAT DAY. Twenty eight of them for the first time all semester. One of them stays to ask one question about something from chapter 2 (covered in October), and when I don't sit down with her one on one for a private tutoring session, gets up and leaves. Ten minutes later I get a call from her mom.

"Haley* said she tried to get help but couldn't get help."

"There are over two dozen other students in here right now, so I couldn't sit down with her, but she was welcome to stay."

"Well then, what should she do?"

Options running through my head: (a) invent a time machine and go back to Wake The Fuck Up Day (b) suck it up and actually do the homework that had been assigned back in the day, or, even, y'know, yesterday (c) find someone else to ask.

I went with option c. "Maybe she could ask her math teacher from last year? Or she could come back."

But seriously, dude.

Because not an hour later there was an all-user email from one of the counselors. "Math teachers--are any of you doing study sessions for finals? Because I've had a lot of students crying in my office."

First of all: did that REALLY need to be sent to all the teachers and staff at school? I guess those social studies teachers really needed to know that us math teachers were SLACKING. Second of all: um, YEAH. Because you know when I read that email? AT SIX-THIRTY, when I STILL hadn't left school because I'd been helping students until after four.

(Okay, many people from not-education maybe be saying, four? POOR BABY. Except that I'd been there, helping teenagers since before seven, with only twenty minutes where I was talking to adults during lunch. I was done. BEYOND done.)

And might I add? ONE of those students with a sudden need to talk exponents? Was the counselor's own daughter.

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*Not her real name. Not to say that it couldn't be her name, but it wasn't. No, I swear! It wasn't!

1 comment:

kimberly said...

I will never begrudge teachers the very needed time off. When I contemplate 5 classes of 30 some students (and with what, at least 3 different preps a day, 15 new preps a week?) and 30 * 5 sets of homework every (day? every two days?)- I can't imagine it. I have 3 preps a week. 3. I teach two different classes. And I still work more than the half time I get paid for. It is CRAZY what we expect from K-12 teachers.

You are a rock star and a saint all wrapped up in one.

oh- and if you find any miracle formula that makes students ask for help before the last minute- would you let me know?