It is scary that my students think that I should not be making them do any math in social studies. Yesterday they griped because I made them do ELA. I gave them a writing prompt and five minutes to answer. Today the prompt will be even worse. It is so sad that they think every class should work independently. They think that math should only be done in math class and writing would only be done in English class. They don’t understand that EDUCATION is all about increasing their “life value”.
After 22 years of my students taking the state mandated end of the year LEAP test or an SAT test, I think I know something about what they will face this spring as they try to move on to the next level of their life. I have had so many students come back to thank me for getting them prepared for life in high school and college.
My current students don’t seem to understand. They have all been pampered, told what to do – when to do it – and how to do it - by their parents and other teachers. The school is promoted as a 'school of excellence' but as an outsider coming it; I can tell you it ISN'T! These kids can’t think on their own. What happens when they get out into the real world? My job is to make better people out of them but they don’t see that yet. I understand. I have students that if they were in a public school they would be in 'Special Ed" and they should have never been accepted here if the was a school of "EXCELLENCE".
Yesterday I had a parent conference and most of the other teachers were scared for me. They all seemed to be shaking in their boots. This parent was going to chew me up and spit me out they said. It didn’t happen. The parent was so grateful for what I have been doing. She smiled the whole time, we had a great conversation, and I really like visiting with her. Maybe it is the fact that I am not afraid of parents. I WANT to help their child do better in life and I am not going to “dumb it down for their kid”. Middle school is too short. And what's worse is that I teach Louisiana history. 8th grade is the last time any of them will have anything about out state in their educational life. The only time they will ever see more is if they go into education or became a history major. THat isn't likely. They have all been brain washed to think they will become doctors, lawyers, civil engineers, CEOs of some company, and set on several boards. Sorry, I don't see it that way.
I like her daughter for who her daughter is not for who her parents are. Sure the parent is on the school’s board, she is a very educated, very rich, very outspoken person; but with me she is just “Mary”. Everybody seems to walk on ‘eggshells’ around her but maybe it is because this is my first year here but I don’t see or hear that from her. She is just a parent who wants the best from her child.
After grading my student’s writing yesterday I can tell they will not do well on their test if their writing doesn’t improve quickly. Some write so poorly and one didn’t do anything but rewrite the question in her five minutes. Some of them did really well for a first time with their extended prompt writing. Today will be more of the same. Tomorrow will be a math project so I know they will gripe then too but they will get over it.
"But MrE, this is social studies!"