saturday, december 16, 2006

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i'm not doing so well at this holidailie thing. this weekend is a perfect example of why -- i'm buried in grading projects (course, when break comes around, i'll have plenty of time to write, just nothing to write about!). 100 of the suckers in fact . . . times 2 since it was a 2 part project. actually, it's not that bad for the second part of the projects -- most of the idiots didn't bother to even try to turn anything in.

really, this group of kids just . . . puzzles me. they don't even bother to try. "i don't get it" (in the whiniest tone they can manage) means "please do it for me." worse, they think it will work and that the teacher will, indeed, do the work for them. many of them are second language speakers who actually do get a lot of handouts from the schools. they can fail, but they aren't supposed to go below a certain grade. the work is supposed to be easier -- which works if the child really needs it, but many of them use language as an excuse to get easier work and are stumped when they get something at a harder level, even if they should be able to do it. thing is, it's not just the esol kids going through this. i have perfectly capable english speakers who are just too damn lazy to do what they need to do. they're astounded that i don't "help" my kids with their homework by doing it for them.

this is the generation of kids that will need to fill in the holes when we have the next generation of retirements. it's already starting to happen, and it's going to be huge. we've been warned about it for some time because people can see that social security is going to collapse when it happens. and these kids are the ones that will need to take over the jobs that will come open as a result of it. but they won't be able to. they've been coddled and had their work done for them and given hand outs just so schools can say they aren't doing nearly as bad as everyone thinks. parents give them everything they want, let them see anything they want, and generally don't place limits on them at all. these kids are going to be graduating (and are doing so even now) and expecting the world to just hand them everything because that's what they've gotten all their lives. the concept of having to earn what they want isn't being taught.

teachers complain very year that the kids they are getting seem less mature than the kids the year before, and i believe this is a huge part of why. they are coddled at home, do very little in the house to help keep it running smoothly, and are given whatever they want. there are some consequences, but not enough for it to sink in that they need to be a part of a functioning, productive family and, ultimately, society.

*deep breath*

didn't mean to rant, but, yes, i'm a bit frustrated at these grades i'm giving. they were handed everything they needed to find the material, even exactly where to locate some of the information (not just on the particular website, but in the particular sections of the articles), and they still couldn't do it. in my first period of 26 kids, maybe 6 turned in the second part of the project. the rest didn't even bother to try. out of 98 kids, half a dozen didn't put their names on the first part of the project and another half dozen didn't even try to complete more than one part of it, and only 2 or 3 even tried to be creative with it at all. the grades of the creative portion of the project -- the part where i said "set it up however you want, just make sure the pieces i want are in there" -- are abysmal. so, not only do i get to be buried in grading, i get to be depressed by it.

thank god there's only one thing left to do that requires a grade: the final. i don't have very high hopes of them doing well on it either -- they got their study guide information friday, but they won't work on it over the weekend. they don't care and, unless it's handed to them, complete and on a golden platter, they don't want to care. it's not their fault they're failing; it's mine for not making it easier on them.

i will be so glad to be out of this class. my fear: they will ask me to long term when another teacher on the team has her baby later this spring because i know the kids and it's so much better for the kids to have a teacher they know. i'm trying to decide my answer just in case they do ask.

in the meantime, i better go back and dig back into the pile. got a lot of other things that need my attention this weekend as well, but the grades have got to be taken care of before anything, if possible.

word of the moment: picaresque

belonging to or characteristic of a type of prose fiction that features the adventures of a roguish hero and usually has a simple plot divided into separate episodes; relating to or characteristic of rogues or scoundrels; picaresque fiction - prose fiction featuring the adventures of a roguish hero

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