Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Science Teacher Rule #70

Students never remember that a teacher may still read a yearbook. Especially if a teacher is asked to sign a yearbook.

Me (while signing George's yearbook): George you need new friends. Your current ones are gross. They should at least spell the names of girl parts correctly.

Joe: You should see mine!

No thanks Joe, if you actually have girl parts, I don't want to see them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why teachers hate the last week of school

"Mrs. Anderson, are you good at science?"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Science Teacher Rule #78

The day you teach something a little on the edgy side, your principal will definitely come by unannounced and observe it.

Near the end of the year I teach a couple lessons on alcohol. The kids really need some sort of education on it before they head off to the high school. The National Institute of Health has some amazing science lessons on it so I pick a couple to teach. Because in all honesty, the kids are going to be drinking. My goal is to try and teach them do it less dangerously, and how to calculate if you are ok to drive. It is a life skill that most people don't have. If you don't believe me, work at a reception center for a few months and note how many wasted ADULTS stumble to their cars.

Today I focused on the principle of concentrations. It's chemistry. Promise. Cross the state standards and hope to die. I merely applied to alcohol instead of acids and bases.

After my 20 minute intro, who happens to walk in the door to see my lovely shot glass, wine glass, and beer bottle filled with red liquid? My principal? Of course! Does she ask the kid who is dumb as a rock what we're doing? Of course! Do I have any idea what he said? None! Does she come back again at the end of class to see what was supposed to be learned?

Actually, yes.

Thankfully. And she was fully supportive. Whew.

It's a good thing because I learned that kids get stupider in the very presence of alcohol containers.

"What is that?"
"Is that alcohol?"
"Can I taste it?"
"Are we going to have to take shots?"
"We're drinking alcohol today?"

You can imagine what stupidity happens when they actually drink out of them.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dear John

Dear Husband,

When I told you on our first date that I wouldn't go out with you again if you were looking for a wife, I'm glad you lied.

Happy 4th Anniversary.


P.S. I'm sure it was annoying to listen to 50 voicemails today, but my students had such a good time leaving you anniversary messages. Even if Joe and Gino's anniversary rap was completely unsuccessful.

Love you lots, both then
and now

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Science Teacher Rule # 83

Being involved in a child's education does not mean you try to bail them out of every consequence. Doing so undermines parental authority as well as teacher authority.

"Hi Mrs. Anderson, I'm Soandso Someone, Sally's mom. I'm calling about the no stamp she received today for not having her daily warmups out. I understand the need to have kids get in class and get started but Sandtrap* for it, really? I'd like you to give me a call back at 555-hover."

*20min afterschool study hall, part of the school wide academic preparedness program.

Positive #1

You actually contacted the teacher instead of calling the principal directly. This puts you above several parents on the reasonable scale.

Problem #1

You called approximately two hours after the incident, which means there is a 90% that your child used her cell phone during the school day and you supported it

Problem #2

The alacrity of your child's and your response means that this is probably not the first time Sally has called expecting a bailout. You are building a pattern.

Problem #3

Your child receives a "get a free yes stamp" every month the entire school year. They can be amassed and 3 bonuses issued for every "perfect" nine weeks. The fact that she has none left means she is not the perfect angel you assume she is, despite her excellent grades and for the most part, excellent behavior.

Problem #4

You honestly think it is unreasonable for your daughter to spend 20 minutes afterschool quietly doing her homework? You feel this is an illogical consequence considering your daughter spent the first ten minutes of class talking to her lab partner? Is 20 minutes more work than what she would do at home?

Problem #5

Even if you disagree with the consequence, every other student had the same equal consequence. Your call implies you want special treatment, despite the fact that this classroom expectation was clearly and specifically stated on the board and that the same routine HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE AUGUST!

Problem #6

You would like to be called back. For what purpose? You have voiced your disagreement. It has been duly noted. What do you wish to accomplish? She has now served her 20 minutes, and I'm fairly certain she lived.

Problem #7

You may feel like championing your child is the best choice in all cases. However, you will teach your child more by supporting her teachers. Even if it sounds like a teacher is out of line, support the teacher to your kids. Odds are there is more to the story than your teenager is telling you. At the very least, you are teaching them to respect authority figures. That will pay off in the end, because you, as a parent are an authority figure.

There will come a point where your child is going to have to learn that choices have consequences. Sometimes unfair consequences. Unfair consequences happen all the time in real life. Just because you disagree with a law doesn't mean you don't have to follow it.

Rescuing kids from every little teeny issue does not help them.

p.s. Not trying to be too judgemental, but a few months ago when I asked Sally if she received any fun presents for her birthday, she replied in a disappointed tone and an eye roll, "Just a quad." I know, I'm always disappointed to get my very own recreational vehicle. It's just so boring.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's really important

As the school year is coming to a close (17 days!) I find less and less motivation. A girl volunteered to get my board ready, write the warm up questions, what goes in your planner, etc. Less work for me =happy. With that comes the privilege of deciding what students need for their stamp. She decided that in honor of teacher appreciation day, everyone should give me a compliment.

Out of 28 kids, I received 24 compliments on my appearance (teeth, hair, etc.), one on my taste in music, one blank look, and only two compliments on my teaching. Two.

Thus reinforcing my belief that no one actually listens to a word I say.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Science Teacher Rule #27

Teachers can sense lies.

Sammy has a small lying problem. He has figured out that I can see through his c-r-a-p (which kids think is an acronym when I spell it to them). He likes to lie anyway as a little bit of a joke because we both know it's crap. In keeping with our repoire, I told him the following:

Me:"You know Sammy, every time you lie a baby bird dies."

Boy in the front row truly sincere: "Is that like a fact or did you just make that up?"

No lie.

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