Friday, March 25, 2016

Busy Work


Economics. 12th grade. Written on the board, they had a huge list for their assignment. But, each item on that list was only a question or two. So, not a terribly bad assignment. Not even all that long, really.

They groaned a bit when they saw it, but it didn't take them that long to settle to silence. And most finished easily before the end of the period.

It was a normal Friday. By that, I mean that there were a lot of teachers out. There were so many absent teachers that the district was unable to get subs for them all. Five teachers at that school didn't have their very own subs for the day. Including the teacher for this class. I was covering this period as it was the prep period of the teacher I had been called in to cover.

This teacher had called out Friday morning. And he did what many teachers do when they call out at the last minute. He made sure his classes were busy while he had a sub.

This is a good thing. Students with nothing to do tend to get into mischief. (Although, I doubt this group would have been a problem.)

But... Sometimes it's pretty clear that the assignment is just something assigned to keep them busy. And by senior year, the students are pretty adept at recognizing assignments as such.

I got one paper back titled "Busy Work". I had to laugh. It was true.

19 comments:

  1. That kid called it.
    Have a great Easter!

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  2. LOL My daughter, Hannah, hates days like that in class. If she doesn't learn something that period, she considers it a wasted period. She's like "She better have had a good reason not to be there today!"
    Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

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  3. Busy work is good for them. There is always something to learn. Even from busy work. I have had jobs where busy work was the act for the day! Have a Happy Easter, Liz.

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  4. I remember that back in Grammar School our school could not find maths and physics teachers for half a year, so we didn't even have those two subjects for a whole term :) Not that we complained, since I went to language school.

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  5. Economics busy work, how terribly boring. I can't believe that there were so many teachers out that they didn't have enough subs. Was there something going on?

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  6. What is that saying about idle hands? that they are the devil's workshop (actually I just saw that was a proverb in the Bible when I looked it up),but so true; just like hearing silence when children are playing is a sign of trouble, having too much time with no work in a class can cause trouble indeed!

    betty

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  7. I hated busy work when we had a sub.

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    1. Most kids do. And they take it out on us.

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  8. Smart student. Subs my own kids had in H.S. always had a video to show. And busy work.

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    1. Oh, and some of those videos are dreary.

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  9. I think keeping them buy is a good thing.

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  10. I HATE leaving Busywork! Because my subject has a practical nature, I leave two lesson plans, the one I want them to do (practical, that relates to what they are doing), and the busywork option in case the sub refuses to do the practical lesson :(

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    1. I prefer practical lesson plans in practical classes. They're used to doing stuff, not bookwork, so it helps keep them focused and on task.

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  11. Depending on the group and the teacher,I would sometimes let the kids tell me all about themselves and their philosophies of life rather than do that crappola filling in. I always found the kids interesting and entertaining and of course teenagers like nothing better than talking about themselves.

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    1. I've never been good with leading discussions like that. I prefer to let them talk amongst themselves and listen in. And sometimes the busy work is something the teacher actually needs them to complete (or so I'm told), so I never want to usurp the assignment.

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  12. LOL at the Busy Work. I remember getting those. Crazy so many teachers were out on one day!

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