Thursday, November 17, 2016

Can't Follow Directions


Freshman English. It was an honors class (read: advanced). The teacher left them an article to read and annotate. There were questions to go along with it. Standard fare, really.

In the lesson plan, though, the teacher made an interesting note. She said that the kiddos were having trouble following directions, thereby making more work for her. So, she had typed out the instructions for the class, copied it, and I was to distribute these copies to each student.

Okay, easy enough.

Fifth period. I passed out the articles. I explained what they had to do. I passed out the instructions. And still...

"Wait, are we allowed to write on these?"

"Why do I have extra paper?"

"When is this due?"

They did eventually get to work. No behavior issues. They worked quietly. And then at the end of the period, I called for their work.

The instructions clearly stated that they were to staple their questions on top of their articles. Yet, half the papers turned in had them stapled the other way around.

*shakes head*

Lest you think I'm being nit-picky, just keep in mind that that was not the only thing they missed in the instructions. That were printed out for them. And that I went over. (And they were listening. The room was quiet while I explained things.)

Please don't tell me the now-freshmen are going to be like this their entire high school careers. (Don't tell me, but I have a feeling this might be a quirk of their class.) 

26 comments:

  1. Eventually not following instructions will yield a really bad result and they will learn.

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  2. Oh..I am not surprised. Just about every adult I see, I hand them information to follow...which they rarely do and most never read a thing. You should hand out that "instruction page" I got when i was in class. It said to read everything first before doing anything. At the very end, it simply said, don't do any of the above questions, simply sign your name. I did not read it and I proceeded to do what most kids did. From then on, I read everything first.

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    1. I did one of those. I was the first one "done". Everyone else did the strange things on the sheet, while I sat back and watched.

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  3. I am not at all surprised!! Too many young ones (and many of us old ones) cannot follow directions!!

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    Replies
    1. True. I just didn't expect that in an advanced class.

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  4. I wonder what about this particular class makes it so hard for them to listen to directions. I guess honors doesn't teach them to listen better :)

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  5. Sounds like they weren't paying attention lol!

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    1. You'd think, right? But I had their attention while I explained things. Eyes and ears.

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  6. You would think by 9th grade they would be better following instructions, wouldn't you?

    betty

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  7. Following directions will be an issue with most of them the rest of their lives, esp. if they are boys.

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  8. As a detail-oriented person, I cannot comprehend students or adults who have such a hard time with following instructions. When I was in school, I read through all the instructions before starting and double-checked everything after I was finished with the assignment. I guess it's a brain thing, some people are just wired differently.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, some people are just wired differently.

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  9. I hope this is just a phase they grow out of. I had to learn to follow directions carefully--if you don't you're liable to get wrong answers!

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  10. Boy, that brings back memories. Both of being a student, and teaching them. :)

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  11. Wonder how the students grades will be affected by their "misunderstanding"?

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    1. That will be interesting. The teacher sounded frustrated with them, so at some point soon she's going to dock them for things like that.

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  12. I think kid's brains are being affected by too much technology. They seem to have the attention span of a gnat.

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    Replies
    1. I know. Some of them just don't function without their screens.

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  13. Youth very often means that rule doesn't apply to me.

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    1. In any other class I'd agree with you. But these kiddos are the ones that follow the rules. Work quietly when asked to. (Seriously, I had silence for much of the class.) And behave. That's why this was so weird.

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  14. Maybe they'e just kind of distracted with the holidays coming up.

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    Replies
    1. No, I don't think that's it. It seems like this is SOP for them.

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