Friday, November 16, 2012

Just a Word Search

The last day of the quarter was a minimum day. It was also day two of a two-day assignment. The previous day, the algebra 2 class had a decent sized assignment. Friday's assignment was to finish Thursday's assignment, and then they could work on work from another class or do a word search.

A kick-back day.

1st period. They were so excited to get to do a word search. They dove right in. (A few did do work for other classes. These were the academically inclined, so getting them to do something wasn't hard.)

I wasn't too concerned with the word search. I collected it, but I expect that the teacher won't be giving them points for it. I'm pretty sure they knew this as well, as I got maybe five of them turned in.

But there was one boy who suddenly had to finish the word search. If I was collecting it, he had to do it. And he had to finish it before anybody else.

He didn't. The end of the period hit, and he hadn't finished that word search. I explained that it wasn't a big deal. He got the actual bookwork done from Thursday, so not finishing the word search wasn't going to impact anything. It was just a word search.

But this bothered him. Why couldn't he complete a word search that his classmates hadn't had any trouble with? Why was it so hard for him?

I tried to calm him. This wasn't important.

The boy returned before 5th period. He wanted to turn in the word search. He managed to complete it by then. Still, he was frustrated that it took him so long to do. Again, I tried to calm him. I accepted the paper, and he left.

A word search is not a stress-inducing assignment. At least, it shouldn't be.


  1. Maybe it wasn't so much the assignment that caused the stress, but the boy's realization that he was having difficulty completing something that others did easily. That could lead him to question...why am I different? Which is a whole 'nother can of worms.

  2. Some people get worked up about the weirdest things. I guess he had to prove to himself that he could do it.


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