Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Do It Again

8th graders. In groups they can be...well...interesting.

I was only there to cover one class period (during the prep period for the teacher I had been called to cover for the whole day). After waiting five minutes to get someone to open the classroom door to let us in (five minutes after the bell rang) the entire class was so wound up that it took a while to get them seated and settled. And there were no lesson plans to be found.

Luckily, that's when the phone rang.

The teacher told me to assign them work from chapter 9.  I repeated back, "Chapter nine". I wanted to make sure I had it right. Then I got up in front of the class and explained their assignment.

They told me that they had already done that assignment. Loudly. Repeatedly.

Okay, I must have misunderstood. I asked if they had done chapter ten. Eleven. We settled on chapter twelve, but still half the class insisted that they had done this.

At this point I should have told them to do it again. It was busy work. (This was one of those instances where the original plan went awry, and my job was to keep the class busy.) But the idea of becoming one of those subs bothers me, so instead I looked for a different solution.

I'd almost gotten them settled when their teacher showed up. I told him about the issue with chapter nine. He turned to the class and told them they needed to prove to him that they'd done it. Show their completed work to him.

(One student claimed that they had turned it in. The teacher gave that student such a scathing look!)

Turns out, they had skipped chapter nine, and now was the time that they go back to it.

That's what I get for trusting them.


  1. I'm not sure I could handle being an 8th grade teacher... *respect*

  2. I remember one of my classes kept telling me one Monday morning that I hadn't assigned them homework, and I kept saying "Are you sure? That doesn't sound like me. I must have assigned you homework!"

    It turns out they were right. I had even written myself a note saying so, but I kind of failed to look at it. Oops.

  3. Oh man. You can't trust 8th graders for anything. I wonder how many knew they hadn't done it and just didn't say anything.

  4. No No NO , JEFritz -- don't slam all 8th graders! yes, some of them are jerks, just like some adults are jerks -- but really? a lot of 8th graders are decent people trying to figure out the world. Gads! Would you ever WANT to be in 8th grade again?


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