Friday, August 23, 2013

Missing the Point

It was Friday at the continuation high school. They had the usual assignment--finish any unfinished work from the week. Ms. M. gave me a list of students who had work to complete. They had been reading The Crucible, and they had a packet of questions that were due.

I read the list of non-turned-in-ers to period one.

"Oh no! I turned it in!"

It took only a cursory glance through his folder for Michael to locate the packet. He immediately turned it in. A bit later, I got to glance over his assignment.
Directions: Write in complete sentences that reflect the questions.
2. What is the setting of The Crucible?
     Salem, MA in 1692
3. Why does Parris question his niece about her job with the Proctors?
     Parris wants to know why his niece was fred*.
The teacher had written "correct and return" in red at the top of the paper. She also circled "complete sentences" and "reflect the questions". So, while his answers were technically correct, they weren't put into the correct format.

Once I saw the problem, I pointed it out. "You might want to fix this."

"I don't need to."

He seemed to think Ms. M. would accept the assignment as is. After she returned it to him, telling him to fix it.

Um, okay...

*Note: "fred" is copied directly from Michael's paper. I looked for an "i" somewhere in there, but no. I'm pretty sure he meant fired, though.


  1. I don't remember Abigail being fred in the play, but maybe it was in the movie version ;).

  2. Apparently he missed the part about writing in complete sentences.

  3. I'd want to know why my niece was fred, too.

    Honestly, this is kind of sad. Five years from now, this kid isn't going to need to know the setting of The Crucible, but he will have to know how to follow directions.

    VR Barkowski

  4. *palm to forehead* These kids! Well, that's a much more forgiving teacher than I am.


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