Friday, May 5, 2017

Freshman Time Management


9th grade English. They had a writing assignment. They had started it the previous day, and it was due by the end of the period.

This made for an easy day for me. They picked up their computers. Logged on. And worked silently.

Until 4th period.

Kevin and I met in a math class. It was one of those math classes I haven't written about, because I basically spent those days trying to stay awake. The good classes. But Kevin... He wasn't so good.

He wasn't awful. He just engaged in the usual avoiding of the work. I'd pass by his desk. He wouldn't have done any work. I'd ask. He'd say he understood the assignment and that he'd get it done. But by the end of the period there was no work on his paper. And there had been way too much laughter going with him and his group.

So, when I noticed him doing nothing except for flirting with the girl seated behind him (and playing with his spinner), I reminded him that his essay was due. He should get cracking.

Kevin informed me that he was almost done. He'd get it completely finished, no problem. Just... later...

Right. Sure.

The class was mostly silent, so I got busy trying to stay awake. Although, I watched Kevin. Doing nothing. Not getting that last little bit done.

Towards the end of the period I was drawn back over to Kevin's vicinity for something not Kevin related. I mentioned to another student that there were only ten minutes left in the period...

If I didn't know any better, I'd've said Kevin looked freaked. But I know he wasn't. He couldn't have been. He had it all under control, right?

There was something gratifying about knowing that there was no way Kevin was going to be able to make that assignment up. (I made sure to mention how he did a whole lot of nothing in the note.)

Why they just don't start the assignment at the beginning of the period and goof off after they finish is beyond me.

25 comments:

  1. You would think by the time they are in 9th grade that they would realize the importance of getting the work done and then having the time to goof off, but I guess it takes some a little longer to learn that lesson.

    betty

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  2. Oh Kevin! Better to get the project done then to sit and do nothing. Time would go faster if you did your work.

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    Replies
    1. I can't tell you how many times I've made this argument. They don't listen.

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    2. Because they are teens and they know all.

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  3. My boyfriend has been a high school teacher for many years, and he always complains about the 9th graders not being prepared, wasting time, not understanding that they actually need to do their work.

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    1. Yup. They're still middle schoolers in many ways. That's my trick for dealing with 9th graders--I treat them the way I treat middle schoolers.

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  4. I'll admit, I have a slight tendency towards procrastination, but I'm pretty good about getting the important stuff done and it's the less important things that I procrastinate. I figure it's a matter of picking your battles.

    Sounds like Kevin's got a way to go in learning to pick his battles.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yeah. Especially when he's in class and he fritters away his time.

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  5. Some people just can't manage to get started. Maybe he really thought he'd have the time or he's got problems with procrastination. Maybe he'll learn a lesson from it. Or maybe not.

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  6. Once again I just have to commend you for the job you do!

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    1. In this case, there was more for me to do. I just wish I had a (figurative) whip.

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  7. I agree with Paula! As for me, I was all about getting it done and reading my book afterward. ~grin~ I used to do assignments during the lesson about them. I don't remember any teacher ever complaining.

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    1. I tried to tell him that once he got his work done, I would leave him alone... Well, on this day there was another assignment after, but I wouldn't have been so concerned. (I didn't go after the students who finished who were doing other things.)

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  8. Never understood that mindset. I've always considered 'I'm going to wait til the very end' as being this Damocles sword over my head. Can't function that way, personally.

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    1. Neither can I. He's just playing around now. Sigh.

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  9. I guess it's like a game to him. He must know there's repercussions to not doing the work but he's acting like he doesn't care? Whatever, it'll come back to bite him. I remember someone at college who used to do home-based essays (to be handed in) in the lunchtime before they were due!

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  10. That would drive me crazy, but you can't do the work for them and you can't tell them to get started every five minutes, so he'll just have to face the consequences.

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  11. I recall not using time wisely. But I still have my short coming in time mangement.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Not like this. I know for sure not like this.

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  12. Procrastination is a funny bugger. I was just pondering yesterday how I write when I have a deadline. Otherwise I find 100 other things I need to - things that can't possibly wait until I've finished what I'm working on.

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    1. I think we all do that to a certain extent. So, keep that in mind when I say this kiddo was wasting time...

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  13. I'm a total procrastinator but if I have a set time period where there's nothing else I can do I don't get putting it off like that. Ah well. Hopefully he'll grow out of that part of it at least.

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  14. Procrastination helps people like Kevin get things done. Like flirting. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah with the flirting. But apparently this is his default setting--see tomorrow's (May 12th's) post.

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