Friday, March 30, 2018

Too Fast


Friday. Middle school. Fundamentals of engineering.

Their assignment was to sketch out an alphabet that looked roughly like this:


I projected the alphabet on a screen at the front of the room. But I could only get two to three rows on screen at the same time, so periodically I'd have to scroll.

About half the class was diligently working. The other half of the class was playing. (This is typical in middle school electives. This is typical in middle school required subjects, too.)

At about the middle of the room, there were two girls who were all about the games. They started off by finishing off their lunch. (The diligent workers confirmed that they weren't allowed to eat in class.) Then they were gossiping, checking out their phones, chatting with the others in class, and pretty much doing things that were not on task.

But they remained in their seats, so while I kept an eye on them, I didn't do much more than periodically remind them that they had an assignment.

As the workers finished up the first row of letters (after like 20 minutes), I moved the screen up...

"Hey, wait. I wasn't done yet."

One of the girls wanted me to move the letters back. She had only finished the "A". She told me I was moving too fast.

Hmmm... So, scroll back so the goofing off girl can get caught up. Or keep things moving forward for all the students that were making progress. Difficult decision...

When I wouldn't move the letters back, the girl asked if she could go to the library to print out a copy of what she needed.

(The letters were on the teacher's website. Those who had phones could access the example that way. The teacher didn't trust them with Chromebooks when she wasn't in the room. After seeing the classes, I completely understand why.)

She returned without the hard copy. The library was "too crowded" and she couldn't get access. Her friend then decided to try... And also returned without a hard copy.

Now, they could have worked ahead. So what if they missed A-D? They could still continue with the other letters on the screen instead of wasting their time...

Oh, what am I saying? It was all about wasting their time.

I went ahead and signed up for the A to Z Challenge starting April 1st. (I'm #514 on the sign up list as I write this.) Not that anything is really going to change. You'll just notice how each day goes one further in the alphabet.

And... Happy birthday, Chris. (Feel free to wish my little brother a happy birthday :)

17 comments:

  1. In my high school (one specializing in science - why I was there is a long story) we had a required class in what was called STL - science techniques lab - and I remember those letters. P.S. I hated that class but I was exposed to mechanical drawing, wood and metal working, and soldering - not the most likely education for a girl in the late 1960's). Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. I can guess which school yu wnet to and why, Alana. those classes must have been interesting. for the most part I had basic science classes, but in 9th grade I had a teacher who was a bit on the wierd side. We didn't do those letters, but we did a whole lot of stuff that was not typical for junior high or high school.

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    2. That sounds fascinating. I would have loved a school like that. I bet you have some great stories.

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  2. Middle school kids sure know how to waste time, and how to rationalize things when they can't (or won't) do thier work. I could tell you a few about a child I knew...she's an adult now, and somewhere along the line she found her common sense. but she gave me more than a few "moments" when she was growing up.

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    1. Yeah, there's always a "reason". But they do grow up. I've been subbing long enough to have had them at this age and then older. The differences are remarkable.

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  3. Geez, that assignment looks so easy. If they hadn't been goofing off they would have been done in five minutes!

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  4. Teens are the best at wasting time....oops I say that as I sit here on FB and Blogging...haha

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    1. Yeah, but you were not at work at the time. They're wasting time when they're at school. Big difference.

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  5. Yeah, tough choice. ~snort~ Happy Birthday to Chris! I hope it's a fun day for him.

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  6. Some days they just make you sigh. lol Happy birthday to your brother!

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  7. lol. The assignment seems a little pointless to me anyway, but maybe I just don't get it?

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    1. The commentor who had had a science high school background said she had done them. It was an engineering class. I guess this is something engineering students do.

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