Thursday, January 3, 2019

Bad Choices

We are currently on winter break. But I had a few left over posts from the last couple weeks, so I thought I'd share.

"Martin, don't stick a fork in the outlet."

Martin: "It wasn't a fork. It was a pair of scissors."

Biology. Mostly students who do their work. But Mr. V had warned me that his fifth period was "special". The last time he had had a sub, the scissors incident happened.

The rest of the class had a vested interest in Martin being a good citizen. Apparently the consequences of his deed were shared by the class in general.

Martin, wisely, chose to sit in the middle of the room, away from the walls and outlets.

It was while walking the room that I got a chance to check in with Martin. He wanted me to know that he hadn't stuck the scissors in the outlet. He just stuck them around the outside.

When I questioned him as to why, he told me he had been bored.

Bored? He had an assignment.

This is when he admitted to having a 36% in the class. He turned in no work. (That he isn't at a full zero is all due to classroom participation points.)

Martin lamented that he'd have to take summer school to make up for the semester. It's a four-hour class. He's not looking forward to it.

I can't help but think he probably should have considered this way earlier in the semester. And perhaps, I don't know, actually do and turn in his classwork. Perhaps then he wouldn't be so bored that he'd entertain himself by sticking a pair of scissors in an electrical outlet (or around the outside--whatever).


  1. These kids! Sooner or later you hope the consequences they have to do will make them want to get the work done in class when it is supposed to be done. I wouldn't relish a 4 hour summer school class!


  2. I had to tune in for the scissors story. :)

    And I recall having to give the "decisions have consequences, and sometimes, those consequences look like summer school" talk quite frequently. To which the kids always responded well. Naturally.

    Hope you're enjoying your winter break!

  3. I'm wondering how Martin's going to make it in life, if he's already bored. What a waste. Still he had a great come back when you told him to stop poking the fork into the outlet. He might consider stand-up.

  4. Some people don't learn consequences until they stick the scissors in the outlet.

  5. I thought most kids had scissors and outlets figured out by the time they are three. But maybe "Martin" was too bored even then. This is a kiddo I'd be curious to know more about, actually. In a way, he intrigues me. I wonder how he is outside of school, if there is an activity that he can really get into and how he behaves in that activity. I hope it isn't too late for him.

    1. That's a good question. That he's in a biology class (as opposed to earth science) means that he wasn't doing nothing in middle school. And he didn't seem stupid. Perhaps he has something going on in his life. Or, perhaps he hit the bad year. (Every kid has one bad year, where the hormones take over and they do a lot of stupid stuff. My year was 6th grade.)

  6. Scissors and outlets re not a good mix.

    Some kids, it's just a maturity thing. After a summer in school making up work they should have done before, they come to the realization that school matters.

    1. Hopefully. I can see that being a wake up call for him. Then again, some decide that it's hopeless and keep going down that path. It's a choice. I have no idea if I'll see which one he makes.

  7. Sadly, many of these kids will never get it and that really is a loss.

  8. I hope Martin makes it after adolescence.


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