Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 Things Students Do (That Drive Me Insane)

Write on my whiteboard
It seems that the moment a dry erase marker is left unattended someone feels the compelling urge to document who is their best friend on my whiteboard. Is it genetic? I suspect a correlation between whiteboard graffiti and children who get immunization shots. How's that for a possible case study?

After missing a day of class, ask “Did we do anything while I was out?”
We actually spent the day coloring you a get well card. Did it arrive yet?

Slam Books on the Floor
When I ask kids to clear their desks, I generally get three types of responses. A minority of students calmly take their belongings and place them beside their chairs. Well done. Another third of the class flings their things, with a wide sweeping motion of their arm, across the floor around them. It’s sloppy, but I can deal with it. It’s the remaining students that drive me nuts. Upon hearing my command to remove their belongings, the proceed to take their textbook (weighing no less than 18 pounds, or so it would seem) and hold it about shoulder height like a waiter carrying a tray. Then with a swiftness of hand, allow the book to fall flat to the ground. The sound of textbook-on-tile is the teacher equivalent to a mortar going off on a battlefield. Flashbacks after retirement are inevitable.

Ask to use the Bathroom at the Most Inconvenient Times
Let me illustrate this one with a fictional story (fictional only in the sense that the names and lesson are imagined – this scenario happens daily).

The teacher looked out at her students. “Time to practice math facts!” As she began calling out numbers, students’ hands shot into the air.
“Six times five,” called the teacher. “Go ahead, Jimmy.”
“Thirty.”
“Nice job. Three times three,” continued the teacher. “Katelyn?”
“Nine.”
“Good! How about eight times four?”
Josh raised his hand. “Is it forty?”
“Incorrect, Josh,” replied the teacher. “Who can help him out?”
Sam raised his hand.
“Yes, Sam?” asked the teacher, point at his outstretched arm.
“Can I go to the bathroom?”

Nothing brings a lesson to a screeching halt like learning of a student's need to urinate.

Sit in My Chair
When did it become okay to sit at the teacher’s desk? When I was in school I just assumed teachers lived in their classrooms. Sitting at their desk would be the same as inviting myself to their house for coffee and dessert. My chair is not community butt space. Stay out of it.


Save to delicious Saved by 0 users
Digg Technorati StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

6 Responses:

Steve Olivo said...

I would also add sharpening a pencil when someone is talking, leaving little notebook paper frilly things on the desk, and asking, "is there any homework?" seconds after announcing it.

Martha said...

These are hilarious, and so true!

Heather said...

Totally agree with "Did I miss anything?" especially when the calendar's right there in front of them! Every year I tell myself I'm going to run copies of this poem and simply hand them out whenever I'm asked that question:

http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/013.html

Denise said...

In college, they still ask "I wasn't here Monday. Did I miss anything?" I've actually added a statement to my syllabus strictly prohibiting that question and I explain why they should never ask it on the first day of class.

Erin said...

Oh, yes. These are all still true in high school. ;)
I actually have a rule about keeping the aisles clear, which I have to remind them of constantly.

Tracy Rosen said...

Oh yes, those all ring true. I teach kids that if they need to use the facilities they should put their hand up with only 2 fingers showing (like a peace sign) (and no, it's not 1 finger for #1 and 2 for #2 ;)). That way I know their needs and can dismiss them quietly without the whole class needing to be interrupted with the announcement.