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Teachers Deserve To Be Millionaires

, , , , , , , | Learning | June 14, 2020

Here are some of the reasons I had to quit teaching. I was a pre-K teacher in an urban school. Kudos to those who are still sticking it out!

Parent: “I don’t discipline my child.”

Her child constantly attacked his classmates and would not follow directions. He ended up head-butting me in the face. I legit celebrated when I got back from sick leave to hear he had been pulled.

Another incident:

After writing out a child’s name on my welcome board, a parent screams at me that the M in the middle of the name should be capitalized.

The name was given to me in all caps.

Another incident:

Principal: “You need to get all of your kids to [end of kindergarten assessment level] by the end of the year!”

Me: “Uh, they are coming to me at a deficit and I only expect half of them to be testing at a kindergarten-ready level.”

I explain the rest of the assessment tool.

Principal: “All of them should be at the highest level of the assessment;why else would they include it?”

The principal repeated this idiocy for months and didn’t seem to understand rubrics. Then, she proceeded to give my team the least amount of planning time, refused to alter her own weekly training schedule, refused to give us substitutes to assess our kids, and still insisted the kids should test at end-of-kindergarten levels.

Another incident:

I have to chase one child who has run away from me on the playground and drag him back before he runs into the street. A white lady dragging a screaming African-American kid is NOT A GOOD LOOK.

Another incident:

One of my student’s personalities flips in January; he destroys my room once a week and I have to teach in the hallway while other teachers have to calm him down.

He later proceeds to trip my paraeducator, who falls and cracks her pelvis. That is the only time I’ve ever seen a pre-kindergartener suspended.

In the last week of school, I told his dad he might need some father-son time. Dad got the hint and didn’t bring him back.

Another incident:

I taught twenty-one four-year-olds by myself for a year since my paraeducator had to teach third grade, because teachers kept quitting.

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Explaining Himself In Excruciating Detail

, , , , , , | Learning | May 26, 2020

I am a math teacher at an elementary school. In the late 1980s, I had this one fourth-grader who was very brilliant but sometimes took directions a little too literally. One day, I had the class do a special math problem together after the lesson, where they not only had to show their work as usual but also provide a written explanation on the back of the worksheet detailing the purpose of each step taken to solve the problem.

While the class was working, I noticed that the brilliant kid took a little longer to solve the problem than usual. When he turned it in at the end of class, I saw why.

He had written an overly-detailed explanation explaining literally everything he had done. It was so long and detailed that he actually took up not only the whole backside of the worksheet — most students needed only little more than half — but also about a dozen lines on a sheet of notebook paper.

I laughed to myself and gave him a four — the highest score possible — because he had solved the problem correctly and, while very long, his explanation was ”technically” correct. I told him that the next time I gave him a similar problem, he only needed to explain the solution the same way that his math book explained how to solve example problems.

It’s been over thirty years, and he has since graduated from a nearby Ivy League college and gotten a career in statistics. His son now attends my school and will be in my class for the 2020-21 school year.

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Their Pronunciation Accuracy Is Low

, , , , | Learning | April 22, 2020

I’m a fourth-grade teacher.

Student: “How do you spell ‘muscle odor’?”

Me: “Sorry, what?”

Student: “Muscle odor.”

Me: “Um, what does that mean?”

Student: “It’s a kind of a gun.”

Me: “Oh. M-U-Z-Z-L-E-L-O-A-D-E-R.”

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Overachieving Isn’t Always The Answer

, , , , | Learning | April 21, 2020

This happens when I am in third grade, nine years old, and getting the second report card of the school year. The teacher hands them out at the end of the school day, but my mother and I see her at my dance studio that night.

Me: “Ms. [Teacher]? Why did I get a bad grade in reading?”

Teacher: “You didn’t take any of your reading quizzes. You need to read a book every month.”

Mom: “You know her. You know she’s read more books than any other student in your class. What are these reading quizzes you’re talking about?”

Teacher: “The ones on the computer. It generates a report automatically, grading each test and averaging them out with what I put in for your grade.”

Me: “You mean I have to do more? But I already have all my points. Twelve books, twelve quizzes.”

Teacher: “Wait… You already did them all? When?”

Me: “The first month of school.”

By taking every quiz I needed to in the first semester, the software was setting me up with zeros for the rest of the year. They changed it immediately to be one book a month rather than the ten books a year the syllabus had stated.

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