A Uniform Response, Part 4

, , | Learning | October 12, 2020

My kid’s school tells the students they are not allowed to take off sweaters and blazers on the way home, no matter the heat.

Me: “Why is this the rule?”

School: “Because  whilst in uniform they are representing the school.”

One day my son is set upon by several of his peers to steal his watch. Fortunately, my friend sees and lets me know. I go out there and read the riot act, get his watch back and complain to the school.

School: “We have no jurisdiction, as they are off school property and out of school hours.”

Me: “They were seen, by a friend whose son is about to start at the high school in a few months. If you have no control over these kids’ behaviour my son is going to remove his blazer, sweater, and tie for his two-mile walk home the second he leaves school property. You can’t have it both ways.”

My son didn’t wear his uniform home for the rest of the summer.

A Uniform Response, Part 3

A Uniform Response, Part 2
A Uniform Response

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That Crosses A Line

, , , , , , , | Learning | October 9, 2020

My friends and I go to a very conservative religious school. We are huge fans of a comic book series about the survivors of a health crisis — Garth Ennis’ “Crossed” — which causes its victims to develop a cross-shaped rash across their face and act out their most depraved, violent fantasies. One of the characters is a large man who uses part of a horse as a weapon and has a particularly crude battle cry.

Halfway through the term, I fracture my nose playing rugby and have to have it in a cast for eight weeks. As a result, I come in for a lot of ribbing and, when the cast is removed, I have a — you guessed it — distinct cross-shaped rash across my face.

On my first day back at school, [Friend #1] starts laughing so hard he can barely stand.

Friend #1: “Oh, my God, you look like you’ve been crossed!”

[Friend #2] runs up, leaps into the air, and thwacks me on the head.

Friend #2: *Screaming* “Horsec**k!”

That is when we hear somebody clear their throat and turn to see the school’s principal, chaplain, vice-principal, several parents, and a visiting archbishop looking on, aghast.

The archbishop pats me on the shoulder.

Archbishop: “Well, aren’t you a lucky chap, then. I’m sure you’ll make all the girls very happy.”

We all got detention.

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Brace(let) Yourselves For An Angry Ending, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | September 29, 2020

I’m at the front desk at my school fair where people buy tickets for activities, helping out to get service hours needed to graduate. When you buy tickets, your child/children automatically get a bracelet so they can play the Wheel of Fortune. It is one bracelet per child, and you can only play once. A boy, about ten or eleven, comes up with his newly-purchased tickets.

Boy: “I’d like a bracelet, please.”

Me: “Sure, what color would you like? We have red, blue, green, and yellow.”

Boy: “I’ll have blue, please.”

I attach his blue bracelet and he is on his way. After this, it gets incredibly busy and we are rushing to give bracelets and change. The boy returns to the counter and he looks vaguely familiar, but at this point, I’ve seen probably 150 children in thirty minutes.

Boy: “Could I have a bracelet, please?”

Me: “Have you had one already? I’m sorry, I don’t remember if I’ve seen you already.”

Boy: “No, I haven’t had one yet, but my brother did.”

Me: “All right, pick a color.”

He picks a color and I put it on him before he runs off again. I make note of his face and clothes in case he returns again. Sure enough, ten minutes later, he’s back.

Boy: “I’d like a bracelet, please.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t give you one; I remember you from earlier. In fact, I think I already gave you two.”

Boy: “No! I haven’t had one yet! Give me a bracelet!”

Me: “Could you go get your parent, please? I’d like to confirm with them; I don’t want to make any mistakes.”

He leaves again and comes back with one of his parents. It’s important to note that parents and kids can’t see the boxes of bracelets since they’re under the table with a table cloth over it, covering the front.

Parent: “What seems to be the issue? My son told me you’re refusing to give him a bracelet. They come free with the tickets, right?”

Me: “Yes, they do, but they are limited to one per child. I could be wrong, but I think I remember your child coming by once, if not twice already.”

Parent: *Now angry* “He hasn’t had his bracelet yet! How dare you accuse my child of lying?! Now give him a yellow bracelet or I’ll report you to administration!”

Me: “Sir, there are other families around, so I need you to keep your voice down. I cannot give your child another bracelet since you’ve just proved to me that he’s had one already. The bracelets are under the table so you have no way of knowing what colors we have available right now. And if I may add, next time you try to trick us, throw away the previous bracelets. I can see them sticking out of the pocket of your coat.”

He turned bright red and spluttered incoherent sounds before grabbing his child and speed-walking away. Our “manager” congratulated me for standing my ground and gave me a free drink from the concessions stand, as well as bonus service hours.

Brace(let) Yourselves For An Angry Ending

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Distance Learning Isn’t The Problem Here

, , , , , | Learning | September 25, 2020

Recently, I started student-teaching an early-level math class for online instruction due to the health crisis. I’ve seen difficult students in the past, but coming into this school really shocked me. Here are a few of the most memorable stories.

I assigned some math problems for the students to do for homework in their textbook. It was something like numbers 19-26 and 30-35. The next day, I came into school and checked all of the online submissions. About half of the class only completed 19, 26, 30, and 35 because apparently the dash in the middle means nothing! Then, after we went over the answers in class, which I specifically mentioned that the dash means that you have to do all of the numbers in between, several students submitted late work with the exact same problem.

During one of my classes, only one student showed up in the online classroom early or on time. Every other student was at least seven minutes late, if they even decided to show up at all. So, to reward the one student, we told him to only do the odd problems — half — of the homework assignment while everyone else had to complete all the problems. The next day, I checked this student’s work and he completed the evens.

This one takes the cake in my mind. I assigned ten questions for homework. The ten questions all fit on the first page of a PDF file. On the second page of the PDF were the exact same ten questions with the solution, written in red, directly underneath the problem. The goal was to get the students to show their work and then check their answers. An hour after the homework was given, I got an email:

“Hello, [My Name]: I see that we actually have twenty problems to do for homework and I’m wondering if we have to do them all. I’m really unsure if my answers are correct.”

This baffled me! This student actually had to go through the second page to count all of the problems in order to find out that there were twenty total questions in the PDF! During this time, she didn’t once realize that they were the exact same questions?! Or even that there were answers written in bright red?!

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Hopefully You Have Some Fava Beans And A Nice Chianti At Home

, , , , , | Learning | September 23, 2020

My history teacher is discussing the importance of farming in society.

Teacher: “What do you think you would do if all the grocery stores closed down?”

Without missing a beat:

Student: “Eat each other!”

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