Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quotes of the Day

Quote of the Day The First:
"You know, I've heard people say, 'If you can only reach one, it's worth it.'
Unfortunately, that's just not true. I've had several people tell me that it's just the particular school I'm in that's the problem, and to not let it discourage me. Too late. It's just not worth dealing with the 10 apathetic and the 3 outright demonic students I have for every decent student."
Quote of the Day The Second:
A very good math teacher (VGT) who used to work at our school reported this quote of the day exchange to another teacher here yesterday:
VGT: "Time to knock that off; we have work to get done today."
VBS: "Just shut up! You're a fuckin' ho'!"
VGT: "What did you just say?" (This is often a mistake)
VBS: "You heard what I said. I said 'you're a fuckin' ho.'"
Good thing he cleared that up, huh?

6 comments:

Brandon said...

This is primarily why I changed my major from secondary education. I just don't see how you guys tolerate some of the animals that pass for students these days, but I honor you for your fortitude.

Brad K. said...

Maintaining respect and discipline in the classroom is the teacher's primary responsibility. I understand this, I tried substitute teaching for a couple of years, five years ago.

It is the school system and the administration that either support the teacher or condemns the entire class - and the community - to crippled opportunities, to intimidated students, to violence in the "learning experience".

I can think of nothing more stupid, or more damaging, than a bleeding heart "No Child Left Behind" federal program. A class experience is by necessity chained to the progress of the slowest student.

It is grossly unfair to the student unable to keep up to fail to recognize, and deal with, that issue.

To the first quote I have to concur with the speaker. If you are not part of the solution - you are part of the problem. If it takes 150% turnover to raise the flag over an inept administration - that is what it should be. A teacher that could be reaching students is much more useful to a community - in a school where students can be reached.


And I think I would like to see the VBS of the second quote assigned a paper - define prejudice, pejorative, race, gender, bigotry, slander, human rights, civil rights, respect, act of disrespect, stereotypes and labels, and then an essay on a "fuckin' ho" - who is and is not, how they come to be labeled such, how they come to no longer be labeled such, why they do what they do. The essay should cover the life style choices and ratinales. Oh, and I wouldn't let the snot back in the room until the paper is complete. But that would never fly.

Any community, any school board, any administrator that would still have a seat-holder in a public school classroom at that age is used to blaming the teacher for the failure of home and community to teach and expect respect and discipline from their young.

And I think it is true, some days do seem more fun than others. I hope all your days ahead are happier than today.

Don Gwinn said...

Brad, you're right--the bottom line is, that wouldn't fly. They'd fire me if I put a kid out of class and set conditions for his return. Administration can do that, but not a teacher.

Brandon, I should probably have mentioned that the VGT teaches the 6th grade.

Brandon said...

My wife knows a couple of folks who are teaching or have taught in the Memphis school system, and they've both told her that those kinds of things start way earlier than we'd even believe. It makes me weep for the future, it does.

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Vanilla Chunk said...

Yeah, HS English teacher here, again. If a kid used language like that in my school, it'd be an instant two day suspension from my class and a parent conference AND probably a transfer to a tougher class. Be realistic: is that kid going to write a paper?

I teach in a semi-tough school which gets spill from the hard-core schools. Moms beg us to take their kids 'on permit' even if they live outside the area for the school. We usually say yes. I wish we'd tie the permit to a grade/conduct contract. We have something valuable here and it's a shame to give it away. But...no kid I teach can be referred to as an 'animal'. They're teenagers. They make very, VERY bad choices sometimes. Don't take it personally (until they call you a fucking ho; then, it's on)