Friday, October 20, 2006

Slammed and Wasted.

Ok, folks, I'm officially slammed I was awarded a certificate from the Over-Scheduled Society of America.

(Do other people say "slammed?" Where I'm from, "slammed" is restaurant language, meaning that your tables are all full of needy customers. Also, it can be used more generally to mean that you have a ridiculous amount of work.)

So I haven't been writing lately. Two of my hit counters have stopped functioning; when I get a chance I will delete them.

One of the reasons I wish I could go back to teaching at the university level, instead of teaching high school, is nightmare parents, who treat you like you are their personal monkey. It is inappropriate to tell them "you are too stupid to talk to." And that's all I will say about that.

Today I asked my students if they've been studying every night, since last week when I gave them the lecture that they have to study every night. They said they haven't been. They have a quiz next week, and I told them that if they don't practice their Spanish every night, they should expect a C on the quiz. Right? They all agreed.

People don't suck at learning languages because they are not smart. The suck at it because THEY ARE DOING IT WRONG. And it doesn't matter how much I tell them, they don't believe. I tell them exactly what has to be done, and they DON'T DO IT.

I've managed to rid my classrooms of a lot of terrible habits, like "English bombs," when the student blurts out English translation to "clarify." Duh, no wonder they have no natural retention, all they care about is English.

What's amazing to me is when students don't correct their mistakes. They read their sentence, I correct them, and they NOD at me. It doesn't occur to them to correct their paper, to some of them it doesn't even occur to say it correctly.

I am a talented teacher. I am being wasted. I am being wasted on students who at worst refuse to connect the dots, and at best just don't believe they have to study. Present, preterit, imperfect, future... and they've been studying the first three for PAST TWO YEARS.

They don't master these tenses, and then they have the NERVE to expect to get an A.

Hey! Just "looking over the material" DOES NOT HELP YOU.

No language practice = no language learning = no getting an A.

I am being wasted.

Maybe next week I will have a knock-knock joke festival.


kamote said...

Hey John Patrick,

Sorry you are getting slammed! (To answer your question, I first thought you were saying that you were drunk, as that's what my most recent definition of "slammed" is. However, after reading the link on the word, I did recall that it can also mean getting mountains work piled on you.) Anyway - yes, Stupid Parents do suck. Are you dealing with a particular species as well - such as Entitled Stupid Parent? Stupid Parent Who Thinks Their Child is a Genius? Or my personal favorite, Stupid Parent Who Thinks Their Child is Doing Poorly Because You Can't Teach...? Whatever the case, hang in there, and hey - you're likely already 1/4 of the way through the year. :)

I was also a high school teacher, at a Catholic School, in Florida. There were some FUN parents there - especially when the "snowbird" grandparents joined the act. Yikes.

But seriously, I hope that things ease up a bit for you next week. One of the hardest things about teaching is that it is such a thankless job - or at least the students you teach won't realize until they are in their mid 20's what a difference you made in their lives and by then they won't know how to contact you and tell you. So, let me be a proxy for them 10 years down the road, and say thanks for "fighting the good fight" in the classroom!

BeckaJo said...

Do college students actually study? Mine don't. I have stood in front of the class, jumped up and down, and stated "THIS WILL BE ON THE TEST" - and they don't study. Then again, hasn't college just become an extension of high school?

I use 'slammed' to mean either insanely busy, or to mean someone is being hostile and nasty.

Ursa said...

Word. I was once a hs language teacher myself.

Still, every few years I figure I managed to spare someone from the worse than death fate of a monolingual life.

Oh, and I *never* could conjugate a verb to save *my* life, back when I was in hs myself. So that comes later for some types of learners.

Love and appreciate yourself. No one else ever can-- not as much as you deserve!

There are lessons other than language they are learning from you--- and chances are they just aren't far enough along for you to see that stuff. Sometimes you never do, sometines some old alum walks up to you and introduces you to her children as the one who changed her life forever. Ok, that one doesn't happen too often, but just imagine they'll all be thinking that 30 years from now.angfoksv

ding said...

to signify how busy i am, i usually use one of the following: work is kicking my ass, i'm bleeding from every orifice in my body, i'm totally swamped.

and as for teaching - jp, you know you rock.

Oni no Maggi said...

I was checking out my Professor Aunt on, and several students rated her down because they were ticked off that you had to attend class *and* do the assigned reading, in order to get a good grade on the tests.

And here I thought that teachers only assigned reading in order to justify charging the students for the textbooks! They're not supposed to be read, they're just supposed to be very expensive paperweights!

*grumbles at Kids These Days...*