Thursday, January 20, 2011

For Many Reasons, I Clearly am no Michelle Pfeiffer

For weeks, I have prepped my kids for SOLs.  We have done worksheets, practice tests, and review games, over and over until I literally ran out of things to do.  My attempts were met with minimal interest and effort.

Today my 11th graders had SOLs.  In my 4th period, 50% failed.  In my 2nd period, a much smaller class, I had two out of ten fail.  I am sitting here typing this with tears of frustration running down my cheeks.  Frustration because of all of my hard work, frustration because I know that Administration will blame this on me, and most of all because I know that not one of those kids will give a moment's worry to the fact they didn't pass.

Of course, I am not surprised by the ones who failed.  I am actually more surprised by the ones who passed.  However, let me give you a little insight into the work and  study skills of the ones who failed*.

Daisy:  A typical day for Daisy involves arriving late to class and then spending a good ten minutes going through her book bag, eating (not allowed), texting (also not allowed) and then asking to go to the clinic or the bathroom.  Any redirection is met with mutiny.

Deshaun and DeWayne the Twins: I don't know what I did to deserve getting not one, but both of these little darlings in my class.  They spend the whole class goofing around, talking, laughing and generally being disruptive.  Their entire goal in life is to have all attention on them.  In a typical week, I kick one or both of them out of at least 50% of my classes.  DeWayne had to be removed from one of my SOL reviews because he was so disruptive. All attempts to appeal to their mother are wasted and are met with protests that they are "Good Christian boys."  I see.  I am sure Jesus wishes they would shut up as well.

Gina:  Sleeps every day or writes notes to her friends.

Ahmed:  Literally has not turned in a single thing all year.

Anyway, here we go....stay tuned for fall out.

*Obviously all names have been changed.  I'm not an idiot.


  1. I'm sure you've heard this before, and perhaps you're already doing it, but document all of these behaviors. Open up a word document or something and just make little comments each day. At the end of the week send those notes off to everybody invested, students, parents, department chair, and administration. It may at first warrant some unwanted scrutiny and backlash, but ultimately it could lead to some change. If for no other reason than to get you off of their backs. I also think it will help the students to become conscious of what, at least if they're anything like mine, some of them are legitimately unaware of; which is to say just how much time they waste.

  2. I do have a daily thing I do through Edline with some simple codes that stand for things like Not Prepared for Class, Excessive Talking, Refusal to Do Work, Disruptive, etc. I am all about CYA. Also, when Little Darling's mother calls to demand why her child isn't doing well, I can say well on this date, this date and this date, he was sleeping in class. I had a veteran teacher help me get this system set up a few weeks into school and it has been awesome.