I wish there were a pill

we could give ’em to make ’em turn in their best work.  Because I’d be prescribing that one to all of them.  I don’t know what it is this year, but the projects I’m getting are just baaaad.  Lazy-bad.  I-didn’t-read-the-directions-bad.  I-read-but-ignored-the-directions-bad.  Even-though-we-worked-on-it-for-three-days-in-class-I’m-still-clueless-bad.  I read them the riot act today but that never works.  Then I tried to add a degree of life-lesson to it by pointing out that we only get to live once and every action we take is a reflection of who we are as a person.  Which might be a little heavy but I do sort of live by it, except when I’m rationalizing away my own mistakes.  Tomorrow I’m making them assess their own work using the rubric and then giving them the option of taking it home for another try – but I’m a little pissed that it’s come to this given the three hours of classtime and 19 days altogether that they had to complete this project.  Rx?  Motivataloft?  Give-a-sh*t-ien?



Filed under teaching

8 responses to “I wish there were a pill

  1. “Which might be a little heavy but I do sort of live by it, except when I’m rationalizing away my own mistakes. ”

    Despite your despair over your students’ non-performance, you still retain your sense of humor. Laughing your way through the darkness is a lifesaver. 🙂

  2. So maybe this is a new career direction for you! 🙂 If you have any success, I’ll be a loyal customer! (For my students, of course. :D)

  3. ok, so this is not on topic, except for “every action we take is a reflection of who we are as a person…” um, maybe not…
    i finally did your meme of 7 things
    and want to wish you the best for this new year.
    baby k
    aka, kloe among the turks

  4. I cracked up when I read your title. How many times does that thought pass through the minds of teachers around the world each day? My kiddos did teach me in my second year, however, that it was necessary to do a 30 second check-in or exit slip with each person each day in class worth 1 point on their final project for them to explain their progress and their next steps… It did require the riot acts and guilt-ridden life lessons to be a bit more personalized (and more guilt-ridden!)

  5. Hey, it might not make them try harder, but have I got a pill for you!
    Check out this commercial:

  6. Loved this post. Some years ago, to save my own sanity, I decided for one school year I would not accept any shoddy work; either do it right, try your best, or keep it. No speeches, no red marks; I simply would not accept it. If they tried to sneak it in on the bottom of the homework pile, I’d return it with “unacceptable” written across the top. No grade until you put some effort into it. I only had one parent complain, until I met with her and explained that I could give the work the failing grade it deserved, or her child could turn in something worthy of both our energies. It was a great year.

  7. Great tip, TeachMore. This year I’ve adopted Raith Esquith’s classroom rules: #1: Be nice. #2 Work hard.

    Your tip certainly applies. Thanks.

  8. R Hesch

    Your idea of holding the student responsible is a key factor. Having them evaluate their own work using a rubric is a fantastic way of holdgiving them the opportunity to be held accountable for their work. It also gives them the opportunity to brainstorm and think of their strengths and weaknesses and how to improve. Maybe the pill is the idea of having them take ownership of their learning.

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