Feb 05 2011

A least and a most…

One of my least favorite things about teaching…

…being called at 12:00 by the office to hear the following “So-and-so will be out sick for the next week, his father will be by right after school to pick up work, please send what you have for him down to the office.” Lets see, between 12:00 and the end of school I have exactly one five minute passing period with no kids. I’m supposed to gather up all of the work for the week (tentatively planned out, but certainly not printed and copied yet), write out instructions with enough depth that the work can be completed at home, put it all together and send it down to the office before school is over, while I still have students? I greatly appreciate the fact that a student’s parents want him to keep up with his work while he is out, but likely if he is too sick to come to school he is also to sick to be very effective at school work, especially school work that needs a lot of explanation. For this reason I almost always wind up responding to the plea for “out sick” work with busy work (read this chapter in the book, answer the questions – I’ll give you credit for that and then catch you up on what I actually taught when you get back). Then I feel guilty … sigh.

One of my favorite things about teaching…

…specifically about teaching history, is when the kids bring me stuff from home. Every year I have kids bring in, of their own initiative, historical artifacts from their home that they think I’ll find cool. Confederate money, old magazines, Vietnam War scrap books, cameras from 1909, WWII era ration cards, I have seen it all. They bring them to me before class and wait for my approval in a manner that reminds me of a cat proudly depositing its latest kill on the front door step. I find it very cute, I have to admit. They want me to exclaim over the artifact –and it is not hard to do that because I genuinely like stuff like that–talk to them about it, be excited in the way they are about their family history.  I love that the kids sense my enthusiasm for the subject (feigned though it may be sometimes *coughGildedAgePoliticscough*) and care enough to bring something in to share with me and/or the class.

(A reminder plug for ENC corps members out there to consider being interviewed for this blog. I have a few responses already and hope to have the interviews up soon. I’d love to hear from you!)

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