A week from Thursday, I begin my seventh year of teaching. In honor of the “seven-year-itch,” I have decided to channel some humor and try a top ten list of what I can look forward to during the school year.
10. Assignments turned in to me with weird stains and substances encrusted on them.
9. The word “opportunity” spelled “oppertunitie” at least a bazillion times–despite my efforts to correct the spelling. BTW, why do students insist on creating possessives when they want to make a word plural???? I correct the errors, but again…they ignore my corrections. Yes, their grades get lower because of it.
8. At least four notes from parents stating that their children could not finish an essay on time (after given a week, and two of those days in class) because: a pet was ill, the child was ill, a pet died, or because the computer blew up into tiny pieces.
7. Parent emails that state his/her child is different from all the others and needs special attention, special seating, my individual attention after school, weekly or daily emails reporting on the child’s progress, etc….this email will come from at least twenty parents. (BTW…I do offer help after school…I’ve had about five students in seven years take me up on the offer.)
6. The same student will always be absent for all tests, quizzes, and in-class essays. That same student will wait until threatened with a zero to make up the work.
5. I will have at least one student cut class to study for a test for another class.
4. All of my students will have ADHD/ADD/OCD and some kind of barking/mad dog disorder….at least their parents are convinced of it.
3. There will be students who think that sucking up to me works.
2. There will be students who think I hate them because I grade them honestly and try to help them improve.
And the number one thing to look forward to during the school year:
1. Kids who want to negotiate their grades the last day of the marking period….because a “B” shames the family name (actually have had that said to me and it was true).
**Bonus: I will have at least one student copy an essay word-for-word off of another student or piece one together from various websites and turn the essay in to the required plagiarism site. That student will deny any evidence of cheating. Nice.
Of course, these are all “problems” that my counterparts in lower-performing schools would love to have. Truth be told, I’m very grateful for my job. I’m blessed.