Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Teacher Going Mad

Today I am a teacher going mad. If you have ever wondered how I decided on the URL, this should explain it.

First of all, I teach 8th grade. We're talking junior high students here between the ages of 13 and 15. Junior high students are just hormones walking around disguises as adolescents. My college professor used to tell us all the time that junior high kids were brain dead and only ran on hormones for two years. I didn't believe her at first. After teaching in the junior high for 8 years now, I'm a believer.

Second of all, I teach 8th grade ENGLISH. That means lots of writing to grade on a daily basis. I sometimes feel I must be talking to a brick wall. I teach students about good introductions - how an introduction should grab the reader's attention. I teach about ways to write a better introduction - what to do and what not to do. We look at many examples. We write some as a class. They write some individually. Then comes the great moment when I ask them to apply what we have been learning about to their essays. And what do I get? 100 papers starting "My name is . . ." or "My paper is about . . ." ARGH!!! Does nothing sink in? Did they not catch any of what we have been working on for the past week? Were they sleeping?

That is why I am a teacher going slowly mad. Every day, I go a bit crazier. Every day, it's a step closer to the looney bin.

Don't get me wrong. I do love what I do. It brings me much satisfaction and joy. But there are days, like today, when I feel that beating my head against a brick wall would be more productive than the 6 hours I just spent trying to teach these junior high students.

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