More Questions for the Teacher

Did you count me tardy?  If the bell rang, and you weren’t in your seat, then yes.  If a teacher, principal, or nurse sends a note or email saying you are excused, then no.  If you slide in with a grin on your face just as the bell rings, then yes. Giving me the “puppy dog eyes” doesn’t work.

Why can’t I talk during a fire/tornado/lockdown drill?  I am keeping you safe and the lines of communication open.  I need to hear any direction my principal gives me.  Your safety in that moments is paramount.  We had a tornado warning in spring 2012 and were ducked and covered for over an hour.  Kids were crying and praying because they were scared.  I soothed them and prayed with them.  I asked for the lives of everyone in the building that day. The LORD answered me with a yes that day.  I am grateful.

Does spelling count? Yes it does.  When you write your résumé, and it is riddled with grammatical errors and misspellings, then you have effectively taken yourself out of the running for a job interview. Always do your best with your spelling.

Why can’t I hit my friends in school?  I make it my goal to read situations accurately, but sometimes I may not pick up on an undercurrent of tension between two students.  If student A shoves student B because they are “just kidding,” then I have to warn them about “just kidding.”  I just know that not everyone is in a jovial mood all of the time.  If student B is having a rotten day, and his “friend” pushes/shoves/pokes him at the wrong time, it’s time for me to put on my black and white striped referee shirt to break up the fight.  I don’t like doing it, but I will.  My students’ safety is of the utmost importance to me.  The day of my interview for my current position found me dressed in a suit and jumping in to separate two boys who got into a fight in my hallway.  For some reason a question came up, and I told them about it.  When I was first starting my teaching career, one of my more experienced colleagues warned that I shouldn’t jump in between the bigger boys but let one of my male colleagues handle it.  Sometimes, there is no male counterpart available, so I do my job.

Why do I have to do this assignment?  The concept I teach is often the foundation for something else.  I teach little if anything in isolation.  Grammar is necessary for good writing.  Writing is necessary for clear communication.  Communication is necessary for understanding.  Understanding each other makes life a little nicer as we move around on the third rock from the sun. I do not invent assignments to take up your time.  They are meant to help you practice a new skill, review your knowledge, etc.  I’ve seen the light bulbs go off when I tell them something like, “Do you remember when we learned about conjunctions?  I wanted you to recognize them when we write using varied syntax (sentence structure) as we compose our essays.

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