Monthly Archives: March 2014

I OWE You? You’ve Got to be Kidding Me. . .[Warning-Heavy on Sarcasm]

Let me get this straight.

1.  I owe you, my student, a good grade even when you don’t turn in your work on time.  Or even turn it in at all.  I owe you the right to gossip on your electronic device in class whenever you feel it is appropriate.  Oh, yeah, it’s also okay to talk during class because what I am saying or teaching isn’t important in the real world and certainly doesn’t apply to you.

2.  I owe you perfect attendance when you arrive tardy to class or don’t bother to show up the day before a school holiday.  How could I possibly have scheduled a test or quiz on that day?  What was I thinking? Isn’t it party time?

3.  I owe you my undivided attention on weekends and after hours on electronic communications because your parents practice bullying via email.  I owe you sleepless nights before hostile parent conferences in which your parents believe I will lie to them about you and your actions or inaction.  I also owe you the migraine episodes that are stress-related because you won’t accept any responsibility for your actions.  I think I’ll even take the state-mandated tests for you and save you the trouble.

4.  I owe you my kidney stones because I cannot trust you to simply behave yourselves in the hallways as the classes change; I cannot go to the bathroom in peace because my eyes must constantly be focused on you.  I owe you copies of my notes, preferential seating (all fourteen of you in one class!), and extra time on assignments.

5.  I owe you my out-of-this-world copy quota because you can’t be bothered to keep up with the first three copies I gave you.  If I don’t give you that copy with three words filled in on the notes, then I hear about it. LOUDLY.

6.  I owe you my bad back and dwindling supplies because you can’t pick up after yourself or bring your own pencils, or notebook paper, or reading material, or homework, or good manners.  I have had to pick up used tissues, scrape gum, and toss trash because it was an imposition on your precious time.

7.  I owe you all of these things?  Hmm. . . I also owe you my bad reputation as “the mean teacher” because I ask you to behave like ladies and gentlemen, and you despise correction of any sort.  I guess I will owe some of you three squares and an orange jumpsuit because listening to me tell you right from wrong is nonsense.  Why should telling a member of the law enforcement the truth be any different? It’s just too much effort to do the right thing the first time and to be honest when you’ve erred.

I don’t owe you these things.  I do what I love and usually love what I do.  It is individuals who make poor choices and wreak havoc on the populace who cause the greatest problems.  Their narcissistic focus on the short-term eventually catches up with them.  I, however, don’t want to see the rotten fruits of their labors.  Ciao.

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I have warned my students that I must have coffee in the morning, or it will not go well for them.  They believe me.  Before I married, my students would see me in the morning and look at the level of coffee in the mug.  When it was level, they avoided eye contact.  When it was obvious that I had sipped some of the elixir of life aka java aka coffee, then they knew a coherent, friendlier response was forthcoming.  It was so bad one morning that a student said, “Hi, Miss Burnham.”  I held up my hand palm facing the student.  We walked past one another.  He said, “Bye, Miss Burnham.”  I simply turned my palm to face him.  He learned quickly.  It is tradition for me to warn my first class of the day that they DO NOT want to see me without my morning brew.  I make it at home and bring my java in a travel mug.  Sometimes I have to warm it up, but that’s okay.  They have learned what I like:  Starbucks Caffe Mocha soy with no whip extra hot.  This earns them another day of life and a good mark in my tally book of transgressions.  They were warned.  This picture says it all. More anon.

Coffee Rules the World

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The Break of Spring – I am Not Bored!

Ah, yes, the traditional rite of spring break has descended upon us.  This means I have no grading, lesson plan writing, or reaction-emailing to do for nine glorious days. I don’t mind what I do; I do value my time away to recharge the batteries. I have no big-time plans of travel to exotic lands or adventures unparalleled by the imagination’s far reaches. I have a stack of five or six books sitting by my bed, and I plan to lie in bed (or actually on top of the made bed but under a quilt) or sit in my recliner and read when my husband and son are occupied elsewhere with PS3, studying, or work.  It’s tradition.  I found this delightful picture on Pinterest and had to share it.  My philosophy about the dreaded “I’m bored!” that people like to throw at you periodically. More anon.

A five-letter word that I detest!

A five-letter word that I detest!


Something New

I just discovered Kahoot on my Pinterest board and tried it with my students.  They loved interactively reviewing author’s purpose and the verbs that identify a particular purpose (persuade, inform, or entertain).  I was laughing as they competed with one another and thoroughly relished their spirits.  We will do this again tomorrow in class but with prefixes, suffixes, and word roots.  More anon!

Picture of login page

Picture of login page

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