Monthly Archives: February 2015

More Schtick!

In connection with a novel we read in my Pre-AP language arts class, we danced in class.  Yes, after we finished Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl, we did the dance “The Bunny Hop” using the 90-second Disney version. My morning class jumped up and joined me; my afternoon class didn’t. I was surprised to hop by myself but kept on doing it. I relate more to that heroine on some days than I do to others, and I am a Jane Austen devotee.

One of my darlings this year is a student who I don’t teach. I see him in the clinic when I pick up my lunch, and he lets me know if I have something good to eat or not.  We saw one another in the hallway before class two days ago, and I said hello. He stopped and said, “Hey, Mrs. J!” and waved his hand to say “C’mon!” We did a “jump bump” like they do in the professional games, but ours connected the sides and arms.  It looked like the 1970s dance craze “the bump,” but it was in the air. I know, I know.  I was laughing so hard because not just anyone can get me to jump around like that. I haven’t picked a nickname for him yet, but I will let you know. And wouldn’t you know it, he plays baseball?

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I have a few students who lose their books and expect me to make them a copy or issue them a new one. After a day of this, I begin keeping tally in the discipline log.  I believe they are to bring their own supplies. Despite the community atmosphere of some elementary classrooms—kids all bring one box of facial tissues, package of crayons, etc. that are dumped into large containers and kept for all of them to use. I don’t believe in it. I participated as a parent when my son was in elementary school, but I expected him to keep up with his homework, supplies, musical instrument, and locker combinations when he hit middle school. He didn’t have a choice since I have taught middle school for years. Bring your own pencil, bring your own pen, and bring your own notebook paper. Before you send me to the wet-noodle flogging post, remember that I am referencing students with socio-economic needs that supersede pencils and folders. I am talking about the students whose parents have the means, but the kids don’t give a rip. When they enter the real world, they will be responsible for themselves and their monthly bills. I am simply training them for a life-lesson. To just allow them to show up with nothing teaches them that the world owes them a living. I beg to differ.


Answering Questions

Student:  Why did you give me an “F?”

Teacher:  I couldn’t give you a “G.” I saw this written as a joke years ago and never found it, but I just had to share.


One day a student decided that making a wisecrack was the appropriate means of responding to me. I answered, “A smart mouth does not make a smart man.”


Last week I gave specific directions about an assignment.  The student looked into my face, smiled and asked me, “What were the directions again?” I silently stared at him for a few seconds.

“What did I say to do?” He repeated them word for word. “Then do what I said.” He left the room.

Desk Rage Flip - Teacher and Student


“What’s the homework assignment?” a student asks.  Never mind the fact that I request that they write their assignments in their daily planners.  It’s too much work.

I point to my whiteboard. “What’s written on the board?” I respond.  She leaves.


Sometimes the best response is a silent look. It’s not “the look” that impales the recalcitrant with fear, but we’ll call it “the look’s” little sister, just for kicks.