There is a very delicate balance between what is the teacher’s fault and what is the student’s fault. Or is there?
- I gave a short quiz today – 7 multiple choice (with a mere 3 answer choices per question) on chapters 1-6, and 12 vocab matching words with definitions.
- I told them verbally on Thursday and Friday about the quiz.
- It was on the board Thursday and Friday.
- We went over the vocab words Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
- We made a study guide in class Friday.
And yet, I heard over and over again, “We have a quiz today?”
And at least a third of my student flunked it outright. I don’t get it. What did I do wrong?
Maybe the matching definitions format is too hard – after all, when you get one wrong in the matching column, you definitely got at least one other one wrong too. They all got the last multiple choice question wrong as it was based on the assigned reading over the weekend, which only about…12/135 did.
Maybe my vocab is too hard….and then I wander next door to where the honors English class is doing SAT prep questions of the day, and I realize that the tenth graders in this class are the peers to the tenth graders in my class, and they are answering (correctly) vocab questions that are 1000x more difficult than mine.
My kids could have aced my test in a blink of an eye…if only they put five minutes of studying in and bothered to remember they had school on Monday. Sure, some of my kids need 3 answer multiple choice questions for their IEP, and some truly can’t connect the dots with matching. But the other 130 have no excuse. None. I don’t get it, but it’s discouraging.
We’ve been in school two full weeks and this is the first time I’ve required them to regurgitate any solid information, and so many of them let me down. It makes me wonder two things: (1) What have they been doing the last two weeks in class? (2) What have I been doing the last two weeks in class? I was led to believe we were all on the same page…from where did I get that impression?
At some point during passing period a kid from one of my morning periods wrote “Mrs. H, she cool” on my white board. By the end of the day, it had been replaced with “she crazy.” The confusing compliment aside, the unknown graffiti artist didn’t even use a linking verb. Progress reports come out next week – what are they going to do??!
Also, on the long commute home today I lost a hubcap on my ’95 sedan. This morning I had to duct tape the passenger parking light in because it keeps popping out and scratching the car. I know high school kids are supposed to drive crap cars, but I think I’ve got them beat…