Wednesday, September 12, 2007

my 'dumb' kids


So I'm in the process of grading a math test that I gave on Monday about equivalent fractions. This is a painful process. (See Patent Pending for other painfully amusing math test responses.) Especially considering that most of my kids turned the test in very quickly with many answers not even filled in. It has me beating my head against the wall, really, when students who do know how to do something in class get so convinced that they are stupid that they trick themselves into thinking they don't know what to do. I have one student who is very vocal and demanding of my help but she knows exactly what to do - she just doesn't trust herself and gets mad when I don't give her the answers. I'm about to smack her one.

My second class consisted of the same 8 kids repeatedly raising their hands and asking me if they can go to the bathroom over and over again. I have a hard time believing that half of my class suddenly has to go to the bathroom really really really badly all at the same time. My (perfectly true) excuse is that the principal got so mad about kids constantly being out of class he prohibits bathroom breaks during class. They are only allowed out before school, lunch time, and after school (PE usually gets sneaked in too). So, hey, it ain't even my call. But it makes for very frustrating classes. Kids are horribly persistent, to the detriment of their grades and their behavior status. I can only hope that this will get better the longer I stand my ground.

Anyway, this math test was given with a multiplication table on the back and all problems given were within the 1-12 times tables. I HANDED them the answers and most of my kids don't even know how to take advantage of that. It makes my brain hurt trying to get these little things to click with my students. For example: tomorrow I am going to do an activity with measurement despite my better judgement. Given a ruler with all the numbers written on it...my students do not know how to measure fractions of inches.

Some of them are nearly 14.

That said, my teacher at UNO on Monday asked what I would do if I were asked to teach the gifted students and what kind of program I might come up with. And I thought about it and I said that I didn't think I would take the job. Despite it all, I'm rather fond of my dumb kids. My smartest kids, they don't have to work for their grades. I know - I was that kid who could get an A without even trying. But my slow kids, well, it's just so much more rewarding when they finally understand something.

1 comment:

bea said...

x=5 :)