The first term just closed for my 9th and 10th graders, so report cards are imminent and the panic has set in. And I’m not talking about the students exclusively; my kiddos are sure panicky, but SO AM I. I am panicky for them, because I want all my students to do well. I am also panicky for myself because I need to write a ton of progress notes and input them into an antiquated computer program that sometimes deletes my work when I’m about to finish.
This amount of panic leads to a whole lot of nonsense. I’ve been trying to explain all this nonsense to my non-teacher friends for years now, but it’s hard to process as an outsider. So I’ve decided to share a few examples of the kinds of thoughts that are going through my mind right about now.
- “Ms. B, I know I missed all the homework this term, but can I do them all tonight and bring them tomorrow?” PROBABLY NOT.
- I’ve never felt more betrayed than when I agree to stay after school to help a student finish an extra credit project and then that student doesn’t show up and I’m like WUT?
- You wouldn’t need the extra credit if you’d just do the regular credit.
- Is it better to stay up super late to input all these grades tonight, or stay up just a little bit late for several nights in a row?
- Why am I only hearing about this now?
- “I know I should have studied more, but I just really don’t want to get a D!” Uhhh… have you ever met anyone who wants to get a D?
- Is caffeine a food group?
- Why do I have 18 parent emails in my inbox right now?
- Believe it or not, yelling at me will not make your grades higher.
- Please tell me again how you can sleep through class and retain all the content once you’ve seen this grade you’ve earned.
- “I did it, I just didn’t turn it in!” Uhhh… Okay, so I am a psychic now?
- “I did it, I just didn’t read the rubric or follow the directions.” And…you expected….?
- How many hours of my life have been wasted while waiting for ancient district grading software to buffer?
- Do I eat, or do I sleep? That is the question, because I don’t have time for both.
- If a kid asks if their essay has to be in full sentences ONE MORE TIME….
I consider myself a very patient person. I mean, weren’t we all a little crazy as teenagers? Didn’t we all think a rough grade was the end of the world? I know I sure did.
But it can get exhausting, admittedly. When you’ve stretched your patience all term, it feels rough to face scrutiny and disapproval from all ends RIGHT at the end, when you’re at your busiest.
Just like with anything, though, you’ve got to put in your time and keep a smile on your face. Because after a week or so of absolute panic-driven-nonsense…things go back to normal. At least for a while they do. You know, until the next marking period begins drawing to a close.
Now You Tell Me…
- What is work nonsense like outside of education?
- Were you a super driven student growing up (like me) or were you more relaxed?