March 03, 2005


I've been at the school for three days, and I officially hate my students. But that's fine, because since I hate them, I don't care if they hate me. So we stayed an excruciatingly silent three minutes after the final bell rang, and I think they got the message. But we'll see tomorrow.

I don't really hate them, but you know what I mean. I have a problem with wanting to be liked. I want my blog readers to like me. I want the students to like me. I want my husband's soldiers to like me. It's my character flaw that I want to be liked, because sometimes it's not good to be liked. Sometimes you have to be a jerk. My husband learned that lesson in Iraq, and I am learning it this week.

The students' grades are suffering too. They're talking instead of working, and therefore their work is sloppy and incomplete. Most of them got F's on their in-class assignment today. I don't know if the bad grades will force them to take notice, but I've certainly noticed when I look in the grade book.

Thank heavens their regular teacher is having twins: she is procreating double to make up for the child I'm rethinking wanting to have!

Posted by: Sarah at 10:56 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 Flog them! FLOG THEM! They might understand a taste of the lash if words don't suffice.

Posted by: Jason at March 03, 2005 01:10 PM (565iX)

2 Student teaching middle school math cemented for me that I want to teach high school. **g** Yes, they can be sweet from time to time, but I'm still of the opinion (adapted from Heinlein) that 7th graders should be locked in a barrel for a year.

Posted by: SandraTX at March 03, 2005 02:43 PM (XaPns)

3 I'd extend it to 8th grade as well, haha! Last year I taught (among others) a class composed entirely of 7th and 8th grade boys. They were so awash in hormones I think I could smell 'em (the hormones, that is). I felt like I needed a shower after class order to avoid sprouting chest hair from the testosterone that wafted through that room, haha!

Posted by: Beth at March 03, 2005 05:43 PM (DEwIg)

4 Sarah, I know nothing about teaching. But I do know a bit about the desire to be liked. All I can offer is that the most important thing to me is to be able to look myself in the eye (in the mirror) in the morning, and feel good about it. And sometimes that means taking a path that is a bit tougher, but is the right path. So hang in there, and if there is justice in the world, you will be remembered by your students - not because you were liked, but because you expected the best of them. (This is something I struggled with when younger, but by the mid-30s, things can shift, and your self-knowledge and values take over. You still want to be liked, but the first priority is on your values.) Wow, that sure sounds preachy, but I hope it is taken in the spirit intended. (still struggling!)

Posted by: Jean at March 03, 2005 08:06 PM (7jvO1)

5 When you are in a position of leadership, lead. You'll find that discipline will be rewarded with respect. I flunked a couple of cheaters once and they came in the next day thanking me. The thing we most want is to know what is expected from us. Let your students know what exactly is expected from them and be challenging. When the kids get distracted, use the ones who are not by having them clap. Say, anyone who can hear me clap your hands. The talkers will be left not clapping and embarassed. Remember too, your class is your audience. Keep them entertained with learning.

Posted by: jim at March 03, 2005 09:12 PM (j2EyP)

6 As I learned when coaching that age group, the boys are "just beginning to smell themselves" as someone put it. I like that description.

Posted by: Mike at March 04, 2005 03:52 PM (yPbYG)

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