There are times that the typical seventh grader just absolutely blows my mind. Seriously. You would think after nearly a decade of spending most of my waking life with twelve and thirteen-year-olds (also known as the kids most of you would avoid like the plague) I would be used to some of their idiosyncrasies. But nooooooo. Life isn't that easy. They consistently do things that absolutely make me want to beat my head against my desk.
For example, the apparent inability to put one's name on one's work.
This just absolutely drives me crazy. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why they consistently forget to put their name on their work. I mean we're talking about an incredibly self-centered generation of kids who will write their name on their jeans, their shoes, their binders, their lunch bag, their lockers, the bathroom stalls, everything But On Their Freaking Assignments. On those, their leave a big white vacant spot where their name should be.
This is a skill they learn in Kindergarten, folks. The First Thing You Do When You Get Out Your Paper Is To Put Your Name On Your Work. So for eight years my little darlings have been taught to always put your name on your work, and still - STILL! - they forget. This past weekend I graded packets of vocabulary cards and I had fourteen kids who did not put their name anywhere on their cards. That's somewhere along the lines of ten percent of my students. Fourteen kids who merrily managed to do their vocab cards, even do some extra credit drawings on them, but they forgot their names.
I have tried just about everything I can think of to solve this problem. I remind them every time we do anything to Put Your Name On Your Work. I go around and check to see if they have Put Their Name on Their Work. I have a sign by the turn in basket that reminds them to Put Your Name On Your Work. I also have torn up and tossed in front of their startled little faces, work that is turned in without a name. (I'll admit, that's kind of fun, especially if I'm feeling theatrical.) But still, They Forget To Put Their Name on Their Work.
I am astounded - astounded! - that these kids are alert enough to look both ways before their cross the street.