Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Year of the Coma

Team leaders (such as moi) got an email from Guidance Goober with a link to PDF files of all the failure letters that The School sent out this week. If a student is failing two or more classes, a letter went home explaining the possibility of retention (which will rarely happen), summer school, non-academic promotions and so forth. The letters are to be signed and returned to the homeroom teachers, so that we know that the parents actually saw the letter and Junior didn't get home and destroy the mail before the parents came home.

Out of 103 letters that went out, any guesses on how many belonged to seventh graders?

Ah, come on...just know you want to.

How about 52?

Yup. Fifty-freakin'-two.

Mrs. Eagle's team had the winning number of 22. My team had 17 and the balance belonged to Mrs. Bunny's team.

Are we surprised? No.

Disappointed. Of course.

Seventh graders, as a rule, seem to go into a coma during the school year. From the recent brain studies I've seen on adolescent brains, there's actually hard science to back this up. It's called puberty, to be blunt. The body is putting so much energy into growth and hormones and all that makes this age group so annoying, and the brain pretty much flat lines for about, say, nine months to a year. We're lucky they don't actually lose cognitive skills. I'm surprised most of them are alert enough to cross the street without getting hit by a car.

If I had a dollar for every kid that failed my class as a seventh grader, then moved on to 8th grade and passed with A's and B's and then ended up - yes! - in honors science classes in high school, I could perhaps buy myself a nice new pair of Danskos. It's depressing.

That's seventh grade - the Year of the Coma.


Princess Lionhead said...

Here! Here!! We're in the same boat on this side of the country. At least you know it's not region specific! :) said...

Freshmen are not much better. We see similar statistics at the high school, however that's where the credits to graduate start piling up, and if you blow the freshmen year, well, you probably won't graduate with your class.

HappyChyck said...

Bless you! That's too many comatose kids!

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

NOW I know what's wrong with my students! The Year of the Coma. Ha!

SciGuy said...

Aaahhh, my 7th-graders. They can be sweet, but man, are they MESSED UP! Poor things. I love them and despise them with the same heart.

Darren said...

7th graders are too squirrely. 8th graders can cop an attitude.

I'd rather deal with the attitude.

W.R. Chandler said...

Wow! I teach 7th and 8th grade too. You just described my school year to a tee.

Teacha said...

uhhmmm, i think the coma comes back in the 9th grade. You've described my freshmen. Few things motivate them except for each other!

I use peer pressure to my advantage.