Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shovel Ready

You know, there are times I just have to laugh when I read yet another article about how savvy, and wired, and technologically advanced this generation of kids are. Yeah, so they can text faster than I can knit (and that's pretty darn fast) but there are times they just don't have a clue about the power of technology.

Case in point.

I send out a weekly email to my parents letting them know what we're doing in the upcoming week, what the homework is, what's due, any special projects or assignments, and any generic school news they need to know. I've done this for about three years now and the response has been universally positive. Parents love having this little email in their arsenal because seventh graders lie just aren't the most honest creatures on this planet.

In short, if I had a dollar for every parent that told me that "X tells me that you never assign homework," I'd be bailing out the government.

So I get an email yesterday from the mother of one of my laziest students. Skater Goober was non-academically promoted as he apparently did nothing in sixth grade, and is again doing nothing in seventh grade. What's truly astounding is that if he put as much effort into doing his work, as he does in trying to avoid it, he would probably be a good student. In any case, SG's mom tells me that she noticed that my weekly email indicated that 24 vocabulary cards for this unit were due on Friday and when she asked SG about it he said that he didn't have to do the cards because he just wrote them in his science journal. She wanted to know if this was true.

Oh definitely NOT true. So NOT true. I wrote her back and explained what, exactly, was due and asked, by the way, asked if she'd seen the vocabulary study log that SG was supposed to give her every night to sign after he'd studied his vocabulary words. Any bets on whether or not she's seen this log?

Yeah, that's what I thought too.

Later in the evening I get another email from SG's Mom. She apologizes for bothering me and wanted to check on something once again. It seems that she READ MY EMAIL to her soon and now he'd changed his story and said, oh, yeah, he did do the vocabulary cards but he'd already turned them in. Again, was this true?

You know the answer to this don't you?

Again...definitely NOT true. NOT, NOT, NOT. The whole idea behind the vocabulary cards was to use them to STUDY the words every night so when the test rolls around (which is tomorrow, by the way, any guess on how well my stellar students will do?) they know the words inside and out and can actually PASS THE TEST. It is the ONE thing I do not accept early. Not only did SG NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO TURN THEM IN EARLY, if he had, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN THEM BACK.

So here's what cracks me up. Skater Goober obviously KNOWS that mom and I are communicating because she's reading him the emails. She's telling him that she's going to check with me and HE STILL LIES. He puts forth so much effort in his attempts to avoid work, that he actually starts digging himself a deep, deep hole that he's going to be hard pressed to climb out of. And here this "technology-savy" kid sits, not realizing the full potential of parent and teacher email communications.

You're busted, goober!

I think I'm going to take one of my extra yard shovels in to school one day. These kids are digging some amazing holes and probably could use the help.


Tracey said...

They start said holes long before they get to you...I teach 5th grade and they are already digging them and actually deep down in them too!

Kris said...

The lying drives me insane! I watched a kid put his hat on today and cooly walk/limp across the cafeteria (you know the walk I mean?). So within 10 seconds another student grabbed the hat and took off running and a game of chase ensued. I eventually ended up with the hat and this poor sad student came to me and asked for his hat back. When I explained why I took it up, he denied ever wearing it. I told him I watched him put it on his head and walk across the cafeteria, yet he continued to say he never put it on his head... I watched you do it! Just now! With 2 other teachers next to me! Why lie??!! This was just one of the many lies I was told today, but your story reminded me.

Mme. Rogers said...

I'm curious about those vocabulary cards. How does your system work? I'm only in my second year of teaching, and I'm looking for any idea I can get my hands on.

Peach Pod said...

Poor Skater Goober! I love busting children. I post all homework assignments on my website, my board and have copies of the worksheets at the front class and kids will still tell me that they didn't know about the homework! We have an online gradebook that parents can check. I love it because we can add comments like, "Made a 30 on an open note quiz!"

BTW, I'm also a teacher who knits.

Darren said...

The coverup is worse than the crime. Some people *never* learn that.