I always wanted to have my concerns taken seriously as a kid. Specifically, when it came to lessons in school: “Why are we doing this? How’s this going to matter anywhere else the world except the stupid-ass grade I have to make here?” Usually the answers (if they would even offer them) were lame and unsatisfactory.
Then I became a teacher. My dream came true to haunt me. We are expected to relate lessons to student’s lives today and in their futures and to their other studies. It’s exasperating to listen to whiny young voices complain and argue. As if there’s any argument they can make that will get me to exempt them or change the lesson.
While why they are being expected to both participate in a lesson and an assessment of their understanding of said lesson, many of my kids are chronically Effort Stingy. They will do the very minimum required. They won’t read material closely if they read it at all. The put no attention to detail. And they use the bare minimum number of words written and apply little or no creativity.
Soon a new round whining and arguing about the grades that result from their stingy efforts.
If this were solely a memoir, I’d now examine my own Effort Stinginess which I have in, not only spades but hearts, diamonds and clubs too. (Thank goodness it’s not so much about me outside the classroom). Suffice it to say if we had more planning periods, more assistance with all the classroom tasks and…how shall I say… a culture that gave a shit about other people’s children, we’d have much more time to learn much faster how to be better lesson planners and importance justifiers, thus making us better teachers, them better students and schools that suck less.