Sometimes, even after over 10 years of teaching history, I still don’t understand students…
…the ones who expect me to be available on weekends and nights, urgently emailing me Monday 1 AM about Monday’s 8 AM history assignment.
…the ones who call me by my first name when I’m so clearly not that cool kind of teacher (think Mr. Belding, not Gabe Kotter).
…the ones who sneer, roll their eyes, and text while I’m talking but expect me never to notice and to be delighted when they come asking for a favor. …the ones who ask me if I’ve changed something about my appearance–in front of the whole class–but don’t compliment me: “Have you changed your_____________?” “Yes, I have.” “Oh.”
…the ones who complain I’m teaching too much instead of being “free flowing” (A high school seminar is not a menstrual period.)
…the ones who, even though they’ve had the assignments during the summer, complain about the work load, wondering why Thucydides couldn’t have written a shorter account of the Peloponnesian Wars. Or why there couldn’t have been just one war.
Is there any hope for me?
Dear Teacher Beseecher,
I commend you for your 10 years of service. Although these students have tried your nerves, I’m sure there are those who have rewarded your efforts. Hang in there!
P.S. I think that “free-flowing” may be a new pedagogical term. I’m also hearing about it.