Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Tina and I were talking on the phone last night about her students, grades, teaching, etc. Our conversation reminded me of an experience I had with a student who was capable but didn't do his homework, study, or turn in all his work. One grading period he went too far and had a really low average. After they got their grades, he called me over and asked incredulously and a bit outraged, "Why did you give me an F?"

Me: "Because that's as low as it goes."

He shut up after that, started doing his work, and made better grades from then on. Sometimes it doesn't work that way. I'm glad it did for him. Teaching teenagers lets us be smart-ass teachers with some of them.


frogponder said...

Shhhhhhhhh! I've been known to threaten an F-!

Beth said...

Good for you. What's wrong about teaching kids that you have to earn things in life, whether grades, money or respect?

Joy said...

I've threatened many things, FP. I've actually given F-'s, though. I have told some of them they really should have gotten an M.

I've told some they needed to be glad I didn't have a huge stick nearby, or I'd hit them with it. They said, "You can't do that!" I said, "No, but I can fantasize about it."

When they complained about being corrected for talking by saying other people were doing it, I'd say, "Timing! It's all about timing. When I asked all of you to be quiet, they did it. You kept talking."

Berry Blog said...

God stuff...I guess we all haveour ways, but mine weren't clever like that. I'd just say, "come over here so I can smack you"
Now that I'm retired I think of that everytime I see Gibbs smack one of his crew in the back of the head.

Allan S. said...

Amen! Joy, I have been known to be a smart ass when I deal with my 11th and 12th graders. They may be cute and charming, but not to the point that I accept ignorance or laziness.

miss alaineus said...

amen- preaching to the choir here.

i am a big fan of using semantics to get my way. the kids who have had me in the classroom and as a coach know better to try to argue/ play the distraction game now which is nice, and then they tell the new kids who dont know the 411.


lelocolon said...

I know the difference between an F and an A, believe me the Fs were part of my life for a long period of time. And because I was able to appreciate that, I think everyone should. There is nothing wrong with knowing the difference.

Dan said...

I would have loved you as a teacher!