Friday, May 8, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: "I Didn't Learn Anything"

CURMUDGUCATION: "I Didn't Learn Anything"

"I Didn't Learn Anything"

Two stories for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Story One:

At the very beginning of my career, I taught middle school students. Then one year I finally moved down to the high school and, to make the transition a bit easier, I taught many of the students as ninth graders that I had also taught as middle schoolers.

At the beginning of units, I often did a quick-and-dirty check for understanding. I'd mention the topic and then ask for a show of hands-- who thinks they already know a bunch about this stuff? who remembers going over it in class, but doesn't really remember much? who's never heard of this stuff before?

Time after time, I would get, "Mr. Greene, we never covered this stuff in middle school at all."

"Of course you did," I replied, crankily. "I'm the one who taught it to you." Thirty seconds of review, a practice sheet later-- "Oh, yeah. This stuff. I guess I did know something about this."

Story Two:

Later in my career, I taught downstream (the next graded after) from a newer hire. Her students would always insist that she had never taught them a thing. Then they would laugh and reminisce about how easily they could get her off track, or how they'd spend days of class just doing goofy stuff.

Then I would do some quick introductory quizzes about the material. Grammar, elements of short CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: "I Didn't Learn Anything"