Venting; ignore

My students have broken me already, and it’s only Tuesday. I try to be Mr. Positivity over on TikTok, and I’m also trying my damnedest to be as realistic as possible about what’s going on in my students’ lives. I put up a video the other day that basically boiled down to some of you are going to have to accept that your students have more important things to worry about in their lives right now than school, and you need to stop taking their grades personally. They’re not failing because they hate you.

And … like, I still think that’s true, or I wouldn’t have said it? But fucking hell, children. I have 143 kids and less than 30 did today’s assignment. About 35 have done yesterday’s. And that includes a handful of kids who faithfully do every single assignment

… within a minute of me posting it …

… by putting in completely random numbers for every single question. Every day.

Why the fuck are you bothering.

I just posted this to my Google Classroom announcements:

The thing is, while I can not let myself be this way while dealing with specific kids, the simple fact is that a number of my students aren’t struggling with the pandemic, they’re living their ideal fucking lives and playing video games all fucking day. They could do the work, they just don’t want to, and no fucker in their house is about to make them because their parents are lazy dumbshits too. And while I struggle with this part of myself every single day, there is very much a part of me that is absolutely fine with these kids deciding they’ve had enough education halfway through seventh grade (because that’s where they were when we went into quarantine) because, fuck it, life’s gonna catch up with them eventually, and we’ll see what they can do to feed their damn selves when they’re adults who can’t Goddamned read.

I had a kid today who did her assignment and got a 0/10 on it (important: I use Google Forms a lot, so the assignments get graded automatically) and immediately asked me if I could reset it so she could try again. I looked at it and discovered that she had the right basic idea but had forgotten to reduce all of her fractions– so, in other words, she’d put 25/100 but I wanted to see 1/4, for example. So I coached her through how to do that (she, an 8th grader, didn’t remember how) and she redid it. I told her to share her screen with me before submitting it so I could check it over again, and she’d gotten, like, three of them wrong. So I coached her through those, showing her how to do them right–

–and then she hit submit and turned the assignment in without changing any of the wrong answers. And, like, why did I just waste that time, then, if you weren’t going to bother taking the four seconds you needed to adjust those answers? And she signed out immediately afterwards, so she knew exactly what she was doing and knew I was going to say something about it if she’d stayed in the Meet.

Multiply that interaction by fifty or so and you have my last couple of days. I am right fucking there. I am in front of a computer fucking up my eyes and my back eight fucking hours a day so that I can answer questions and help kids and I will have kids who were present for instruction put in randomly chosen numbers and turn in their assignments. Yesterday we were doing something that I knew was tricky and so I actually did the first two questions on the assignment– an assignment that only had five questions to begin with. I pointed that out. I said “I am doing the first two for you, so you should get these right,” and then recorded myself saying that to them, along with the right answers. And I had kids who were in that Meet while I was doing that get the first two questions wrong.

I just …

Fuck.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

2 thoughts on “Venting; ignore

  1. Holy. Fucking. Shit. WTF?
    I get that kid’s don’t want to do the homework. Nobody EVER liked homework. But really? REALLY?
    And I’m over here just trying to balance distress vs relief that my kid’s getting good grades, but they’ve developed some severe tics due to stress.

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