So, the start of this school year has kinda kicked my butt (hence my absence). It’s been pretty frustrating and miserable, but that’s for another day. I think a majority of teachers empathize with me and are experiencing the same sentiments caused by the same crap. While most of my teacher friends are in different schools (some are even out of the profession) we all still gripe to each other and share basically the same stories…..whether we are in different buildings, cities, or states! It comes down to one problem with two primary causes. Problem: a lack of common sense. Causes: technology and helicopter parents.
There. I said it. Hate if you want. Stop reading if you want. I received a forwarded e-mail today about the death of common sense and it resonated with me. Allow me to give you three examples that have happened throughout my career that solidify my theory. Names and schools will be kept anonymous to protect
the idiots my job. 😉
1. Students were taking a bone quiz (a topic we’ve been studying for 2 weeks….) and I noticed one student noticeably cheating. Genius had written the names of all his hand/wrist bones on his hand/wrist. I walked up behind him as he tried to unsuccessfully hide that hand and noticed that he had all the bones in the wrong order and on the wrong finger, etc. Basically he doesn’t even know how to cheat! I laughed and let him cheat and sink. He sunk.
Does the story end there? Nope. A parent conference was called because “his grade did not reflect the amount of time he spent studying”. (Oh, but ma’am, it does reflect the five seconds he spent in the hallway scribbling the wrong bones on his hand). I shared the cheating story with her and the administration and who gets in trouble? Me. I didn’t correct his “misinterpretation of the information”.
2. An 18 year old zoology student was presenting on the invertebrate class cnidaria (stinging cell animals such as jellyfish). I am a stickler for students not reading off their presentations and doing their own research (not copying and pasting). Welllll, homeboy was so into his reading off the PowerPoint on my large screen that he didn’t realize that every time he meant to say tentacle he said testicle because that’s what his copy and pasted Wikipedia research read. The entire class did a good job of controlling their laughter until he read/said “the longest testicle in the ocean measures at 150 feet and belongs to the Lion’s Man jellyfish”.
Wow. That’s both impressive and scary. When he finally realized what was going on he threw a hissy fit and yelled “I’m going to kill my mom for this. I knew she wouldn’t get this project done right this morning”. No joke.
3. Students were taking a nutrition test and one of the questions involved simple math (yes, in science you have to do some math….). I had several students in each class ask to use a calculator for assistance and I said no. These were questions that involved 4×2 or 4×3. I even told the students that asked me about that test question to add 4+4 or 4+4+4 and they just blankly stared at me!?!?
For those that are interested…the problem involved figuring out the number of calories in grams of protein–something we had done in class many, many times. Blah, blah, blah for the rest of you, right? Anywayyyyy, what 18 year old can’t do that simple multiplication? Apparently, these special snowflakes can’t (a few of ya’ll are laughing at the inside joke right now). I spent the remainder of the week responding to e-mail complaints from parents that claimed I “impeded their child’s ability to make a perfect score on the test”. I asked a student why he felt like he had to calculate that problem when I know he knows the answer. He honestly responded, “because if my mom isn’t near me to give me answers then I can always ask my phone”. My jaw dropped and at least five nearby students nodded in agreement with him!
I could do this ALL DAY. Heck, I could probably type/share stories for the next two months; however, I do think my POINT is PROVEN. Thank you.
Here’s the forward e-mailed titled “An Obituary”
“Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.