Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Board Leans Against It

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is such an old dog that she has seen a plethora of new tricks pass through her classroom over the years. This new crop of pupils has an interesting way of doing things.

We have been working on a scholarly enterprise that requires six steps, a display board, an experiment, and a presentation. Let's start with the good part. Today's youth have all brought in an enterprise. Granted, one was not finished after five weeks of work time, with the due date written on the whiteboard for all to see, and Mrs. HM reminding them every Monday how much time they had left. But that's the GOOD part, people! Only ONE was not ready when scheduled to present. In other years, there have been 3 or 4 who flat-out didn't do their enterprise, resulting in a few days out of the classroom, with the assignment to get back in guessed enterprise specified for completion, which needed an experiment and six steps!

Also GOOD...for the most part, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's room was not trashed with paper and tape. Messes were cleaned. Only minor disarray was discovered at the neon paper area.

Another GOOD part was illustrated after this couple asked for more time at the zero hour. "Can we trade presenting times with another pair? Because I couldn't stay after school long enough yesterday to get it done..."

"Well, everybody had the same amount of time. Five weeks. So that wouldn't be fair. It's 10 points off for each day it's late."

"If we can get somebody to trade times, can we wait until tomorrow?"

"IF you can persuade somebody to go today in your place, that's fine. Good luck with that. Most don't even have their enterprise here in the classroom. Because theirs weren't due for presentation today."

"Why did you schedule us today?"

"Um. YOU scheduled you today. When you drew numbers yesterday. YOU picked that slot. Not me."

"Oh. Yeah."

So, as I stood in the hall, I saw them go from pupil to pupil, asking the favor. They appeared to be having as much luck as Tom Chaney in True Grit getting a Parmalee brother to let him ride double so he didn't have to stay by the rattlesnake pit, watching Mattie Ross of near Dardanelle in Yell County.

Then it happened. A pair agreed to switch. Just like that. No notice. To take the second slot of the day. Without rehearsal or preparation. So I'll give them that, this new crop of pupils. They are, for the most part, compassionate towards their peers.

And now for the NOT-SO-GOOD part. This new crop sometimes seems to think they should each get special treatment. As in asking not to present their enterprise at all, because they get really nervous, have anxiety about speaking in front of a group. Well. Welcome to the club called The Human Race. Unless there's a medical excuse, you're gonna have to suck it up. It's five minutes out of your life.

Also from the NOT-SO-GOOD file...since when did you not getting your stuff done become Mrs. HM's problem? It was emphasized greatly exactly how many days we would have the computer lab, how many days we would work on it in class, which parts were due when, and that once computer time was over, you were on your own. No leaving Mrs. HM's class to go off and do what you should have done then, rather than playing computer games, sneaking looks at your phone, or wandering around socializing.

Let the record show that many tried to garner extra lab time, and were refused. The school is open before first bell and after last bell. Computers may be accessed then. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's room is NOT open. She does not stay after, and she does not want company during the 40 minutes she arrives before first bell. You are welcome to take some supplies, but Mrs. HM is not your babysitter. Time was scheduled. She was available for help. And now you're playing catch-up on your own. Tough love, baby.

Let the record further show that pupils were polite when reminded of these facts. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is firm, but fair. Only pupils absent during the lab time were given a pass.

But here's the longest thorn in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's side this enterprise season: Pupils cannot follow a simple direction.

"Put your board against the wall."

Simple, yes? But not. Projects leaned against desks. Projects standing alone in the middle of the walkway. Projects in front of the colored-paper/colored-pencil/scissors & tape/marker/gluestick area. Seriously? If I wanted the not-heaven kicked out of my enterprise board, that's exactly where I'd put it. Between the feet of 66 pupils (that's 132 feet!) and the brightly-colored accessories that might be used to decorate it.

The reason for this post puts the NOT-SO-GOOD into Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's terms.

When the bell rang at 10:53 for lunch, it took Mrs. HM longer than the four minutes allotted to move a board from in front of her mini-fridge to get out her chicken sandwich, move another board from in front of her file cabinet to get a paper plate, move a different board from in front of her microwave to heat her meat, and move yet another board from in front of her cabinet to get a paper towel.

Mrs. HM's last days should not be so taxing.


Sioux said...

Is the title a reference to "A River Runs Through It."

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yes. Yes it is. You're catching on.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Your job would be so much easier without the students ......

Hillbilly Mom said...

Ain't THAT the truth! But it would not be nearly as entertaining.