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Thursday, October 20, 2011

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Tutoring started this week, so now I get to answer the question, "Is today tutoring?" about 512 times every day. I would normally expect my kids to remember that Tuesday and Thursday are the tutoring days, but since I have proof that some of my kids cannot even remember how OLD they are, I have no aspirations that they will remember which days are tutoring days.

Seriously, I have at least one child who doesn't know how old she is. We went to the library to browse at the Book Fair yesterday after lunch, and this little girl brought a book to me. She asked if she could write down the price so that she could remember how much to bring the next day. I saw that it was $7.99, so I THOUGHT I could help her easily remember how much to bring. I asked her, "How old are you?" (thinking she would say 8) She replied, "I do not know. My mother never told me."

The librarian looked at me in horror, and I just sighed and said, "Yeah, that's my life this year."

Back to tutoring, I worked with a group of kids today that were also suffering from Youth Alzheimer's. I asked them to "find the sum" of two numbers -- something we have been doing all year long. They looked at me as if I had said, "Jibberjab the doohickey." In Russian.

After reminding them that "Sum" means the answer to an addition problem, I asked the point blank what "sum" meant. Dasvidaniya, all over again. And again, and again.

After tutoring, only 2 of the 4 tutoring buses were on time. Most of the teachers were herding the kids into two lines to wait for those two remaining buses. "Herding" is the perfect word for that, because these kids definitely have a herd mentality. After waiting for about 10 minutes in a line, they bolted wildly for the street as soon as they saw the bus pull up. Any semblance of a line was gone, and it was every kid for himself. Including my new friend, "Steven Segall," the 2nd grader who likes to chew on acorns and draw all over his own face with a magic marker.

As I hurried after the herd, I passed one of the buses that had been sitting there for a while, and as I glanced in, I saw a kid (who obviously did not see me) stand up and shout, "SHIT!!" Not in anger, not in pain, not in surprise -- he said it like he was taking it for a test drive.

Which made me wish that kids would try out new academic vocabulary with the fervor and frequency that they try out the forbidden vocabulary. I think I need to start using math words in the context of curse words to try to entice the kids to start saying them.

"Sum you!"
"Go estimate yourself!"
"Son of a difference!"

I came home today with a pounding headache. I am super thankful that tomorrow is Friday. Which, despite the confusion, is NOT a tutoring day.


Kirsten said...

Love the new cuss words! I'm going to have to start using them at school. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! I totally laughed out loud at your new swear words. Have you tried teaching them to tell time to the minute yet? Quarter past means 25 minutes after the hour with my 3rd graders. It doesn't matter how many times I teach it, or what materials I use, it's still 25 minutes. Could analog clocks become obsolete?

ladysantora said...

Wait, do you have my sped class?! lol

Mister Teacher said...

Anonymous, we've done a bit of time, and I haven't even TRIED to give myself a headache with quarter hours. It's bad enough talking to them about before and after...

Mrs. Gumby said...

Too funny! I teach English Language Learners. It's interestimg how they learn curse words faster than any others. Sigh!

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