Today was the last day of the quarter and it went about as typically as last days of the quarter go...
Student comes in first thing in the morning: "Teacher! You never put my points in for this assignment and now you failed me!" (notice the generous use of the word "you")
Me: "It's because you never turned in that assignment."
Student: "Yes I did! I know for a fact I did!"
Me: "Search your backpack, search your locker and search the no name folder. If it's not in any of those three places then we'll talk."
Student, 10 minutes later: "It was in my locker."
Me: "That's what I thought."
Student: "Can I still turn it in?"
Me: "Unfortunately no. The deadline for all work was last week."
Student: "But I HAVE to have a C!"
Me: "I'm sorry but you earned a D+. You gotta be aware of those deadlines and get your stuff in on time."
Student: "You don't understand- if you don't give me a C then I can't be on cheer anymore."
Me: "You don't understand- you didn't earn a C."
Student: "But if you let me hand in this assignment I know I would have a C."
Me: "But it's over a week late."
Student: "But you don't understand! I have a very special situation because I was having car troubles which is why I was late and then my ride didn't show up on time and then my coffee spilled all over me on the way to school and then I was sick with mono and couldn't come to school and I thought I was pregnant and then when I did come to school I was excused for college day and then my boyfriend dumped me for another girl who isn't even cute and then the counselor messed up my whole schedule and then my dog vomitted all over the homework so I lit a candle to get the smell out and then the house burned down from the candle and burned all my books and assignments and also shoes so I had to walk to school in my bare feet in the snow uphill both ways and then I got ran over by a car and had my legs amputated and THEN I had to fight in the zombie apocalypse!"
and so forth
and so forth
and so forth
These are my snappy days- the times when I lose my cool and my patience entirely. For about 72 hours every quarter I think I am a twisted masochist who needs serious help for choosing this profession and I promise myself I will resign immediately! Well...as soon as the grades are in! Then the quarter ends, the grades get posted and voila! I love my job again, why would I ever want to leave this profession?
But those students! I tell you what, they have got the pestering thing down to a science. For how easy it is for them to lose their homework, they sure are good at finding their teachers. They are killers who will find me anywhere. They're like the damn paparazzi, hunting me down, prowling, never letting me rest. After today I can say that I know exactly what it's like to be a celebrity. (A celebrity who pulls in $32K, wowzers!) Those little man-eaters track me down in the faculty room at lunch, they come banging down my door during my prep period, they interrupt my classes like it's nothing, (WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GRADE MY ESSAY I TURNED IN 26 MINUTES AGO?) they stake out my car with late assignments galore and generous, albeit futile, offerings of diet coke.
None of this would be a problem if I could just stick to my freaking guns a little better. The problem is that most of the time I buy their bull. I have too much of a heart, and I hate that. Part of me thinks "I must prepare them for the real world! They can't turn in late work EVER!" But then I realize people are late all the time in the "real world", they just have apt consequences. People are late for interviews and they don't get hired. People are late on bills and they get a fee. People are late on their mortgages for too long and they lose their home. It occurred to me that students should have a similar fee... one that is non negotiable and preferably monetary. In other words, students should have to pay to hand in late assignments. Forget docking points, it should be a straight flat fee of $3 to the teacher every day the assignment is late. (Can you imagine an assignment that was 2 months late? That'd be an extra $180 I could make by grading that bad boy!) What you'd have on your hands is students who would get their assignments in on time and teachers who would stop whining about having to correct late work. Win win and I'm a freaking baby genius over here. Too bad schools aren't businesses, but I can't help think that our education system would be better if they were. And THAT is a topic for another day.
This was supposed to be a post about a lot of different things but then it turned in to a post just about late work and how is that for a freaking lame post?
In other words, I am now the unproud owner of a gross amount of diet coke.
Also unproud is not a word, but it should be.