Today was possibly the WORST day of my teaching career - yea, I know it has only been 7 months... We have been working on poetry for the past 5 weeks. We would do 2-3 poems a week, knowing we would turn them into a poetry book. About 2 weeks ago, we finished writing poems and began typing them. My kids knew the due date of the poetry book and - seemed to be - working hard to get it finished. All last week, I gave them extra time to type their poems and on Friday I handed out the folder for them to create their "Poetry Book." I reminded them that it was all due by Monday morning. This morning rolls around and I head back to my kidney table (where the kids turn their homework in) and see 5 poetry books on the table. I remind my kids to turn their books in and I get 2 more back (to make a TOTAL of 7). I think to myself, "There is no way that I have only 7 turned in... Maybe they just aren't listening." So, I ask everyone to stand up and as I call their names, to sit down. I do this and realize that 21 of them do not have it turned in. I get extremely frustrated and think I will cool off by checking to see that they have turned in their TYPED narrative stories. I count the narratives and realize that I only have 7 of those turned in, too. I, ONCE AGAIN, remind them to bring me back their stories. Once again, I get 2 more for a TOTAL OF 7! At this point, I go off on them. I tell them how frustrating it is to work really hard on something and just not have it turned in. I realize the time and send my kids off to reading groups (hoping that I will cool off while they are gone). During reading groups, I get more mad and more frustrated at the thought of their irresponsibility and lack of care. My students walk back in the room and it is time to go to specials. I pull the 7 kids who turned both assignments in up to the front and thank them for caring about their school work and tell them that they will be eating lunch in the room for free with me today. I hear a couple of sighs from the kids sitting down and that just throws me over the edge. I tell the good, caring, responsible kids to go to Library while I have a "chat" with the bad, irresponsible, frustrating kids (I didn't really say that, but I sure felt like it). I just let loose on those 5th graders. I tell them how frustrated and disappointed I am at them for just not caring. I remind them of the long time frame they have to finish their assignments and tell them that not having a computer at home is NO excuse with the amount of time we spent in the computer lab. I then point out the kids who ALWAYS turn their work in and say how disappointed I am in them because this is not what I expect from them (in turn making them all of them, but one cry) and that I expect it from some of the other kids because they never turn their work in (making one of the other kids cry). I tell them to turn in their poetry notebooks as is because I won't give them more time to work on it. They do so and I send them to library while giving them the "teacher look." The one - usually responsible - student that didn't cry earlier comes up to me and says, "Mrs. Fryar does this mean I don't have detention after school?" I say, "You won't have detention, but you will probably get an F on your poetry notebook." His response... NO JOKE... "Thank goodness. I didn't want to have detention." I send him off to library because I just couldn't believe he would say that. I wrote a LONG note to his momma letting her know how disappointed I was in him and his reaction.
It was a terrible day and I hope that I have scared my kids enough to NEVER pull that off...
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