I feel like I am trapped inside the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse A Cookie…” with one of my students right now. This student came into our class about 2 weeks into the semester and missed the research paper unit. As a sophomore in high school he has about a 6th grade reading level and could not get into Fahrenheit 451 at all, the vocabulary was just was too much for him. Instead of giving him a 0/100 I missed my 4th hour class to type for him while he told me about his relationship with school and what goals he had for the future. With my prompting questions and organization I was able to get him three pages double-spaced in about 30 minutes. He was surprised that writing could be so quick and easy. To be fair, he was just talking about himself and what he knew, but it was great to see that he was able to see what writing can be.
Well, now this week he came to me on Wednesday and asked if I could help him type up a research paper. He told me that he already had it written out by hand, but he needed help typing it up and because I was so fast last time, would I be willing to help him again. So I skipped my 4th hour again, thinking that it wouldn’t take me very long to just type up what he had already written. The research paper was on Martin Luther for his Western Civ. class, so I was nervous about even being able to help him with the information. Well, turns out that he had a basic summary written down, no citations, and it was very awkwardly worded. I was able to get him through all but the conclusion when the bell rang for the end of class. I asked him when it was due and he told me it was due that day. I asked him what he planned to do about it not being done and he just shrugged.
On Thursday it was solidified that he was incapable of working on his own when he asked me if he could come in again during 4th hour to finish up his conclusion with me. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him no, as his teacher it is my job to help him. So instead of missing my 4th hour class again I set him up and told him to read over his paper by himself, and start the conclusion. I would come back to check on him in 20 minutes, but that I needed to be with my class. I came back and he had a very rough conclusion worked out, but I was able to get him done with it and his works cited page.
The major issue is that my CT is getting a little crabby that I am missing teaching classes to help this kid with a paper that isn’t even for our class. I completely understand that part of it, but it was the only time that he could come in and meet with me. Hopefully he won’t have any papers other classes due soon so I won’t have to choose between helping him and teaching Creative Writing.
What do I do though? Tell him no? Miss teaching to help a kid that needs it? If he is so helpless I don’t want to set him up to fail. He is finally getting engaged in the class after I have been helping him, so I don’t want him to feel like I don’t care anymore about him doing well. Guh, I don’t know what to do.
My tenth graders were asked the question “In your opinion, what is love?” for a quiz for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Some of my favorite answers are listed below. Some are serious and some are seriously funny.
“I don’t believe in love”
“Love is an unpredictable thing”
“My opinion of what love is that it’s being able to stand the good and bads of a person no matter what.”
“Love is an illusion based on looks.”
“Love is like a drama.”
“I don’t love girls I just like them. If I loved someone I would still be with them but I’m not.”
“Love is a feeling in which you care more about the other person than you do about yourself.”
“Well to me love is this feeling you have for someone where that feeling will never go away. Love is allowing someone to hold your heart while you hold theirs. As a teenager I didn’t believe in love but now I do.”
“Love is a selfish, cautious and stupid emotion that is hard to get and hard to hold on to.”
“I think love is when you find that person that just matches up perfectly with you and someone that you can spend your whole life with.”
“I think that I have not yet experienced love (with another person) yet. You can love something that is not a person, like pineapples.”
“Love is insane.”
“Love is an abstract concept that cannot be clearly defined. At best, love is fickle and incomprehensibly complicated.”
“I think love is a passionate feeling for someone that lasts forever and is unconditional, forgiving, and unselfish.”