Friday, May 31

WTF is this? absolutely no credit

Every single teacher on earth has probably wanted to write it on a paper, and most do pass the message on in some way. However, the Florida teacher who wrote it probably should have just thought it. "WTF is this? absolutely no credit."




One time, I had a student decide to research El Caminos for sale on Craigslist for an entire class period, even after I caught him at it twice (I had been asked not to kick him off the computer entirely because he was so far behind in his work). So I emailed his mom to let her know, specifically telling her that while El Caminos are fine automobiles, they were not part of the assignment. I also added some of the student's other recent infractions and my attempts to get him to do anything in class. She went to administrators and other teachers, saying that I was ridiculing him. Ridiculing would have been something like, "WTF, a student who never does his work and tries to leave the class every day to wander the halls will never be able to afford a sweet El Camino unless his helicopter mommy buys it for him." 

Like I said, teachers would love to say stuff like that, but it's not terribly professional. Basically, teaching means maintaining some semblance of professionalism while surrounded by chaos and incompetence, some of which coming from the students you're trying to teach. Most teachers have issued no credit for work not done. Like a 0. Parents could say that 0s indicate the teacher is calling the kid a loser, which the teacher basically is doing. Zero is nothing. I only gave a grade of 0 to students who refused to work, not even to those who turned something in. I have to wonder what this kid turned in for his assignment, which seemed like a pretty simple task to complete:
Your assignment for the next two days is to find a current event in science or technology, and to write a small report about it.
The teacher suggested using Arstechnica, Wired, National Geographic, and other official-sounding websites.
 
The student decided to use a vlog by Savannah M____ titled The Ugliest But Most Talented Bats. I could not find this vlog on YouTube, but I did find another video with an ugly bat. 

I also found several vlogs of good looking, mostly blonde women traveling to Savannah, GA, so I'll include this travel vlog from the Happy Hippy instead, mostly because I don't need to promote beautiful people any more than necessary (and I'm not saying happy hippies aren't beautiful, just not in the YouTube vlogging sensation way).  

Maybe the vlog in question was created by a member of the school's science staff, since the author's name was written as "Ms. M____" I found a Savannah M____ as a science writer in Panama City, FL. She also had been listed as a science teacher graduate FSU until recently (as in once the school learned about the wtf situation).



So I assume Ms. M____ is the teacher who wrote wtf on the assignment of a student who used one of her own vlogs as the source of his article. First year teacher, from what I can tell. Maybe she shared the vlog with the students and maybe the jackass student tracked it down himself, but his intent was to embarrass her. Maybe demonstrate his creepy ability to track her down online.

Back when I was working at a school, an attractive young first year teacher (and my co-coach) had modeling photos of herself online. By the time I looked her up on the modeling site, only her cowgirl outfit was still there, but she had apparently also had aspirations of being an underwear model. Of course, students downloaded the photos. I'm sure some of those students still have those photos on a hard drive somewhere. She probably should have gotten those photos taken down before she started teaching, or changed her name.

First year teachers, especially millennials, need to make that jump from posting their entire lives online (and texting wtf to their friends) to being the only adult in the room. Think about that for a second. In half the classrooms in America, the only adult in the room is a millennial. And the rest are whatever we call the kids today, Generation Z, I guess. In fact, first year teachers today are part of Gen Z themselves. Or Gen Tech, post-Millennials, iGeneration, and Gen Y-Fi. Point is, they are used to wtf language but also tattling to mommy when feelings get hurt. 

The teacher should have just walked away from this one, I suppose. But one time I walked away from a situation where I caught a kid with cigarettes--I just confiscated them and told him never again. Later in that year (MY first year of teaching), he tattled on me for bringing in some free newspapers with some racy ads in the back that were supposed to be used for the articles in the front. So giving a kid a break also does not always work. In later years, I tried open communication with parents, which (El Camino Kid) doesn't always work, either. Basically, you're on your own as a teacher, and you're pretty much just lucky if you get through any year without getting in some kind of trouble. That said, I've met some pretty lackluster teachers over the years; weirdly, most of them never seemed to have much trouble coming back year after year. Those are the teachers who don't actually read the end-of-year assignments, just adding a check mark to each one, I suppose.