Every teacher (or parent for that matter) has experienced the lack of listening skills that kids have. You painstakingly review the instructions with the students and then write the steps out on the board/smartboard and even have the kids repeat back to you what they need to do but inevitably you have students come up to you and ask what they need to do next…. and you hold your breath, give them what you hope isn’t as murderous of a look as you think it might be in your head and point to the board. This happens so frequently in my classroom that it has become a norm of sorts. These are kids here so I forgive and move on quickly and hope that they don’t do it again.
Even more maddening is when adults do this. I recently got the go ahead to start work on our next mosaic project with my now 7th graders. As you might remember, I don’t have my students for the whole year but rather a quarter so in order to work with every student before my deadline I need to seek out the 7th grade core teachers and find a time that works best for them. This year I’m starting very early so that I can pull them from their “E-Block” time. The “E-Block” is a study-hall of sorts where some kids might work on homework, make up tests, seek out a teacher for extra help, or read a silent reading book. So at the beginning of the week I sent all of the teachers the following email:
I was just given the go-ahead to start the ball rolling for another mosaic for our 7th graders which means I need to start figuring out when you guys would be the least inconvenienced to work with your students. This year I was thinking that I could work with students during their day 4 E block (which is my prep time) if that is ok with all of you? Because this doesn’t period doesn’t meet as often as AST did last year I would like to start this as soon as benchmarks are finished on the first 4 day (September 20th). I will leave it up to you if you would like to bring your kids
Is this ok with everyone and would anyone like to go first?
Now I thought that this was pretty straight forward here, Am I wrong? Apparently I must be wrong because I had not one but two teachers email me back asking when do I want their students. I know it is difficult and we all have a lot on our plates- BELIEVE ME THIS I UNDERSTAND- but if we expect our students to read all of the directions, shouldn’t we hold ourselves and our colleagues to the same standards?
How would you handle this?