Monday, November 2, 2009

Homework....The Never Ending Story.

Matthew is screwed. Is that rude? Okay, how do I put it another way...he's toast. He's a goner. His life is over. Done. Finished. Why? Because I am the homework checker. Not because I am "the teacher." It's because he has to do his homework when he gets home and I am the only one here to check it. So, he's screwed. Why? Because I am the teacher. I am mandated to check, correct, and teach. It says so on my diploma. And it should have said so on his birth certificate...but that is another story, for another time, for those parents who believe that a teacher should teach their children everything they need to know in life and think they have a free pass as a homework checker.

Matthew came home with sentences today. Take five spelling words, write five sentences. Simple, right? Totally. And simple is what he delivered.

I have a tent.
I get a pen.
I like the color red.

I looked over them and said. "These are sentences, but they are not good sentences." I told him that I was going to erase them and he was going to do them over again. I told him that my students can't write simple sentences for me, they have to write sentences that have details in them. I told him that it is not okay to do enough work just to get by, that I expect him to put more effort into his work and try harder. This was his response...

"But Mom, I am not one of your students. I am not in the fifth grade. And those were sentences!!!!"

So he wrote new sentences. I helped him think of sentences that had more details in them like, "I went to the pet shop to get a hamster." and "I set up a tent in the backyard to go camping." and "I have a good friend named Jeevan." OF COURSE, I had issues with him starting all of the sentences with "I", but judging by the look on his face and the meltdown that was to come on at any minute, I decided to skip that. There is always next week.

I had someone tell me one time that the reason Matthew is so smart is because I am a teacher. There is absolutely no truth to that. He's learned a lot because we have taught him. Those "teachable moments" that I have some days in my classroom, where I have gone completely away from what is in the text book, to describe and give details to explain to my class what the concept is....that doesn't get turned off when I come home. Some days it does....don't get me wrong. The thought of sitting with Matt and doing homework after I have corrected 90 papers and it's only Monday, is not appealing. But it's simple, his teacher isn't responsible for everything he learns. So yeah...he's screwed. Because teachable moments have no office hours.


  1. Funny story. It goes well with Halloween cat. Here are some sentences for Matthew to practice for school...
    1. The stray cat gave me pin worms.
    2. Is mebendazole available in generic?
    3. Mom, these pin worm pills are gigantic!
    4. Since we've all got worms, can we go ahead and adopt Mr. Whiskers? He can take some of our medicine.