You cannot make me do this work!
This class is dumb and you’re a jerk.
I will not hand in a single paper
You cannot make me do it later.
Hey, our report cards have arrived
HE FAILED ME? (insert dramatic sighs)
I hate this school! Look at this report, see-
how all the teachers clearly hate me!
Don’t tell me that they can’t give credit
unless there’s work for them to edit.
Don’t tell me if I don’t show what I can do
then they have nothing to give them a clue.
None of this is my fault, you shrew!
I’m quitting school, so screw each and every one of you!
(This has terrible scansion. I apologize)
I did poorly, grade-wise, my last two years of high school. But I understood that it was my choice. I didn’t blame the school of the teachers. I wanted to write and play guitar, so I did.
And in my school, I could have set you up with an Independent Directed Study and given you credit for both! (Providing you didn’t want to be in Mr. Pickup’s Guitar class, or my Creative Writing class). We’re a school of only 120 student grade 8-12, but we offer an amazing amount of opportunity for our kids!
If my student would know how to use “shrew” in a sentence, for sure they will get some credit from me 🙂
Taming of? 😉
Either way, tamed or not 😀
I was an English teacher for 30 years… I love it!!!
It’s astonishing how a subset of students fail to make the connection between lack of production and lack of grade! Despite reminders, warnings, and nagging, it is still someone else’s fault if they don’t achieve. We sometimes say, “We should not care more about your success than you do!” The joy of teenagers. They usually figure it out sometime during grade 10, but some wait until they receive word that they’re not going to graduate until the sit up and take notice.
It’s tough in fifth grade also. You have to teach them to think… Yes, I know…
and gr 8, 9, 10, 11…
They really don’t want to think. They want you to hand them answers. We wear them down eventually, though.
They didn’t care what they were saying just how long did it have to be. I always said, “Until you are through saying what you have to say.! “Oh how they hated that answer!
lol and in Creative Writing, I made them work 8 weeks on 2 pages- a scene that was a snapshot of 5 minutes of time. What a challenge! But those scenes were GOOD by the time they were done!
(Actually, they did 3 or 4 such scenes, and polished the one (juniors 8-10) or two (seniors 11-12) for publication).
Great poem! As a college professor I sometimes operate under the delusion that students are in college because 1) they want to be or 2) the see a positive outcome if they pursue their degree. Today I had student meetings to review their progress, discuss paper revisions, etc…I had one young lady who had missed several classes and had failed two hand in 1/3 of her assignments ask, “What do you mean I am failing? I always got an A or B in English in high school.” Then it became all drama. So, even at the college level, it can still be interesting. Again, loved the poem!
and you pointed at the syllabus where each assignment’s per cent of her mark was laid out, and she blinked in amazement, right?
Blinked, whined, then cried. Literally. Didn’t know what she was going to do. I suggested something original…do the work.
lol I’ve been offered bribes, too. Cash. Gift cards.
I have the same refrain: Just. Do. The. Work!
Love the poem. Hate the sad truth of it. Starts in Elementary, but more from the parents SHOCK when progress reports begin to show to much ball games, late nights, and concession stand food for healthy school lifestyle. Complain, “the teacher’s fault!” Always, I repeat, always someone else fault little Johnny can’t read: ( Highly respect teacher’s and what they do! I see and “hear” all this from the Office view… So sad, “Why do we have to come to parent/teacher conferences.. There’s a game tonight!!” Good poem and point Shawn ..sorry for my “rant”, I guess you could call me a ” shrew” too:)
Parental support is so important, and it has to be real support with a healthy dose of skepticism. Modeling positive, real life reading and math experiences at home is important, but so is modeling healthy lifestyles. When the kids get to high school, not believing everything they text home would be good, too, because a lot drama erupts because of parents coming to the ‘rescue’ of their oppressed babies when their kid is actually the one in the wrong. (Like the kid picks a fight, and howls when it comes back at her). So much drama when responsibility and consideration are usually the keys to success.
I had an adult English student who said as much, and got his boss to cut me loose. Korean society; loss of face, and all that.
Isn’t requesting the cutting loose worth a loss of face? Giving up being worse than struggling to achieve and all?
Thanks for the apology – do you usually rely on meter in your poetry or is context more important?
Ideally they’re in balance. Some poetry is metrical and some is not. This should be, but isn’t! lol
so how would you rate it compared to your metrical poetry?
It’s a bit of a throw-away poem. If I figured it was of lasting value I’d tidy it up, but it’s more of a rant than anything I’ll save for a future anthology or similar.