Monday, February 07, 2005

Would someone tell me what is SO terribly complicated about writing a letter?? We have spent 2 valuable days of math class writing thank you letters to the governor for our laptops. A worthwhile assignment, yes... but I did not know it was going to be so terribly difficult for my students to handle it.

I set it up so they used a total block style format - DON'T INDENT ANYTHING... I must have said that at least... 1000 times the past 2 days.... not exaggerating in the least... but yet, as the letters came out of the printer, INDENTED lines!!!

Little things like capitalizing MI both letters in the state abbreviation.... Little things like capitalizing their own names...Little things like addressing an envelope. I put a sample on the board, leaving nothing to chance, or so I was naiive enough to think. But where I wrote "your name" for the first line of the return address, one young man actually wrote "your name"... and no, he was not being smart assed... at least I don't even want to think so...

and then another of my charmers, got suspended today for having "a huge ole back of dope" in his pocket.... the same young man who flipped me off in class Friday for scolding him for laughing when a girl was crying because she thought her PowerPoint was erased.

somedays.... somedays... somedays... I am glad this is here so not only can I vent but also so I can look back and read the good days... somedays... somedays... somedays...


Kat B. said...

Cossondra, you will love this one! My son is a Junior in college and cannot address an envelope correctly! He doesn't even recognize that he needs to put his return address on envelopes and this grinds me every time I receive a postal mail from him. Granted, I should be happy to even get a mail from him, yet these are not like letters he has written to me or anything. Now, my 13 year old is better with his English skills, but I'm sure there is no way he would address an envelope correctly either since the actual teaching of how to do this was done back in 4th and 5th grades. He has sent a couple of letters out this past year, notably invitations for a party and probably 3 "thank you" letters, but completely ruins the first envelope attempt on each. I end up taking a piece of paper and writing exactly what the front of the envelope should look like. And, yes, I have had "your name" on envelopes instead of both my boys' names more than once. This should be something that is gone over every year in English to keep kids on top of it. Though, truly, it is a parent's responsibility to be sure that kids are sending out "thank you" letters when gifts are received and I am guilty of not having kept up with this action though I'm good at doing this myself. Next time, if there is a next time, let the kids send these notes however they print them, even with the indents and lower case 2nd letters in the state abbreviation. Hey, maybe it would show the governors, yours and mine, what kind of teaching assistance is actually needed for our kids. And, if these letters are drastic enough to be obvious that our kids needs are not being met, maybe we'll see more money for our kids' education instead of the cuts that our government has blessed us with including the cuts for this year!:)
As for your "Charmer", he needs to get some serious counseling now before he ends up in a detention center for the rest of his life at the age of 19 or something! Even if he chooses not to participate in some of the first meetings, he will at some point just like in the movie Good Will Hunting. If you haven't seen it, do. It should be a learning tool for all teachers and counselors. There are a lot of kids who could use this help. Too bad there aren't enough counselors out there, even if they were volunteers without a degree yet had the desire to truly help; of course with a background check and maybe a "sensability or something" test! :) Take care and hang in there. You are truly a needed blessing for your students.
NE Georgia Mountains Area

cossondra said...

Thanks for the comments Kat :-) It is nice to know kids are kids EVERYWHERE! I love Good Will Hunting - you are so right that it is a wonderful "teacher" tool. The "charmer" is in counseling already thankfully. I also had his older brother. What a sad way for kids to grow up... at one point the younger boy was in foster care. I hope this incident will motivate that replacement. He did so much better away from Mom, sadly enough.

Thank you notes are such a lost art it seems... or maybe it is a Southern thing.. my mother ALWAYS made us write them, as I did with my own two daughters, but it seems kids now days seldom write them. I get so IRRITATED when you give a wedding, graduation, or baby gift and get no acknowledgement. Of course, once in a while I get a thank you from a student or parent. Those are the best part of my job!!

Thanks for the kind words.. I like knowing someone is reading.

On a side note, I am "on the road" now returning from visiting my parents in Mississippi. And now I am back to the Michigan reality of snow... what a treat to be down South again in February. Enjoy those flowers and your spring!

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