Friday, October 7, 2011

Is it me?

If you're hoping for a cheery post - stop reading now.  This isn't going to be a cheerful post about my job as a teacher, in fact - it may be down right depressing.  I want to be angry, I am angry, but I've learned angry does not help me.  What happened?  Well, I'm so glad you asked.

Is it me? - Reason #1:

This past week I taught my ass off - "taught like my hair was on fire!".  (An expression we seem to use a lot lately to mean we are really "gettin' it" in the classroom).  I did my unit on Propaganda this week.  I gave a pre-test to activate all the techniques they should have learned last year, and then reviewed it item by item with each numbered question culminating in the right answer.  I did a detailed PowerPoint presentation WITH a guided FILL IN THE BLANK note-taking guide.  Every three slides students were asked a series of questions about the last three propaganda techniques, given time to discuss said techniques with their neighbors, and then we had a class discussion where they shared their answers. Every three slides!  After this, I showed five pictures of different advertisements and had them match up the propaganda technique with the add and then confirmed the correct answers.  For the rhetorical pieces I gave an example sentence for each type, had the sentence copied word for word into their notes, and then had students read them aloud and tell my WHY it was a good example of the particular style of rhetoric.  I mean, I covered ALL my bases. 

I then followed it up with a matching game to have them look at even more examples of propaganda and rhetoric, and concluded the lesson with a detailed study guide of everything that would be on the test (and the study guide is shockingly similar to the test).  Every block on  the "I'm an awesome teacher have covered all my standards given examples to include collaboration, written, visual and auditory teaching/learning, group work, review and reflection" was checked - twice!

Then I gave the test.  And they bombed it.  And let me share with you now, the test was EXACTLY the same as the pre-test - word for word.  The graphics were EXACTLY the same as the images in the PowerPoint, I didn't even change the order.  All I did was slap the words "Post - Test" across the top.  That was literally the only difference.

Someone please explain this to me because right now, I feel like a huge failure and I just don't understand.

Is it me? - Reason #2:

I have been teaching persuasive writing since the first week of school.  I have asked students to use a formula for writing their paragraphs that consists of five sentences.  This is the "hamburger" style paragraph, and there is no cheese because that would make it six sentences and I just want five!  I have given outlines, examples, and multiple chances to write five simple sentences in a cohesive paragraph.

On today's quiz I went so far as to outline right above the prompt exactly what I wanted in the introduction:

Sentence #1:  Hook your reader with an interesting statement
Sentence #2:  Support your hook statement with relevant information
Sentence #3:  Transition to the "meat" of your topic
Sentence #4:  Give a general statement about your topic narrowing down your focus
Sentence #5:  Construct a direct thesis statement using the EXACT following formula "Topic+Opinion (no 1st or 2nd person pronouns) because reason #1, reason #2, reason #3.  I even drew the following graphic:  _____________________________________ because ________________________________________, ______________________________________, and ____________________________________.

I had three students do this correctly out of 50.  THREE!  What in the world could I have done differently????

Dear Lord,
Please give me strength, patience, and apparently I should pray for a magic wand to slap these kids upside the head with because you know that I'm at my wits end!

P.S. - A fight broke out IN my classroom today while I was on my required hall duty.  Yeah - I have no idea what I'm doing it seems...Thank God for Fall Break!


  1. I've tried to post here in the comments twice and both times it has not worked. If you want to know what I think, please facebook me.


  2. Not sure why it wouldn't work other than I have to approve comments (there are some students out there that read my blog and one that wasn't nice one time - maturity issues). I FBed you Neil...if anyone else is having trouble, let me know!

  3. OK - trying to post a comment from another source to see if it works :-) I'm posting as anonymous which is what anyone can use.