Tuesday, September 11, 2007


What a shitty day. I've always belived that when it comes to things like luck, the Leperchauns passed me over--and I'm Irish.
My lesson plan with the Sophomores today included a pre-write on the importance of family in influencing our lives--positively and negatively. We would be reading "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" by Sherman Alexie. The story begins with Victor learning that his father had passed away.
In the first set of Sophomores, I noticed a young man sitting with the text closed. Realizing that this was more than just obstinance on his part, I asked, "Is there a reason why you don't want to read today?"
He nodded his head yes.
"Well, would you like to share that reason with me?"
He openned his planner to today's date and there, scribbled in pencil: R.I.P. Papi.
Then in the following period, I noticed another student agititated during the writing prompt. He went to the bathroom. When he returned, I handed him the text and gave him the instructions. He sat down, openned the text and began reading. Thirty seconds later, he slams the packet to the ground, storms out of the classroom and slams the door behind him.
I received an e-mail from the school's psychologist later in the day. He informed me of some real bad family events taking place in the kid's life.
Shit, shit.


At 2:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a writer-editor with NEA Today magazine, the magazine of the National Education Association. We’re looking for teachers who blog for a project we’re developing for neatoday.org.
Could you email me at ckopkowski@nea.org, or give me a call at 202-822-7661?
Cynthia Kopkowski

At 7:09 PM , Blogger Dana Huff said...

Well, damn. Can you believe people think teaching's easy?

At 7:30 PM , Blogger care020 said...

Bad luck. Bad juju. Evil spirits. Call it what you will. Sometimes it's hard to wear all of the hats we are expected to balance. Yes, there are times between being counselor, nurse, surrogate parent, and law enforcement that you just can't pull off the perfect lesson.

In the past, I have given a heads up before doing things that might be emotionally heavy, and I try to have an alternate text on hand just in case. Even with all of that, sometimes things take a wrong turn.

You did not intend to do anything malicious. You simply had a rough day. Even people with good luck have those from time to time.

At 10:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I can't help but point out that you aren't the unlucky one in this story.

At 3:01 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Very true, Matthew.

At 6:15 PM , Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

But you were there for them...and they will remember you...


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