Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh, for Pete's sake

I got a piece of paper from Martha today after school:


Dear parents,

Yes, today the parents are getting a homework assignment! A listserv I was visiting was discussing "first of year activities." In a Million Words or Less... was a huge favorite, and a huge success. The reason behind it is that it takes teachers a great deal of time to know your child. Some we never really know. Being familiar with each student's personality, background, and strengths or weaknesses helps me plan for the year.

Who better to tell me about my students than the people who know them best! This activity gives you a chance to tell me what you think I should know about your scholar. I will not share your comments with any other person unless you tell me in your message that I can.

Eighth grade students will be very busy this year. Among other things, we will work toward improving vocabulary both for reading comprehension and for greater clarity in their writing and speaking. The curriculum is rigorous but very doable. The goal of the curriculum is to prepare your student for success in high school and the assorted state-mandated tests.

Take your time with this homework assignment, but there must be a deadline. Please get In A Million Words or Less... to me no later than Friday, September 19th. I am looking forward to reading your insights which will help make this a successful school year.

Sheesh. I have a couple of options. Either I spend pages and pages telling things exactly as they are, or I tell her to keep her eye on this child because you just never know what she's going to do at any moment in time.

Due to a few disciplinary issues, her cell phone and mp3 player were confiscated this weekend. Then she pulled a real doozy -- she got out a family-sized frozen lasagna while I was on the phone with my cousin in Tennessee, warmed it in the microwave, at the top part off it, left the rest sitting on the dining room table and went to bed.


When I discovered what she had done, I marched upstairs, dragged her out of bed and chewed her up one side and down the other. Her punishment was that after she had finished the lasagna (not all at once, of course, but at every meal until it was gone), she would be able to eat a ham sandwich for her meals for the next week. I'm not starving her, of course, but I am limiting her options as severely as I can.

She furiously stomped back up the stairs (as heavily and noisily as possible, kicking everything in her path) and screamed that I was a "fat faggot."

When I tell you people that I'm not sure how I will be able to keep my mugshot off CNN until she moves out of the house someday, I'm really not kidding.

And in the meantime, I'm supposed to introduce her to her English teacher. I'm pleased that she's been moved into regular English class rather than SPED English (she will probably always have to have SPED math, I'm afraid)... but holy cow! Where do I begin on this assignment?!? I'm glad I have a week to come up with something.

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