Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Homework: Give It Back!
Last night, MonkeyDo brought me a paper that she was working on for class.
Because we have hit that for MonkeyDo. When they're starting to teach them how to write essays.
And then I cried.
I mean, I want to look at what she's written and see how cute it is with the misspellings and the fact that her arguments make no sense and, ok, it's so cute. But, at the same time, I remember going through this with MonkeySee and getting so frustrated because, really, are you kidding me? What about that thing you just wrote seemed like a good idea to you?
I want to sit down with them and make them write a real, good essay and teach them how and make them do it right. Because it makes me crazy looking at what they write and I can't imagine that my essays were that bad when I was their age (oh, hell, I'm sure they were).
But you know what? They have teachers. Teachers that know how to teach and know how to walk them through the process so that they can see all the steps and put the pieces together and then get to the point where they can write a good essay.
So, kind of, I'm at the point where I don't care. She brings it to me. I read it. I snicker to myself and I give it back. Spelling's wrong. Grammar's iffy. Can't possibly be an argumentative essay when the final point doesn't follow from the arguments you've made.
How is her teacher ever going to find out where she needs more help if I help her make it pretty before she turns it back in?
Which is kind of how I felt when she brought home the math test with the note on it that said she needed help in a certain area. I wanted to send it back with a note that said "Well, Mister Master's-Degree-In-Teaching, whatcha gonna do about that?"
I know I'm supposed to help her with her homework if she needs it... But I'm not teaching her algebraic concepts. Sorry.
It's the same thing with MonkeySee and his algebra homework. He refuses to write out his work. He tries to do it in his head and then he gets it wrong, but nobody knows what step he didn't get right because it's all in his head.
When I found out he was doing that again this year, he got a little yelled at.
"Isn't that how you failed algebra last year?"
*deer in headlights look*
"Yes, MonkeySee, yes, it is. Now knock it the hell off and write out your work."
Is it wrong that, sometimes, I want to follow up my sentences to them with "Idiot!"?
I know that sounds really really wrong, but, seriously, we have had this conversation before. Multiple times.