Student: “The dog ate my homework.” Teacher: “You don’t have a dog.”
Student: “I left the assignment on the bus.” Teacher: “You walk to school.”
Student: “I didn’t know there was a quiz today.” Teacher: “Nobody did. It’s a pop quiz.”
Student: “I didn’t know this stuff would be on the test.” Teacher: “I guess you didn’t understand when I said, ‘This stuff will be on the test.’”
Student: “I missed the exam yesterday because it was my father’s funeral.” Teacher: “Again?”
Excuses, excuses. Teachers hear them all, and they know what they represent: a dogged determination to exert as little effort as possible.
There’s at least one slacker in every class – and the more slack he’s cut, the slacker he’ll get. Let him know your expectations are low and he’ll gladly downgrade his already minimal standards for you. Let his peers see how little he can get by on and they’ll soon be competing with him to see who can be the least competitive.
Nothing riles a slacker like tests and grades. The very idea that the extent and quality of his learning and the progress he has made over time should be subjected to measurement and compared to some objective standard is offensive to him.
The slacker professes not to understand the need for tests and fancies himself cheated when he receives an F and someone else an A – simply because the latter person got everything right and he got everything wrong. Tests aren’t fair, he insists, citing the disparate outcomes as proof.
Sometimes, sad to say, the biggest slacker in class is the teacher.
The Houston Federation of Teachers Local 2415 filed suit last month in the Southern District Court of Texas Houston Division against the Houston Independent School District, charging that its teacher evaluation methods are unfair.
Everyone who feels sorry for teachers who don’t like being tested, raise your hands.