Tag Archives: teacher

School Communication in the New Year..

We’ve all been through it. The child comes to school and says to the teacher, “So, what are we doin’ today? Nothin’, right?” The teacher then spends at least an hour demonstrating that instead of “doin’ nothin’” as the student wishes, they will indeed study Shakepeare, hone their writing skills and improve their vocabulary—for instance, ‘nothing’ instead of ‘nothin’.

The child will then return home to the eager parent, who is hoping for a good educational experience for their child and the parent will ask, “So, what did you do in school today?” The child’s inevitable reply? “Nothin’.”

Another school year has begun and speaking as a person who has been on the parent and the teacher side, I can tell you that despite all the efforts of parents and teachers, there is a serious communication gap, because the channel used for communication between parents and teachers is a child. I would love to be able to clear some of this communication problem, but, unfortunately, we are still, to this day,  using the child as a communication tool.

“Mom, my teacher said we will have an overnight campout and make whores.” A mother, not sure whether to laugh or cry, told me this story once. When the mother, slightly alarmed, finally contacted the teacher, she discovered that her 7-year-old child had replaced “sm” with “wh” as she described what they would make at the camp.

It always makes me wonder what messages go home from my classroom. When I tell students my usual grammar jokes, do they go home and tell their parents the teacher didn’t teach them, she just did a stand-up routine? And judging from their faces in the classroom, I’m guessing they don’t say I did a funny stand-up routine, either.

High school students are as likely as elementary children to get the wrong message across. “My teacher took a picture of me in journalism class,” a student reported to a friend of mine one day.

“Really?” the mother was busy preparing supper. “What were you doing that she took a picture of?”

“I was going to the bathroom,” the teenager returned casually.

My friend said she held off on her first impulse, which was to run to the school and demand to know why they were allowing pervert teachers to take pictures of students at the urinals. Instead, she asked some rather sharp questions of the teenager, who, alerted by her excitable attitude, was able to clear up that the teacher took a picture of him in the hallway as he was headed TO the bathroom.

Dates of special events are particularly difficult to communicate. Of course, most schools issue a public calendar so parents always know what is going on and where and when. However, students can really mess that up. “Mom, I have to be at the school on the 26th at 6:30 for the concert.”

“6:30? On the 26th? Are you sure? That’s today,” Mom then piles the child in the car, instructs them in how to change as they go and somehow manages to put two curly pony tails into the child’s hair without driving the car into a wall. They arrive at the school at 6:35 p.m. and no one is there. Why is no one there, you may ask? Because the date was actually the 29th and the child has a little trouble with 6’s and 9’s. Perhaps that’s something the teacher and the mom might work on communicating about!

I have said so many times that we teachers love our students. We hector them, we nag them, we scold them, we stretch them and challenge them and guide them. And along the way, they cease to be our students and become the children of our hearts. I love each and every one of them, but as this school year begins, I will make a deal with the parents: Do not take what the child says for the absolute facts—they may have gotten a few important things wrong. And if you do that, I’ll give you the same courtesy when they come to school and say, “My parents split up this morning,” and I find out it means you went in opposite directions to work that day!

Everyone have a great…and effectively communicated…school year!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humorous Column

No pictures, please; One week to fixing it

My back spare bedroom has the door closed and it is difficult to get open. It’s full of boxes and bags and stacks of stuff I have been putting back there “until I have time to do something with them.” Of course, the school year has proceeded and I haven’t fixed it yet.

My living room is covered in a fine layer of dust that hasn’t been lifted since Easter. I have it on my list of things to do, but to be honest, it will be last thing on the list because I have written the list in the dust on my library table in the living room. Wouldn’t want to wreck that.

I have three piles of laundry lying in different places—in a chair in my bedroom, on the spare bedroom bed and in a basket on the couch. It looks terrible and everything is getting wadded up and wrinkled, but I’ll get it all fixed. In another week, everything will get done.

My cupboard is bare and my sink is full. I read this week that there’s a new app on the phone that will allow you to check inside your refrigerator while you are at the store, just to see what you need. That sounds ridiculous. I don’t want to look inside my refrigerator when I’m in the kitchen; I sure don’t want to see it when I’m out in public! But even that will be fixed in another week.

You may ask, why am I waiting a week? Well, because this mess in my house has been building up for the last nine months and next week school is out for the summer. At that point, I will no longer have stacks of correcting to do, tons of lesson plans to make out or any of the four thousand other things teachers get to do when “school is over” for the day. It’s never over at 3 o’clock for a teacher, and it’s seldom over at 10 p.m.

I will have fun with my summer. I won’t get at the housework right away, of course. The first week I’ll just sit on the back deck with a pot of tea and stare into space. I won’t be looking at anything in particular and I might chuckle every once in a while, but no one should worry about that.

I’ll get the dishes and the laundry and the dusting caught up gradually as the summer progresses, but the refrigerator and the bathroom will probably be put off for last. I have thought many times about getting a cleaning lady to come in once a week, but I always end up rejecting the idea. I don’t have the time to clean the bathroom and the refrigerator once a week before she came in, because I sure wouldn’t be letting any cleaning people see those two things as they are. They’d call the health department.

So, things pile up. I have a stack of letters, invitations, appointment cards, junk mail, ect., that I just leave on the desk. I sort out the important stuff, but when I’m done with anything, I add it to the pile. In another week, I’ll get around to shredding, discarding or scrapbooking the things in the pile that need it, but for right now, that stack just keeps getting higher. It’s the dog’s go-to spot when she’s looking for something to rip up, but she can’t read, so she always ends up shredding the things I wanted to keep.

And that brings me to the stairwell—the site of her shredding escapades. The steps are so full of bits of paper and cardboard that I’ve forgotten what color the carpet is. It’s strewn with half-destroyed toys and shreds of her latest kennel bed. In another week, I’ll get around to clearing it away, but for now, it’s just going to have to continue to look like a tornado site.

There will be no pictures to go with this blog, so you’ll have to take my word for it, but my house looks pretty bad. Any picture I could take, you just wouldn’t want to see. But it’ll all be fixed. Final bell for the year rings in a week!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humorous Column