Thursday, April 30, 2009

Incessant Hyperventilation

image You ever have weeks like that?

I’ve got an essay that my mind is freaking out about. I keep rearranging it. It’s driving me mad. The Genius was kind and generous in helping me without telling me I was losing it, LOL.

And then teaching. I’ve been begging students for MONTHS to bring their music so I can check that they have the proper materials for guild auditions. Now it’s the week before, and they STILL haven’t brought them.

And guess who the parents will blame if they don’t have the proper materials for guild? ME!

I was just talking to a private school teacher who was stressed because she gets judged on AP exam scores of her students, but whether the kids study or do their homework is largely out of her control.

I feel the same way. I plan for the students, but if they don’t do their assignment, or they don’t practice, or they practice the wrong things, they aren’t prepared.

And people blame the teacher for this, nowadays. People judge teachers on how the kids play, and yet it sure feels like at least 40-70% are out of our control.

So I’m in a state of incessant hyperventilation this week.

It’s one of the things I love about writing. How good or terrible I write is up to me. It’s all my fault. I kinda like things being all my fault, LOL. Then I have the control to make them better.

How’s your week going?

28 bonus scribbles:

Edie 4/30/2009 08:17:00 PM  

It's NOT your fault. You told them what they needed to do, and if they don't do it, it's their fault.

I'm doing great! I finished the first draft of my wip today. Yay!

spyscribbler 4/30/2009 09:57:00 PM  

Oh man, sorry for the freak-out, Edie. LOL. Yeah, I keep telling myself that.

OH, Edie, that's AWESOME!

colbymarshall 4/30/2009 10:05:00 PM  

ballroom partner and I have lessons with coach tomorrow, but we haven't practiced this week nearly as much as we usually do between lessons because partner had death in the family. So, we will probably suck for coach tomorrow, but I guess things happen. Poo.

Charles Gramlich 5/01/2009 12:05:00 AM  

Ah, the joys of teaching. I'm neck deep in them now.

Pink Ink 5/01/2009 09:03:00 AM  

I know some piano teachers that say, if the kids aren't practicing, they will not waste their parents' money and suggest dropping lessons.

I don't suppose that's an option for you, though...?

Melanie Avila 5/01/2009 09:08:00 AM  

Spy, I'm sorry you're going through this.

Congrats Edie!! I just finished my first pass through my NEW chapters, now I get to start the official edits/rewrite.

Mark Terry 5/01/2009 09:23:00 AM  

If you and Erica keeping calling me a genius people night start believing it.

Eric Mayer,  5/01/2009 11:49:00 AM  

You'd think it would be pretty obvious that if kids won't do their work it isn't their teachers' fault but there's a lot of teacher hatred in this country -- mostly from a lot of ignorant people who never did like that nasty learning stuff those teachers are peddling.

starvingwritenow 5/01/2009 03:19:00 PM  

I'm getting my glasses tonight. Seriously, I'm getting glasses. Does that mean I'm on the downhill slope?

Other than that, trying to finish up my last project so I can RELAX for 3 weeks until school starts up again. Joy! Rapture!

Lauren 5/01/2009 03:43:00 PM  

Aw, stupid students :(

I hope it all turns out okay :/

Michele 5/01/2009 07:37:00 PM  

I'm sorry you're going through this, especially when you've made it clear to your students what they need to do. Very frustrating.

Hope it all works out for you! :)

Edie 5/01/2009 08:47:00 PM  

Maelanie, congrats! I'm forcing myself to let mine sit a few days before diving into revisions.

Marcia Colette 5/02/2009 09:18:00 AM  

Ask the kids in front of their parents how much practicing is going on at home and I'll bet everyone will have an answer as to where the breakdown is happening. So not your fault, hon.

And as for my week, it's going GREAT! Between finishing my edits, making my pregger news known to the world, and landing an agent, I'm having a blast. *G*

writtenwyrdd 5/02/2009 09:52:00 AM  

It's unfair how teachers are blamed for students' flaws and failures. Yes, there are some elements of education which is a teacher's fault if it doesn't occur; but homework and practice are not among them. But our society's continued (and increasing) assignment of blame for failure outside the parentala nd home framework, and the blatant removal of responsibility from kids for their actions is just setting the poor educational system up for failure.

Hope your week improves!

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 11:41:00 AM  

Oh hey, guys, I'm still responding to comments in the last post, LOL. I start, and then I get called away! I'm gonna be so late to this conversation, but please don't think me rude! :-)

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:05:00 PM  

Wow, Colby, you take ballroom dancing lessons? That sounds like a BLAST! You are one of the coolest people I've ever met, LOL.

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:05:00 PM  

I sympathize, Charles!

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:07:00 PM  

Oh Jewel. Yeah. You know, parents are VERY different nowadays. You'd think parents would see that as a favor, and they used to, but now? It's a very different world.

(I had a parent who absolutely thought I was the worst teacher in the world for broaching the subject.)

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:07:00 PM  

Oh Melanie, I am SO excited for you!

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:07:00 PM  

If the shoe fits, Mark...

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:08:00 PM  

LOL, Eric. It's a different parenting world now. It's not so much the parents, it's the place teachers are in society.

Let's just say that I love my Asian students the best.

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:09:00 PM  

Writenow, good luck with relaxation! I've had glasses forever, but I'm now dying my hair full-time. :-( And I looked in the mirror and saw wrinkles. :-(

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:09:00 PM  

Thank you, Lauren! Me too!

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:10:00 PM  

It'll be okay, Michele. Just freaking out before guild. Oh well. What can you do?

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:10:00 PM  

Edie, good luck for when you start!

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:12:00 PM  

Oh Marcia, that is fantastic!

I had to laugh at your suggestion, though. Any conversation like that ends in parents explaining that the kids don't have time to practice, and how dare I suggest they need to practice five days a week.

They don't connect that with why Johnny's friend is playing better, though.

spyscribbler 5/02/2009 12:14:00 PM  

Thanks, written! It will. I have pretty much decided that for the majority of my students, I will teach in a style that will make the parents happy and will spoon-feed the kids.

I don't know. It's what the parents want day-to-day, even though it may not get the outcome they want. But what they want day-to-day just CANNOT produce the outcome they want, but they just don't see that.

So I'll just do what other teachers do and pretend it will. Then the parents are happy.

G 5/02/2009 08:45:00 PM  

The state of education being what is today (and I see the end result when I'm dealing with people under the age of 25), it ain't your fault.

If anything, you shouldn't be spoonfeeding the little deliquents nor teaching to make the parents happy.

That being said, the week is going just peachy keen fine full of natural warmth and goodness.

Seriously, my writing has come to a screeching halt because adaptor to laptop went bye-bye.