Sunday, May 15, 2005

What goals?

A peep into my classroom, just for kicks. I walk around the room with a clipboard, desperately trying to convince the kids that it really will benefit them to turn in their quarterly goals. (They've had 11 weeks to read three chapter books. Many are just beginning their second.)

Me: Why are your goals not finished?
Student: There are no more Newbery books in the whole library! [smiles becomingly]
Me: Well, let's give the librarian a call and see what she knows about that. [smile falls, I dial]
Librarian: [has caller ID] Why are all of your kids just now coming down here for goals?
Me: That is an excellent question! [we laugh] I hear that you are having a shortage of Newbery books!
Librarian: No.
Me: Thanks! [turn back to child] Okay, there's plenty of books. Now, why are your goals not finished?
Student: I had soccer.
Me: For 11 weeks? You played 11 weeks of nonstop soccer? Even here at school? That's amazing!
Student: Can I go to the library?

[move to next child]

Me: May I see your goals sheet please?
Student: I made a horse in art out of clay and its mane swoops up like the Fonz! Heeeeeeey! [strikes Fonzie pose]
Me: Goals? [wait patiently]
Student: I still need to read an Alamo book and they're all checked out.
Me: Have they been checked out for all 11 weeks? Do you have enough money to pay for your late fees next week when your goals aren't completed on time?

[move to next student, feverishly writing]

Me: May I see your goals?
Student: We have 84 hours and 36 minutes left to spend in school! [grins]
Me: How many of those hours is it going to take you to finish your goals?
Student: What goals?
Me: [banging head against wall]

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