Stuff Students Say

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 05 2011

The lost essays

First quarter grades were due yesterday, which meant no school for the kids, and a full day of grading for me.  The amount of failing grades that I had to give was depressing, even though I’ve known for awhile that this would happen. I have 21 kids for 4 subjects, which means 84 total grades.  15 of those 84 grades were Fs.  For the kids that never turn in homework, refuse to pay attention in class and are often sent out due to behavior issues, I’ m hoping this will be a wake-up call. The tough part was giving Fs to a handful of kids who try very hard and do their homework, but are still so far behind grade level. It doesn’t help that we waste so much class time on dealing with behavior, and it definitely doesn’t help that I’m a first-year, mostly untrained teacher and far from an expert on teaching kids how to read.


While going through my stacks and stacks of file folders to grade, I found some essays from earlier in the year. The best:

On how our class could be improved: “it is okay but some space between people. our class is good the way it is. it need to be more sophisticated in our class. our class is the best all most if we make it good.”

“The talking when you talk you can’t learn when you don’t learn then you won’t be successful!”

Problem/Solution essays (describe a problem and tell how you would solve it):  “I noticed a problem and the problem is in school. Some people like spraying water at other people. Like A. he sprays water for fun and gets himself wet as well he gets caught by Ms. H. Then gets in trouble by the same thing every single day. I’m going to solve the problem by putting a stop to his actions. And bribe him with something.”

“There are kids in my class that are careless. They don’t care about school. They throw stuff around the class like airplanes, pencils, spit balls, popper and more. They hurt people by throw stuff cause it might hit them. What I want to do is tell the teacher to tell Ms. H to put a camera in the classroom. Watch who ever throw something. They could show it to their moms and dads. then they would learn a lesson. If they don’t stop they could stay home for a few days and write a 500 word paper of thing they should be doing. then they might learn a lesson. if they don’t they could just get kick out of this school. That will tell them this school does not play around.”

“Kids in Ms. S class are throwing paper and other class objects…This is a problem that we need to solve. This disturbs our classmates that are trying to get an education and move on with their life while the other kids make them go back. Ms. S tries her best, while the other kids give her nuts. She works really hard, and I agree with that.”

Most creative/potentially concerning Problem & Solution: “There was cats that use to come to my backyard. That day was July 4th. I got annoyed with the cats trying to come so I bought 4 big fireworks. I colored the fireworks black so it would camoflage with the night. I waited for hours. I was so excited when I break there stuff…This was my plan me and my friend was going to lit the firework by taking a long strong string. This was going to be the best day…We brought water guns with boiling water. We wore black clothes like ninjas…Then the boy tried to run but we squirted hot water at them. We took flash lights. We used karate lessons that our karate teacher taught us.”

On the first day of school: “Then when I went to the classroom I was glad I had Ms. S., because I never had a teacher that use to teach at Chicago, ever in my live. Another reason is that lots of kids in sixth grade said they got six pages due every day that’s why I’m lucky. I was happy I was sitting next to a girl. The first thing was Ms. S was reviewing some of her rules, and telling us about her. Their were lots of stuff to ask because she was a teacher at Chicago. I think that teachers at Chicago were good teachers that teach good. She told us a lot. I think she misses Chicago a lot. It was nice to meet her.”

2 Responses

  1. Katy

    Love reading your blog (I hail from the Twin Cities so that alone would make it great!) – so funny and real. Good luck with everything and I hope things start looking up!

    • alwaysawildcat

      Thank you, I appreciate it!

Post a comment

About this Blog

I used to be a journalist. Now I just quote students.

Twin Cities
Elementary School
Elementary Education

Subscribe to this blog (feed)