I'm fighting my urge to snap at students by eating dark chocolate and jotting down the seemingly outrageous things they say in-the-moment.
The act of writing before I respond helps me to keep myself in check and often my notes provide amusement later on in the teacher's lounge or the bar--wherever my teacher friends and I end up gathering.
Here are today's top three student statements and my responses:
Student: Hey! No! I turned that in! I did that essay!
Me: Do you mean the six sentences that had no punctuation? Like, not even one period or one name that was capitalized? That? Are you saying that was your essay?
Student: I hate this book. It's totally hard to read.
Me: Especially if it's upside down.
Student: I know it's Finals Week, but do we really have to work?
Me: ... !!!
You know the one I mean?
The one where each word that escapes your throat climbs an octave and your tone turns from complete disbelief to something akin to fury?
When you have been asked the same question 16 times by kids who were staring right at you when you explained it the first 5 times?
Don't-you-ever-listen? I-need-you-to-listen. That voice.
After the bell stopped me mid-rant and the students left for the day, I began to start grading. I overheard Kyle, a sophomore, come in and say something. I was scoring an essay and I responded distractedly.
From the corner of my eye, I saw him stop moving. He said, "Mrs. Burnquist, you didn't really mean that did you? I don't think you meant that."
I looked up.
"Wait. What were you saying, Kyle?"
"I said that I came back because I forgot my book and that I hope I don't miss the bus and that's when you said, that's really good, I hope so."
Maybe if my students and I do both, we can make it to Friday in tact.