January 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm 1 comment


Student:   Mrs. Bees, can you tell me how much the final is worth? I mean, I know it’s 100 points, but how much does it count toward the grade?

Me:   It’s 10% of your semester grade.

Student: [Thinks about this.] So that will bring me to a D, right?

Me: [Checks gradebook.] Uhm, since you’ve got a 19% right now? ‘Fraid not.


[We’re playing a trivia game after everyone finished their final with time to spare.]

Me:   How many feet are in a mile?

Student 1:   Four thousand?

Student 2:   Five thousand and twenty-eight.

Student 3:   It’s eight thousand and something, isn’t it?

Me:   You’re in tenth grade! You’re all in algebra or geometry or better! How can you not know something they teach in first grade?

Student 4:   Because we went to first grade in this district.


Me:   What animal does cashmere come from?

Student 1:   Uh… a kind of wildcat?

Me:   I’m sorry, that’s not correct. For the possibility of winning those points for your team, do you know the correct answer?

Student 2:   Uh… a lion?


[I’ve had a notice, in six-inch-tall letters, on the board for the past two weeks. The notice says that the last day to turn in any work or take missed quizzes is January 11. I’ve also been making an announcement to that effect almost every day in class. The following exchange takes place on January 13.]

Student:   [Walks into my room.] So, when can I take my missed quizzes?

Me:   [Resisting urge to drop head onto desk.] The last day to do that was Monday.

Student:   Oh.

Me:   It’s been – and in fact, still is – up on the board for weeks, and I’ve told you every day in class.

Student:   [Looks up and sees, for the first time all year, the white board.] Oh.


[Students walk in after lunch on the first day of the last week of the semester.]

Students:   Afternoon, Mrs. Bees.

Me:   Good morning.

[Students look up at clock, mystified.]

Student:   You mean we go to lunch at 10:30?

Me:   Every day….


Me:   In your “to do” list, write down at least four goals you have for the upcoming year – four things you would like to do. And please don’t tell me that you want to do anything that I don’t want to know that you want to do.

Male Student 1:   So, my “to do” list shouldn’t just be a list of names?

Me:   That’s correct.

Female Student:   I guess you’ll just have to take my name off your list.

Male Student 2:   Actually, you’re on my “don’t” list.


Arrogant Student:   What do I need to get on the final to pass this class for semester?

Me:   You’ve got a low D, so you’ll need to do pretty well.

Arrogant  Student:   Okay. Ha, so I basically didn’t do anything in this dumb class all semester.

Me:   I’m aware. [Looks at the long line of highlighted missing assignments in her gradebook.]  How’s that working out for you?

Arrogant Student:   Pretty well, since I’m going to get my D.

[The day after the test, Arrogant Student comes into my room and asks what his grade ended up being. I pull open the gradebook.]

Me:   Looks like… a 59%.

Arrogant Student:   [Suddenly looking considerably less arrogant.] A 59%? What did I get on my final?

Me:   A 52%.

Arrogant Student:   Uhhh… is there anything I can do to bring that up?

Me:   Look, you’ve got eight missing assignments. You could have turned those in.

Arrogant Student:   Can I still turn them in?

Me:   [Gesturing at white board.] The last day to turn in anything was Monday. I’m sorry. Maybe you should have thought of this at some point before the day after your final?



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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mrs. Chili  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I LOVED this – you made me laugh (but in a rueful way; I know you’re not kidding about any of this – we can’t make this shit up – but even though I know the pit-of-your-stomach stab these kinds of things give us teachers, I also know that it’s kind of funny… in a not so funny way. Oh, YOU know what I mean!!)


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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