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Daily Archives: February 17th, 2009

I teach high school math. That is what they pay me for. At various times I also teach english, and history, and science. While I believe that my subject is the absolute most important subject on the campus, I realize that kids need help with other things so, if they ask, I do what I can. I’m pretty smart, if I do say so myself, and the kids know I can answer most of their questions, and point them in the right direction if need be.

One of the math classes I teach is Advanced Placement Statistics. These kids are the cream of the crop, the best and smartest kids in my school. This course is a college-level class and I teach it as such, and treat the kids differently than I do my other classes. I try to treat them as adults and my classroom rules are somewhat relaxed. For instance, if I see one of the students texting I may make a comment about how they need to pay attention, but I won’t take the phone. They also know if they are texting and ask me a question later about the material they missed I will, quite literally, laugh in their faces.

Today one of my best students was busy texting while I was lecturing. This is the third year I’ve had her in class so we have a pretty good relationship. I was teaching away about hypothesis testing and had just finished an example and asked if anyone had a question.

Her Highness (she was homecoming queen) raised her hand and said, “I have a question.”

With great anticipation of shaming her for being on her phone while I was lecturing I said, “Fire away.”

Her question? “How do you spell ‘inconsiderate’ and is asshole one word or two?”

I was quite taken aback. I just sat there for a moment. The rest of the class had a collective gasp. Then I asked her, “Is someone sending a text to her boyfriend?”

“Yes.”

“Why would you ask that in class?”

“Well, if I’m going to tell someone off I don’t want to make spelling mistakes. That wouldn’t look right.”

I guess she’s got a point…