I want to thank fellow teachers I know on social media for such good behavior this grading season. It's not unusual for teachers to be worn down by grading and to slide into a grumpy mood. Now that we all have a place to let slip our little witticisms and ventings, it's too easy to grump in public about the people we are trying to serve. (*See end note.)#

I have vented in the past, I confess. I once wrote a travesty of the little gem of a poem by William Carlos Williams called "This Is Just To Say," in which he leaves a note apologizing for eating all the plums. I changed a few words and came up with this:#

#

This Is Just To Say#

#

I have read#

the papers#

that were in#

the your folder#

#

and which#

you were probably#

hoping#

to pass with#

#

Forgive me#

they were boring#

so long#

and so dull#

#

I recognize and remember the emotional fatigue in those lines but I also know that it's just plain unprofessional to talk that way in public. Probably also in the copy room. Also, there are more interesting and useful ways to talk about how students move through their academic lives.#

*I have been trying to hear my students carefully enough that I notice their best sentences in time to jot some of them down. When they fit, I have been putting a sample or two on social media myself, like this one.#

© 2014 Ken Smith.
Last update: Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 7:54 AM.
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