Yesterday, a student actually emailed me the following.
Mr. H., What are we doing in class today?
Students who have taken the time to get to know me, and lets face it, it’s hard not to get to know me as my life is an open book, know that there are exactly two things I hate as far as teaching is concerned.
- Asking me what we’re going to do today.
- The suggestion that Christina Aguilera is a legitimate singer
Sure, we could add on shrimp and clowns but they’re obvious. Anyway, I read and re-read her email. Then I sent then I sent the following reply.
Interestingly, we’ll be trying something unique. Also, by “we” I assume you mean you and I in a collaborative context. In that regard, my dear, I will be teaching and you will be learning. A peculiar concept, I know, but I’ve written it into my lesson plan and as the administrative team will be making the rounds for classroom observations, I figured I’d better stick to the plan.
She wrote back:
I replied with the following attachment.
At this point I began to sense that the young student was becoming slightly confused. Her next electronic missive was as follows.
Mr. H, are you on vicodin?
You see, my friends, she picked the wrong teacher to try this one on. It’s bad enough when students walk into the classroom with the “what are we doing today” question. One just knows that said student is waiting for your response to determine for himself or herself if what you’ve outlined is worth the sufficient time and involvement or whether that student can plan on a 90 minute nap. But she emailed it in… So, having cornered her in a web of lunacy I hit “reply” one more time.
Listen, are you not going to be in class today? Because if you’re not, you know where to find my assignments. If you are, I don’t understand your question. Either way, you know you and your classmates were just going to spend an hour and a half trying your best to get me off-topic. I already told you, I only devote an entire unscripted lesson to the third season of Unsolved Mysteries once. After that, it’s strictly by the book.
We left it at that. She was absent from class. I have yet to discover if she made up the work. Then again, since I never told her what I would be teaching, I guess she’s liable for all knowledge ever taught in the whole of human history, now, isn’t she?…