Feb 7, 2013


If that wasn't the mantra the other day, then I don't know what was.  LORD!LORD!LORD!Why do I do what I do? 

It was time to reassess how much my students had gained in knowledge of their fact fluency.  4 "EASY" 3 minute tests.  Addition........Subtraction..........Multiplication.........Division.  Everything being single digit. 

One would THINK that this would be a breeze.  The students get to show off how far they had advanced; I can sit back and reap the personal satisfaction of yet another amazing year of academic achievement. 

HUH!!! HA!!! I should have stayed home.

Apparently Spring was in the air and the only thing the students wanted to be fluent about is "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT".  Are you kidding me?

I try......."this is easy. you will be a huge success"
The Refrain, "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT"
I try......."if you do well, this is the last time you will have to do this for me and we can move on to bigger and better things"
Response, "I already did it" and The Refrain, "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT"
I try...."we will have a big celebration for your achievement when you are finished"
Answered by "I'm tired. I don't have a pencil" and........The Refrain, "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT"

At this point, I am running out of patience.  What do they mean "I don't want to do it".  There are a lot of things I don't want to do, but have to do.......Like argue with 10 year olds about the benefit of knowing 5 times 8.........or putting $3.55/gallon gas in my car in 2degrees temperature.............or go to work after Superbowl Sunday.  But I do it.

I think, why am I trying to convince these students to take 4 easy freakin' tests????
Then I realize, that it's not really about them taking the tests, but that I am really trying to convince them the importance of not only the work they are doing, but in doing what you have to (to the best of your ability).....even if you don't want to.

The tug of war isn't about math, but about 'fighting the fight'.  Our youth not only have to have the tools to fight the fight, but the "fight" in them to engage even when they don't "want to". 

In the end, after spending more time reas oning with the students, the tests were taken and all did very well.  HALLELUAH!!!

When they were on their way home, and giving me my hugs (as though they hadn't just given me grief only an hour ago..........how quickly we forget), one students asked,

"Hey, Ms. Garner.......I don't want tutoring to end.  Can it keep going?"

I gladly said, "I WANT TO !!"