I don’t deal with crap.
Any kid I’ve ever had in class can tell you this. I often tell my kids I won’t except “crap work”, and they know exactly what that means.
Don’t give me less than your best.
At that, how dare you waste your and my time with anything less than your best.
It might sound harsh, but I fully believe it. We can’t let kids turn in crap or act like crap or (in case you’re not following along) they will continue acting like crap forever.
Now, as an ELA teacher I know “crap” isn’t the best word for my real feelings here. My real frustration is when I get less than 100% effort. When kids would rather accept the zero than explain why they didn’t have their assignment in. When students won’t study for a test and bomb it…and accept that they bombed it with no worry or concern.
I’m sure many people are already probably thinking “Well, then why in the world did you go into teaching…and teaching middle school? You obviously made a poor career choice.”
Why do I not accept crap?
Because I KNOW my kids can do better.
I KNOW that if they have an advocate in their corner constantly pushing for their best, they will eventually give me their best.
That isn’t to say it doesn’t take a long time or that the crap work/effort goes away after one class period. Often times, it is a constant battle with my kids.
As a teacher, I am tough on my kids. Sometimes I may even be too tough on them. What I won’t be is the teacher who lets them slide by thinking they are worthless. I refuse to be the adult figure in their life who accepts them for less than their best. Whether in the classroom or at practice, I am going to push my kids to the point of annoyance (and some days hatred) until they finally understand why I am pushing…because I believe in them.
So…moral of the story?
Don’t accept crap. Push kids until they give you their best and don’t settle for anything less. Why? Because not only do you deserve it, but they do, too.