They Have Ears but Do Not Listen and I Don’t Care

The best part about the last week of school is that most class time is spent reviewing or finishing projects which means I don’t have a lot of prep work to do. The students like it because I don’t mind letting them fail.

For junior high school, I typically discuss the material that’s on the exam and give students a version of the long writing question on the exam to practice. One third of the class works on it; one third pretends to work on it but ekes out only one badly written sentence; and one third plays, talks or sleeps.

I just let everyone do what they want. I’m not taking the exam and if someone doesn’t write the essay/long writing, it saves me time and energy.

I’ve mentioned before how, in the past, I’ve stopped explaining the details of what to study when it was clear that most of the class wasn’t listening. In the worst case, I erased what I’d already written and wished them luck. Later I gave the information to the few students who were actually interested in passing and suggested they share with other students.

With high school we’re finishing up final projects and that means there are lots of excuses and pleading. Students are also prone to take 15-20 minutes toilet breaks. (As these are usually my worst students, I just let them go and don’t chase them down.) The last class is usually spent reviewing the term’s material, but I see students doing math or other classes. I also see students sleeping.

Once again, I encourage them to enjoy themselves. Tests that add up to “0” are really really easy to mark.

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