At a Loss for Explanations

I’ve had bad classes but I don’t think I’ve ever had a class that made me go: “What just happened?”

My fifth period class today was a lower level third year junior high school class. I gave them an assignment to 1) fill out a questionnaire about the school trip they took a few weeks ago and 2) copy the answers of that questionnaire into something resembling an essay.

What should have made this assignment easy was that they had done something similar for their regular English class. In fact, students in my other low level third year class had copied parts of their writing assignment with my blessing.

Today, however, they just sort of stopped. At least some of them did. They seemed to have decided that if nobody did the assignment than the assignment wouldn’t count.

Although I kept chasing after them and helping them, many only did the questionnaire but never turned the paper over to work on the essay. Several approached me claiming they were finished, but when I flipped the page they kind of frowned, went back to their desks, and did nothing.

At the end of the class I collected the worksheets, which surprised a lot of the students, even though I’d reminded them several times that I would.

Next week there may or may not be a class and the week after that will be the last class before the exam. This means my dilemma is to give them homework via their homeroom teacher or to drop the issue and score them badly.

I’ll probably do the latter as it’s June.

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