I get really tired of excuses. In fact, in my classroom when my 8th graders try to excuse their behavior, lack of homework, or unpreparedness I tell them kindly yet firmly, “Excuses are useless.”
Initially quizzical looks form on their faces, and then they start to stammer…which is exactly when I interject my reasoning. Everyone has issues. Everyone is busy. Everyone can blame someone, something, or some “whatever” for anything. But what’s the point?
Last week I had a day ‘off’ to attend a workshop. For teachers, attending workshops is equivalent to taking a course for a day, except that we have homework before (lesson plans) and after (fixing up messed up lesson plans). I knew I’d have a mess to fix up when one of my college interns texted me to tell me how horribly things had gone in my absence. She was absolutely devastated.
I wasn’t surprised. Kids don’t always make the best choices with substitutes, right?
To find out what happened next, please visit The Educator’s Room, where I share stories about education and life as a middle school teacher – it’s a terrific site full of thoughtful and well-written articles by a diverse group of educators from around the United States.