Frustrating Day

On days like today, I wonder whether I’d be better suited to, oh I don’t know, shoveling dog poop for a living (is that even a job?  Sorry to the dog poop shovelers out there).  Generally, my days at work are awesome.  When I first started student teaching, I told my cooperating teacher that the ratio of good days to bad days was about 3 to 1.  Not shabby.  I define a good day as a day when the kids are engaged, responsive, and, ya know, understand what I’m teaching.  Over the last couple years, the ratio has improved.  Now, I would say that the ratio is maybe 13 good to 1 bad.  So, about every two weeks I want to bang my head against a wall.  And even then, it may be only one period out of a whole day who does me in.

Well, I’m concerned about my first period.  I’m not so brazen as to refer to them as dead-from-the-neck-up like another teacher did, and they are really sweet, well behaved, trying kids.  But. holy. cow.  We have been doing parts of speech now for about a week and a half.  It should be largely review at this point.  We covered nouns.  It was a little slow, but they got them.  We covered action verbs (piece of cake).  We covered linking verbs (a little rough going).  Yesterday, things were looking up.  They were getting it!  They followed commands to write sentences using look and feel as 1) action verbs and 2) linking verbs!  They were pumped!  ADJECTIVE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wrong.  Today, a snapshot of the lesson:

Me:  Who can identify the adjective in this sentence?  Remember, adjectives describe NOUNS and tell us which one, how many, and what kind.

Maggie*:  (Long pause) Umm.  Feet?

Me:  It’s a nice try, but what are feet describing?

Maggie:  Oh.  Are they a thing?

Me:  Right.  So, what part of speech would that be?

Maggie:  A noun?

Me:  Good.  Can anyone help Maggie find the adjective?

Ryan:  (very excited, hand up, butt out of chair, ooohing)

Me:  Yes Ryan?

Ryan:  ARE!

Me:  Hmmm…  does are describe anything?

Ryan:  Yeah, feet!

Me:  Really?  Which question does it answer:  which one, what kind, or how many?

Ryan:  Ummm, which one?? (now confused)

Me:  Who can tell me what part of speech “are” is?

Edgar:  A linking verb

Me:  (doing mental somersaults)  That is great!!  So that leaves which word?  What word is the adjective here?

Edgar:  Feet.

Me:  (wonders whether it would be prudent to keep a bottle of vodka in her closet)

* All names changed to protect the innocent

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