how much work is too much? i’m in a pickle with my group of “honors” students–they are used to worksheets and mind-numbing rote memorization activities, so when i force them to create, imagine, connect, or respond, they are caught off-guard. they cannot –CAN NOT– meet my standards.

i haven’t had any formal training to teach an honors class, but one would think that with my special ed background where all i did was differentiate, i wouldn’t have all this trouble. but since i started teaching honors classes last year, all i’ve had are problems. one female student told me yesterday that i was the hardest english teacher she’d ever had because i make them write, and she hates writing. hello? it’s ENGLISH!!

so, what do i do? let them slide? lower my standards? i gave progress reports today to show them what work they are missing, in hopes they can turn some work in by friday, and i needed a lion tamer’s whip! the gasps at their Cs & Ds were, in my humble opinion, amazing and snobby! i mean, seriously? you pretend i haven’t given you an assignment and expect me to forget it? you continue to fight me on indpendent reading and think you deserve an A or B? you blow off a major test and i’m supposed to overlook it?

i try to remember they are just kids. i even wrote myself a note, pinned it on my board, and refer to it constantly. but i feel like i am all alone in trying to have some higher standards–not just be the “easy” class because there’s not a state exam connected to it. i think english class should be a haven for the weary. it should be a place where you can learn about yourself and how to communicate with others. a place where lasting relationships are formed with characters in books and stories, and where you can get excited about your life–we’re creating something new most every day. you don’t get to do that in history. maybe science, but definitely not math. i mean, english is the gateway to the world, for crying out loud! all the rules can be broken at any minute–and when you share your work or read someone else’s you can see an immediate impact.

am i just losing it?