Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sometimes they are just tired

I was reading an excerpt from a super cool book to my students that I was really excited about. I read it with enthusiasm and vigor. I placed a great deal of effort into pronouncing the words correctly with appropriate emotion and significant tone.

Despite my greatest efforts, my students were not that into it.

Their eyes drooped. Their shoulders slumped, and their heads sagged.

I stopped.

"You guys look tired."

Almost in unison they responded, "We are." One girl added, "I've been here since 7:00 am."

It was 3:00 pm. The end of the day. They are thirteen years old.

I closed the book, and we waited for the bell.

One boy came up and said, "sorry Mr. Bower, but I'm just really, really tired today."

I said it was okay. They went home.

We'll try again tomorrow.


  1. why bother trying to read somrething to a class who wont pay attention to what you are saying?

  2. I really like how you responded to this becasue i have done this before to and i was really tired and i just couldnt foucus yesterday during class.

  3. I like how you didn't force them to listen and bored them to death.

  4. Yup. Sometimes you just have to say "Enough!" and leave it to another day. And at this time of year, sometimes you just have to say "Enough!" and hope they'll get it next year!

  5. What a funny contrast! My last class of the day is WIRED. They would never tell me "I'm tired" in a respectful voice. How funny. Now, my first period kids...:)

  6. @Anonymous I love how you think it'd be better to bore them out of their minds with reading when they wanted to just take a rest.

  7. I think you need to read my post again.

  8. Joe,
    What if we did read alouds at this age group too? :) P. S. I think this age group should be at school 9-4, not 7-2. I personally would love to see one simple experiment. Change teen school hours to 9:30-4:30. Sports can practice 7:30-9:30. So can bands for that matter. Kids who care about extracurriculars are the ones who will get themselves up early to do the extras. I hypothesize that achievement, real learning would rise and teen pregnancy and vandalism would decrease.