Home > Rants > How Not to Teach English

How Not to Teach English

My English teacher feels that his Honors English students are not capable of keeping up with their reading assignments unless he provides them with some extra encouragement. This encouragement come in the form of quizzes, two a week, that ask such questions as, “Who is ___?” “What does Craven say about logical fallacies?” Answers are to be short, concise, and factual rather then interpretive. This would be fine, since there is not even an inch of wiggle room for interpretation anyway in such questions, but I can’t remember that small paragraph about logical fallacies twenty pages back. I thought I was taking an English, not a Chemistry class and therefore I didn’t bother to commit the mundane details, such as the name of the main character’s brother who is mentioned once, to memory.

Today, I received an email from my English teacher. It reads;

The following new rules for quizzes will go into effect beginning Tuesday Oct 27:

1.  All quizzes must be subitted on "cut-sheet" 8 1/2 x 11" white lined standard American notebook paper.  You can buy a packet of this paper in any Walgreens, Longs, 7-Eleven, or the campus bookstore.  If you insist on using tear-sheet spiral notebook paper, it is up to you, not me, to tear off the tatters before submitting the quiz.  I will provide one package of paper for those who forget to bring their own....at least until the package runs out.

2.  All quizzes must include your name and the quiz number in the heading.   The quiz number is always clearly visible on screen.   Quizzes not properly identified in this way will earn a zero.

3.  All quiz questions must be numbered and presented in their correct numberical order (no more illegible and unlabeled jumbles of disorderly answers please).

4.  Copy down (or include) the quiz question with your answer every single time, or your answer will not count.

Example:

Who is the King of Pop?
Michael Jackson

or

The King of Pop is Michael Jackson

MY GOALS:
1)  Improve consistency and efficiency in grading quizzes
2)  Avoid time wasted vacuuming up little scraps of paper confetti in my office, car, clothing, and condo
3)  Stop being mistaken for an elementary school teacher when I grade quizzes in public

I have an idea! If you don’t want to be mistaken for an elementary school teacher, then stop making me do boring, pointless quizzes like a third grader. If I wanted to do busywork, I’d drop out of college and go back to high school. As it is, you’re insulting your students and making yourself look bad.

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  1. anonymous
    October 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    looks like some of the text was cut off in the quotation block?

    • jinxedit
      October 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm

      Ah. Thank you.

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