Break Every Yoke

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 04 2012

“Mister, I wanna ask you something.”

Questions that I hate getting from students:

  • “Can I go to the library to finish my homework for another class?” [Um, seriously? No.]
  • “Why do we have to do math today? Can’t we just watch a movie?” [I'm so sorry that I'm making you do math in a math class. I must be a terrible person.]
  • “Do I have to show my work?” [Do as you please, but are you really going to give up the chance for partial credit because you don't want to spend ten seconds showing work?]
  • “Can we use a cheat sheet on the exam?” [No, all you're going to do is copy down every possible type of question I might ask so that you don't have to do any thinking.]
  • “Can I borrow a pencil?” [WHY don't you have a pencil? This is the third one I've given you this week. Are you eating them?]


Questions that I love getting from students:

  • “What happens if you have something else in the problem, like a fraction/exponent/negative number/different intercept/etc.?” [Muahaha I don't know, let's try it and find out.]
  • “Isn’t this the same thing we did last week?” [Yes, dear child, yes it is! You are learning after all!]
  • “When will we ever use this real life?” [You're asking the right person. Here's a list of fourteen situations when you might use this—want to hear them? No? Okay, moving on then...]
  • “Can I use the method that [insert another teacher] taught me instead?” [You can use whatever method you want, but only if you can tell me why it works.]
  • “Doesn’t this come up in physics or something?” [YES, all the time! Math and physics are like arroz and pollo, you can't have one without the other.]
  • “Can I please come after school for extra help?” [You don't even have to ask—I'll see you at 3:54.]
  • “If you graduated from Yale, why do you teach at this school?” [Because a question like that makes sense to ask. And because you guys are my babies.]

2 Responses

  1. Ms A.K.

    Oh man. This post could’ve came right out of my life. Agree with every word of this. :-)

  2. Andrea

    & I get the last one all the time. ALL THE TIME.

Post a comment

About this Blog

New city, same vision

Rhode Island
High School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)