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Natural Consequences

Dear Class,

Today, when you walked in, I had a little surprise for you.

In case you’re not aware of what happened, please allow me to refresh your memories.

Yesterday, you thought you had the right to disrupt class.

You continued to talk, despite numerous attempts on my part to quiet the chatter.

Did I yell?


Did I threaten?

Of course not.

Did I create a plan?

You bet.

That plan came to fruition when you walked into class today, and I announced that we would be having a test.

You balked.

You complained.

You said, “You didn’t tell us we were having a test!”

Oh, but you see, I had warned you.

I had cautioned that you were acting as if you understood how to make inferences.

My words went unheeded.

Thus, I enacted a plan that would teach you that your choices have consequences.

While you sat, in shock, I presented you with very difficult reading passages that included twenty-four comprehensive questions.

It was not an easy exam.

I calmly explained that your previous day’s behavior had led me to believe that you were fully confident in your ability to answer inference questions, so I would be administering the summative assessment I had planned on giving when I was finished teaching the unit.

Then, you got down to work.

There were grumbles, and some of you tried to pretend that you weren’t going to take the test.

I even heard one of you quietly say that you were going to “Christmas tree” the exam.

I had a plan, though.

See, I’m an overachiever who doesn’t leave many details to chance.

On the exam, I wrote the words “Explain your answer” on every question that referenced main idea or inference.

I also cautioned that failing to do so would result in the additional loss of points.

As you gave in and realized that yes, you really had to take the test, I heard some of you quietly say things like, “I can’t figure this out,” or “I don’t know the answer.”  I even heard someone say, “I don’t know how to explain the answer.”

I gently advised you to do your best before I walked away.

This is something we adults like to call “tough love.”

The test took most of the blocked time we were in class.

You left angry.

That’s okay.  I think I might have been if I’d been in your place.

But here’s the thing.

I wouldn’t have been.

Do you want to know why?

It’s because I always appreciated my teachers.

I understood the importance of taking my education seriously.

I loved to learn, even when I struggled.

I also knew that there would be consequences for my actions.

As I reviewed the results from your exam, my suspicions were confirmed.

You did not, in fact, know what you were doing.

Lo and behold, you actually NEED me and the instruction I’m painstakingly putting together.

I think that when you find out how you did, you might actually find yourselves agreeing with me.

Heck.  You might already be feeling that way…might have been ever since you laid your eyes on those questions.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that my class is the most important one you’ll take while you’re at Podunk High School.

I’m teaching you strategies that will help you comprehend ANYTHING you’ll have to read from this point forward.

Word of advice:  STOP goofing off and START paying attention.

Have a heart-to-heart with your friends in class who are not focused.

You are in this together, and if your scores go down, the blame will rest on ALL of you.

I want to assure you that I won’t allow your behavior to discourage me.

I’ll walk into class each day with a hopeful heart because I KNOW what you’re capable of.

Our unit on Main Idea taught me that.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas break, and that you come back to school refreshed from the rest and fun you’ll be partaking of.

Bring a good attitude when you come back and know that we’ll be continuing our unit on inference.

You’ll have an opportunity to fix those horrible grades you just earned.

I’m kind that way.

Be thankful that you have a teacher who cares enough to provide you with the opportunity to experience natural consequences in a very tangible way.

Stay strong and POSITIVE!


Mrs. AuburnChick

One Response

  1. So proud and pleased that you expect nothing less than their best. Hopefully they will understand the lesson you taught them today…and come back in 2013 ready to work!!

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