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THE GARDENER WHO BECAME PRESIDENT

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Newoldschoolteacher vents after a bad day:

My one class … who never do their homework all just bombed a quiz today. A couple of them--ones who do work and/or listen in class--did fine. The rest BOMBED. One of them said that Abraham Lincoln, before he was a politician, was a MAILMAN. Someone else said a gardener. … They make me feel completely incompetent. They are OUT of control. Mainly there are 3 instigators, and the rest are happy to follow along. …

Parts of her post (including the title) aren't exactly what you'd call—well—nice. But then, we're fairly confident she's not the only teacher out there who's had a day like that.

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Newoldworldteacher is not alone. I would venture to say that all teachers have had a day like this. I still recoil in horror when I remember my students' response to a science question (back when I taught it). "Name the three (yes, I know we count plasma today) states of matter". We had drilled it, drawn it, and discussed it. Seventy-five percent of my 5th graders answered, "The three states of matter of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama". Apparently we American teachers are not alone. The Brits have a problem with students confusing content. I recently posted about it under the title "Mangled History."

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