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Sometimes it feels really good to be right. Hobo Teacher had one of those moments when he ran into a former student who had been part of a class that often complained about the rigor of his assignments, telling him "This isn't college." His standard response was, "You're right."

They were right, because college would chew them up and spit them out. That in college you don't get 10 absences for each class, each semester, let alone 21 tardies. You lose points is what you get. You don't get make-up time in college. You get zeros. You don't have me, a teacher that stays hours after school to help you with your work, but a professor with set office hours—and it's not for free tutoring.

But the former student, now actually in college, said Hobo Teacher's class had prepared her well:

After this former pupil confirmed that I was indeed right, she thanked me...she realized that all that "really hard stuff" that I had them doing in my class was somewhat geared towards the college environment; and that even though it wasn't nearly as tough as the real thing, she is coping much better than the other first year students.

And we congratulate Hobo Teacher for resisting the urge to gloat. Mostly.

1 Comment

Dear Hobo Teacher,

I enjoyed reading about the expressions of the student as she complained about the difficulty of the classwork that was assigned to her. From time to time, as needed, I have been privileged to tutor young children from 1st - 12th grade. I specialize in everything associated with the English language. As part of that immersion, since the students are not native born speakers of English, I insist that they keep a journal in which they write to me, I correct their compositions, and then I add my own perceptions, caveats, added instruction in the pages of their ongoing book and send them off merrily until we have another session. One young man has been doing this with me for a number of years. Last year told me that he didn't have as many problems when he was undergoing the middle school experience as some, if not many, of his colleagues had. He thanked me for being a "tough teacher" and developing a rigorous, yet nurturing learning environment. He has become a whiz at understanding literature and the writing process.

Samoht Kcinep Rowlf
Los Angeles, CA. July 7, 2006 5:32 pm.

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