Dear Jen Hatmaker,

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This article is making the rounds again, as it is the end of the school year for almost everyone. I've read it before, but it's floating around Facebook again now that it's mid-May. I highly suggest you read it, as it is very funny, but in a nutshell, it's a mom writing about how she is barely making it through the last few weeks of the school year because she's so over it. She's very careful to point out that "Just in case you think this is 'anti-teachers,' you might want to check out what I wrote last month: Dear Teachers Everywhere. TEACHERS RULE. We ALL crossed the finish line together. Cheers!"

Well, Mrs. Jen Hatmaker, as a teacher I'm here to tell you


I mean dude. Teachers work hard. Teachers, at least the good ones, plan lessons up until the very last day of school, trying to cram in every bit of material we possibly can for our students.

Our school's last day is June 2, and we only have half a day that day. Between now and then, we have a special mass, movie, and lunch for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (tomorrow!); our eighth graders (and I!) are spending three days in Washington, D.C.; we have a spring band concert and awards day that takes up half a day; and we have a day spent at Camden Park. So, as you can see, we have a lot going on.

And I started a new grammar unit today with the seventh grade.

Do you know what it's like -- can you even imagine what it's like -- to teach GRAMMAR to SEVENTH GRADERS at 2 P.M. in the MIDDLE OF MAY? I truly have absolutely nothing with which to compare it. Oh, and then when I'm done with that, I get to spend another 43 minutes teaching them literature. It honestly took us about 15 minutes to read two pages of "Insurgent" last week because they absolutely could not stay on task. Everything is funny. EV-ER-Y-THING.

"Miss Lafferre, look, that sentence just says 'Apples grow.' BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH."

And everyone is cracking up for the next five minutes. Because absolutely nothing on earth is funnier than short sentences about apples. AmIright?

I find myself constantly saying things like:

Guys, we just have to hold it together for 25 more minutes today ...

I know it's almost summer, and, believe it or not, I want to go to the pool too, but there is stuff we still have to do ... 

Okay, we can do this the easy way or the hard way: the easy way is I cover what we need to cover, you write it down, we do an activity, and we call it a day. The hard way is that we can't get it together and I send all this home with you to do after school ... 

Okay, guys, we need to get our lives together ...

Get your life together ...

Get your life together ...

Get your life together ...

Homie, I WANT TO GO TO THE POOL TOO, you know what I'm saying? But it's also important to me that you know these little things like how to read, write, and diagram sentences.

Getting these middle school students to do anything this time of year is much like me trying to get Baby Snickers to assist me with the household chores. He doesn't understand English and he lacks any and all capability and motivation to help out.

So, Jen Hatmaker, I hear you. As I've said to my coworker Sarah on numerous occasions in the past couple of weeks, I feel like we are all army crawling across the finish line. Right arm, left arm, we're almost there. The thing is, we have to cross that line together, and it's sentence diagramming and book reading that is going to get us there.

Parents, we get it. We're still asking you to initial AR logs and sign TTM sheets. But we promise we're doing it to help your kid, not torture you. Just give us about 14 more days, and your little angels will be all yours for the whole summer!


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