So many kids, I don't know what to do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is There A Point?

You may not be able to tell it from my blog, but I have a short attention span when it comes to the auditory. Ok. EXTREMELY SHORT. 

Frankly if my own sentence takes more than about fifteen words I forget what I am talking about.  I seem to have several students this year who when they want to tell me a story back about six sentences prior to where they need to start.

Here is an example.

Random child at my desk while 32 other students are throwing paper wads.  Some of them I am not sure are even IN my class.

"Mrs. B?  I got up this morning and I ate breakfast.  It was waffles and they were good, but it made me miss my bus.  I had to wait for the next bus.  The driver was wearing orange.  I don't like orange.  So I was late to school and I had to wait in line for a pass.  Can I go get my book?   My locker is in the other hall?  I think."

1. Now I want to stab myself in the eye!
2. It's FOURTH period.  How does this story relate to why you didn't get your book prior to my class?
3.  I didn't ASK where your locker is because I don't care.  You can go wherever you want if you will just stop talking to me!!!

Some people may think I am just self centered and I don't care what they are saying.  They are wrong.  I care deeply about what other people are saying, but only for about 20 words.

Really though is there any story I need to be told out loud that cannot be condensed into twenty words? 
Think about it.  The whole story of Romeo and Juliet.
There were two kids whose families hated each other.  They fell in love.  It ended in death.
See?  I got all the high points.

That was actually a bad example because I have patience for the written word.  Pictures help, but they aren't necessary.

Maybe I should just have all my students WRITE out what they want to say to me!!  ( I was joking when I wrote that, but now it does seem like genius.)

How about you?  What are you areas of inattention?  Twenty words or less.  KIDDING.  I love to read.


  1. I'd have to agree that when talking to a child sometimes I wish they would get to the point of their story and move on. I used to work with 3 and four year olds and to this day if a story starts with, "I like pankcakes." I tune right out. Happy Wednesday!

  2. I'm bad for scrolling through really long blog posts without reading it. I'm sure people do the same to me so I try to keep it short and witty but some people posts 2000 words on one call they ran. I agree with you - I like the highlights.

  3. I am very auditory. After a lecture I can understand and remember most of it. Same lecture on paper and I have to read it a couple of times to achieve same degree of retention.
    I have a very good memory for what people tell me so when they change their story even months later... lets just say I try not to judge them too harsly.

  4. If a story starts with "I like pancakes" I tune right in! It may end with me getting pancakes!

    I'm like you though. I tune out if I can see that a point isn't going to get made any time soon. Or I stop the person and ask them point blank if there is a point or where is this going. But that's only if I haven't had my coffee.

  5. They haven't learned the art of FRONT LOADING their sentences. I totally have to do that with my husband, because by the time I get to the end of my thought, which is the question for him, he's already zoned out.

  6. I'm the same way. DRIVES ME CRAZY when people can't consense their stories.

  7. Ha ha ha. I absolutely tune out most of the time when people talk politics, economy, the state of the world or any other serious and real thing. It's too depressing to listen to all that.

  8. Oh, I'm really bad about that (I mean, hello, do you read my blog?). But, my kid is also really bad about that too. He'll come in and tell me an hour long tale, describing everything that's just happened in a book or on TV and I've already seen it all so I just sit there wishing he'd wrap it up already.

    Of course, he gets it from me.

  9. I can't pay attention when my husband talks. Just. Can't.

  10. I just can't listen to voice mail messages. If it's not summed up in about one sentence, I don't even care anymore!

  11. I'm like you: say too much and I sort of zone out. I'm not even subtle about it. My friends will say, "You're totally not listening to me, are you?" Nope. Not listening....what was I saying again? What was this post about?

  12. I can handle the stream of inanity. It's when they stop and try to remember some meaningless factoid not relevant to the story that I come unglued and start trying to finish their sentences.

    I came over because you commented on my blog. I too am a reader, and at one time had a plan of being a history teacher. That one got sidetracked, but it's fun to read stories from the trenches. No way you'll ever teach my kid as I am never moving again, but THANK YOU for a freakin job. On Veteran's Day, I will say they should have a Veteran's Day for teachers.

  13. Crud. I meant to say THANK YOU for a freakin thankless job, then wanted to delete the freakin part since I won't let my son say it... hope you got the point, I'm going to go get some caffeine.

  14. I totally think you should make them write out their questions to you! Perhaps in writing it, they will realize how superfluous some of their little details are...


I always like to know someone is listening!