Today during my second period Algebra class, a student asked me when the Final Exam for my class will be. "June 10th" I responded, knowing full well the ire that this answer would produce. And I wasn't disappointed -- the wrath was significant. They felt that the 10th was far too late, and made such feelings known (loudly). I, of course, didn't care.
I was shocked during my first year of teaching when I told students that the final exam would be the last week of school, and they informed me that they "don't come to school in June." I was so confused. You don't come to school in June? But you must! I asked come colleagues and heard from them, "yeah, no kids come in June." Turns out they mustn't.
Where on earth did people get the idea that students don't have to come to school in June? Perhaps their parents told them, perhaps they got the idea from other students, perhaps they've just realized over the years that many teachers stop teaching in June. Or perhaps they just don't want to come to school in June, and thought that if they presented it to me as a fact -- "I don't come in June" -- I'd just say OK. Whatever the reason, they maintained that no one would show up if I held the final any later than May 31. I stuck to my guns and gave the final the last week of school. Lo and behold, all of the students who had a mathematical chance of passing the class (which was most) showed up for the final.
So today, when kids pitched a fit and told me that they don't come to school in June, I had my snarky response all ready: "Sounds good, see you next year." They didn't think that was funny.
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