Monday, October 26, 2009

9th Grade Vocab Lesson: Part 2

Scene: I'm reviewing commonly misused words with the 9th graders. Examples of this would include: accept/except, council/counsel, that/who, then/than, etc.

Me: Okay, so the next two commonly confused words are "that" and "who." Remember to use "who" with humans, for example, "Anyone who wants a piece of gum can have one," but use "that" with non-humans and objects. For example, "The horse that I bought yesterday."

(sarcastic snickering from the back of the class)

Me: Um...can I help you guys back there? What's so funny?

Note: The boy I called on says the following in this "game, set, match" kind of voice. I wouldn't have been surprised if after delivering this sentence he had gotten out of his seat, high fived his buddies, and yelled "in your face!!"

Boy: We just want to know how it's possible that a horse isn't human.


Boy: I mean, it's alive.


After all the hell this boy has put me through, I really wanted to laugh in his face. However, I'm the teacher, and I have to be responsible.

So I let the students laugh in his face while I stood there calming explaining that a horse is an animal and not a human.

On a side note, how am I supposed to teach kids the difference between "affect" and "effect" if they don't know the difference between humans and animals?!?!?!


  1. Can you have this talk with my coworkers? Here's a quote from an actual email I received today:
    "We are excepted to go to the sites twice. 2010 and again in 2011?"
    I think she meant EXPECTED.

  2. Ah the Utah school system. Looks like these kids are coming along nicely.

  3. I followed a blog to this one and I can feel your pain. I teach kindergarten in Utah and it's out of control. I have kids that come into my class not even knowing what their name is...NO, not that they can't write or spell it out (which they should be able to do anyway)...they actually cannot TELL me their first name (English or Spanish). Anyway, my family moved to Utah from Indiana when I was in high school and my brother and I were horrified at Utah's education system. No AP classes, no speech or debate teams, nothing that had to do with excelling in academics. We ran into a lot of kids (10th-12th grade) who had never heard of (let alone be able to find on a map) the state of Indiana. The average ACT score at our high school was 18. Utah's education system sucks.

  4. Tierra,
    I TOTALLY believe you b/c I subbed 1st grade for a bit and had the SAME PROBLEM!!! I had to do a week long unit on "what is your name??" It honestly worried me a lot b/c what if one of these kids got lost and couldn't tell an adult what their name is so they can get help?!?!

    As for your Indiana story (which pairs nicely with my Kentucky sweatshirt blog entry), maybe Utah schools just don't recognize any state east of the Mississippi??