07 March 2011

Stapling Lessons

I've been thinking lately that I ought to take some time at some point to make a list of things that I've learned teaching Junior High students. Mostly silly things, I'm sure. Like how you have to be careful when telling stories or mentioning animals or vacations or holidays or weekends or anything interesting or risk getting a barrage of maybe slightly a little bit related stories. (Last year I learned to always preface acknowledging a hand raise by asking "is this a comment or a question?" If the student had to think about it, we moved on.)

But one "lesson" in particular has been making me giggle lately, because my team-teacher didn't believe me when I said we'd need to teach them how to do it. That's right. I'm talking about stapling.

I'm pretty sure that junior high students (and upper elementary, I'm sure) are responsible for keeping staple companies in business. In fact, if I ever leave my job as a teacher and get hired on by a staple ad campaign, I will base all of my advertising entirely on that age range of students. Because they are utterly fascinated by and incapable of using staples correctly. It got to the point last year where I threatened to take points off assignments if a student had more than one staple in their paper. And if the paper was stapled ANYWHERE but in the upper left corner (re, the middle, the right, the top and center, the bottom - all happened), I'd refuse to grade their work until they fixed it.

You think I'm kidding? I can provide evidence if needed. Students don't know how to staple.

Yes. I recognize that I'm a little bit organizationally obsessed. But it saves me valuable grading time and sanity and it's a good lesson, right?

1 comment:

Liz Busby said...

I had a teacher in high school who specified the exact placement of the staple on the page in inches as well as its orientation, and required that it be a real staple, not a mini-stapler staple. It was supposed to be a lesson in planning ahead. Theoretically you would need to have your paper done early in order to take that much time over a staple.

From the looks of the computer lab minutes before the class, it didn't work.