Monday, March 23, 2009

What Can Be Fixed

I heard the comment the other day, "if it can't be fixed in five minutes, with what's on hand, then don't mention it." I started thinking about students in Reading Workshop and how this might apply to them, and their education.

Seventy-three missed homework assignments this year really doesn't matter as much as having the right attitude and learning today. There is no way to fix all of the hours that a student didn't read at home. There is no way to change an F from the first semester. Although sometimes people expect it, teachers are not magicians.

But, just maybe with a little work, and a discussion of today's assignment, a student can figure out that character development is how a character changes from the beginning to the end of a story. There is no way to "fix" a parent that won't follow through with checking the assignment book each night, but a student can spend some free time making up missed work. It's impossible to immediately make a student read at grade level. However, with a little effort, we could fix mistakes written in response to a passage.

Things I can fix:
1. The climate of today's class
2. A student not understanding the task at hand
3. Mistakes on an assignment
4. Today's lesson and how it's being taught

Things I can't fix include:
1. Last week, last semester, and last year
2. Parents' problems
3. Intercom interruptions
4. The war in Iraq
5. The economy
6. Peas for lunch
7. Floods, blizzards, thunderstorms, and hail
8. Dog bites, cat scratches, and bee stings
9. Broken hearts and she doesn't like me anymore
10. Missed shots, interceptions, and strike outs
11. Broken arms
12. Cavaties
13. Bad hair and bad breath
14. And on, and on, and on . . .

Looking at these lists, I realized I better get busy for the next five minutes and focus on what I can control. What about you, students? What can you fix?


Anonymous said...

What I can fix is the way I act towards others. I can change my behavior in class.Try to make more friends or just be more friendly. Get things accomplished more often. Raise my grades from low grades to B and A's. Over all improve almost every thing about me. Plus be better kid and be helpful and nice.

Anonymous said...

Something that I could fix would be taking longer on tests. After the Practice test today i realized that in my opinion I went to fast. I finished with 30 minutes remaining. In that time period I could have looked over it, went back to some of the questions I didn't understand, or spent a little more time on the extended responses. But instead, I got up and turned my test in. At least I wasn't the first one to turn it in. The next time there is a test i will re-look over it.

Bree said...

Somethings I could change about my self is attention better grades
3.try to understand better
4.ask more questions
5.try not to be absent
6.less talking more
8.write/type more

Anonymous said...

Some things I can fix about myself. That's a good question Mr.McGuire. I could fix stuff like my grades, attitude, and the way I act. Also the way I do in band.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of things I could fix about me.
1. do better in school.
2. do all my work.
3. check my work.
4. ask teachers for help.
5. be respectful to others.
6. get all tests signed and corrected.
There's more but I can't think of them right now.

Anonymous said...

What I can fix is:
1.)Be nicer to people.
2.)Be a better person.
3.)Be more friendly to people.
4.)Get more accomplished for school.
5.)Be more aware of whats going on around me.
6.)Be more active in class.
7.)Be a whole lot more active while doing something.
8.)Stop being a jerk to people
9.)How I dress for school.
10.) Stop an bad argument with one of my best friends from happening.
11.) Help people understand what people are talking about in the class room.
12.) Sometimes how I am being treated by other people.
13.) Try to help subs do their job while understanding what they are supposed to do as a sub.

Anonymous said...

I can fix some things, heres a list.
2.Barbie heads
4.mac. and cheese
5.a story
6.some writing
7.Oreo cheese cake
10.bad clothing
11.bikes sometimes
12.miss understandings
13.little kids boo boo's

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. McGuire, this topic reminds me of the poem, If I Were In Charge Of The World . I could change a lot of things, and some is what I have already changed.
Changed Already:

Started doing online journals on paper if no working computer

Change grades to at least “B's”or up
Could change if wanted to or needed to:

Save up my money instead of spending it the first chance I get

Start reading non-fiction books/stories
Thing I cannot change:

Cleaner locker (Ha! In our dreams!)

My talking / blabbing

My sneakiness of *---------*
* -----* = Cannot tell

Now If you agree, please do not answer the one about talking.

Anonymous said...

I could do a lot of things to make me better like:

1) Reading more to bring up my grade
2) I could study harder to get a better grade on my test
3) I could slow down when I am typing so I know that I hit the right key
4) I could read more books
5) I could do more extra credit
6) I could fix my spelling so that I will get a better grade on writing

What I can not fix is:
1) My dad is an over the road truck driver
2) My mom can not work or drive
3) My brother
4) That my family can't come around
5) Gas prices
6) The economy
7) How other people are
8) World peace

Mr. McGuire said...


I'd like some Captain Crunch.

Mr. McGuire said...


Number 6 is my dream come true!

Anonymous said...

Somethings I can fix are stop talking so much in the classroom. I need to look over my test before I turn them in. I need to fix my attitude and stop getting mad at people so easy.

Anonymous said...

A nice bacon, lettuce and tomato with just a touch of mayo on rye would be all I can fix on most days, but that doesn't do a whole heck of a lot for my kids. So I try to fix their day if they are having a bad one, and help them see where they are going to make it a better one. We are not magicians as you so aptly stated, but we do have some super powers in the way we go about our daily walk. My "fix" is to find a way to reach that really annoying kid who looks upon me as his second father.
Tough one that, but worth the fight.
Tom Anselm

Mr. McGuire said...


Thanks for the comment.

So I try to fix their day if they are having a bad one, and help them see where they are going to make it a better one. I feel lucky because so many of my students do this for me. Their hard work makes a good day for me almost every day.

Anonymous said...

Things I can not fix.

1) World hunger
2) How people act (Mr.McGuire)
3) War
4) pollution
5) Cousins
6) Friends with siblings

Mr. McGuire said...


Lucky for you that my behavior is perfect. How about Mrs. Griffey's hair on a windy day? How about Mrs. Stevenson's never ending computer problems? How about Mrs. Cartee's paper throwing temper tantrums? How about Ms. Bowlby's baddddd jokes?

Anonymous said...

Things that I could not change.
1.Someone losing a wrestling match.
2.What my mom says.
3.Or the monster buck I missed.
4.My dog passing away.
5.Or my dad losing a buck he shot.
6.Or change the guy`s mind for taking it.
I can not change these what so ever because they have already happened.

Anonymous said...

If there is anything I can fix it's bad breath because all u have to do is brush your teeth or tell some one to eat a mint!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that there are a lot of things I could fix. I just can't think of a lot. Here's a few.

1. My grades
2. How I act
3. Do better in school
4. Get A's on every test I take
5. Read more

Those are a few things I can fix. Here are a few things I can't fix.

1. Deaths
2. What school I go to
3. What's my name
4. Who I am
5. What I look like

Anonymous said...

I can fix somethings so here goes....
1.Get better grades!
2. Get tests signed!
3. Be a better friend!
4. Work really hard!
5. Last but not least I might be able to stop talking but don't expect it because it probably wont happen!

Anonymous said...

Some things I can fix are in school are:

1) I could fix to concentrate more.
2) Read more.
3) Make my blog post more longer.
4) Talk less
5) Write better extended responses.

Some things I can't fix in school are:

1) Write neater.
2) Remember everything that we learned in school.

That's all I can think of.

Anonymous said...

Things that I could fix :

1.Getting better grades in school.
2.Save money for something big instead of spending my money as soon as I get it on something small.
3.Read the whole book don't stop in the middle of it and say that I am done.
4.Become a really awesome student for
Mr. McGuire

Anonymous said...

I can't fix a lot of things. Sometimes you wish you could. Like, right about the time your mom finds out you broke the vase, not the dog. That hasn't happened to me ''yet''. And it probably will sooner or later. Things I can't fix are,
1.The past.
2.Getting grounded.
4.How I act.
Things I can fix are,
3.Little sisters toys.
4.I can fix peoples frowns to similes.

Anonymous said...

Ten things i can fix are:
1.My attitude
2.Keeping my room clean
3.Talking too much
4.Turning in all my homework
5.My grades
6.People getting mad at me
7.who my friends are
8.fighting with my friends for no reason
9.braking up with my "friend"!
10. bad hand writing

Ten things I cant change:
1.bad books
2.people you love going away
3. people that acted dumb
4. hard work
7.rude stuck up people
8.globule warming
9.long test
10.nasty foods

I could change a lot more but I am not going to put them all down!!

siobhan curious said...

The very essence of your post is what I'm trying to fix: I'm trying to fix my attitude. I'm trying to see every day, every class, every student, as a unique event or being at a unique moment in time, and to stay in the present moment with whatever's happening, instead of having knee-jerk reactions based on baggage, stewing, or general irritation. I've been working on this for years now, and it's starting to show results.

Paitaan W. said...

I could do is take longer on the ach test so I will pass it.

loonyhiker said...

I believe that we can control our own behavior and only change our own, not others. If I am having a problem with students or parents, I look at what I can do about my own behavior and not others. Usually I am able to find some satisfaction when having this perspective.

Jim Hansen said...

I was inspired by your post to make my own lists.

Mr. McGuire said...


Thanks for your comment, I've been working on this for years now. This describes me. Some day, some where, some how, I know there will be progress. :)