textese (or text-speak) in the classroom

One thing texting has earned most students?  The inability to think beyond 141 characters and the desire to abbreviate every answer.

Some students now will SAY “lol.”  

Which prompts me to say “No, are you really?”

Next thing that happens?   Student will say “What?”

“Laughing out loud?” (I know I should be amused, but I am frustrated)

“Ms. B, what are you talking about?” is the inevitable response.

THEN, I have to explain when you say “lol” that maybe you should be laughing out loud.  That usually nips that problem.

The next problem with text?  That students think “IDK” is a valid response.  I always put “IDC” and mark it wrong.  Stops problem two after the first exam.

The final problem I have had with text-speak.  Last year, I tried so hard to work with a 9th grader.  I would teach and re-teach.  He would sleep and talk.    Finally, one day he decided that just trying to get by was not cutting it.  He walked to my desk to TELL me to change his grade.  I (being me) said that I would not do so.  He looked around the room.  He puffed out his chest.   He strutted to his seat.  He drawled “YOLO, ya’ll, YOLO”  loudly to the entire room.  Not one person would have known about this exchange if he had not made such a production out of his text-speak. 

I had finally had enough “You might only live once… but you are going to take physical science twice if you don’t do your work.”  I must have made a believer out of him…he transferred schools.

BTW (see what I did there?) he is still not passing physical science.


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