An open letter to my 3rd grade daughter's teacher...

Why do elementary school teachers find it necessary to assign big, elaborate take home projects to their students?

My youngest daughter (Gracie) just turned nine years old and is in the third grade. Last week, she brought home a letter from her teacher that outlined her latest assignment. Each student in her class was assigned a planet and was instructed to make a scale model of said planet, along with a display board containing facts about the planet’s surface, atmosphere, distance from the sun, etc. The instructions suggested that the model could be made from paper mache, Styrofoam or other materials readily available at any arts and crafts store.

My first reaction to the letter was to ponder why I was being punished. Had I done something to piss Gracie's teacher off? Did she think I was bored at night and needed something to do? Maybe she owned stock in Hobby Lobby and was trying to artificially manipulate the value of her shares…

The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I became. Does she really think that a third-grader is capable of making a scale model all by themself? A third-grader can’t make a scale model of shit... And paper mache; are you fucking kidding? Only a retard would give a 9-year old a bunch of newspaper and a big ass bowl of flour and water and expect them to do anything other than stucco the kitchen table. So, I guess if you don’t need your kitchen table refinished, you go buy $50 worth of shit at Hobby Lobby and hope for the best. At least you’ll have a shot at getting acrylic paint out of the carpet…

And then there’s the display board and facts…Who’s gonna have to look up all that shit? If the required information can’t be found at or doesn’t have anything to do with High School Musical 2, she’s not gonna have a clue where to start looking for it. Besides, I’m not really down with having the keys to my laptop glued together by paper mache covered fingers.

After pondering the assignment over the weekend, I started typing. Here's a copy of the letter I sent to Gracie’s teacher this morning:

Dear Mrs. Boonecourt,

I am writing this letter in response to Gracie’s Mercury project, as well as the parental handout detailing the purpose, objectives and design guidelines for the assignment. After a thorough review of your instructions, I’ve determined that you are quite possibly smoking crack.

Look, this is my third swim through that school and I’ve already been down this road before. I’m a member of the PTA, I help at the school carnival, I go to every school program, no matter how half-assed or boring, and I’ve bought thousands of dollars worth of flower bulbs, candy bars, wrapping paper and other shit from fundraisers over the past ten years or so. I’ve done a lot of shit up at that school, so I think I’ve paid my dues and earned a little latitude… I’m not doing any more school projects. Period.

In lieu of the assigned Mercury model, I will be forwarding a recycled science fair project on electro-magnets that Gracie’s older brother turned in when he was in 5th grade. Mrs. Martin graded it as a 94, so there’s really no need to duplicate her work and grade it again. Just cut to the chase, plug an “A” into the gradebook and let's save each other a bunch of time, energy and bullshit.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.


David Dorris

I’m now screening my calls and fully expect to be placed on double secret probation by Dean Vernon Wormer.


shauna said...

now THAT was funny.

danaliedholm said...

Now I remember why you scared the shit out of me in high school. ;-)

Leeann V. said...

Totally with you brotha! Ditto for me and a #$%^% report on Vermont this year for my daughter the same age as yours. 3-D Poster, multi-page typed report due. TYPED?!!!! *****AND***** due two days before school is out for the year, which means they aren't even going to grade it! I better stop now. Smoke is starting to come out of my ears.