Thursday, June 19, 2008

Playing Craps With Our Students

Mr. AP: You must call the homes of students who are cutting. Their parents must be informed so that they can return to class.

Mr. AP: You cannot pass a student with more than 14 absences unless you speak to me first.

Ms Teacher: Mr. AP, I would like to pass Abe even though he has 20 absences. Some of them were medical excuses but a few were cuts. I spoke to his mom whenever he was out and things improved a lot.

Mr. AP: You cannot pass a student who has cut. You are too easy. Let me check his record.

Ms Teacher: Mr. AP, you told us to call. He took every exam and has a passing average. He made up homework he missed. His dad is dying and he is going through a rough time.

Mr. AP: Everyone has problems. His dad dying is no excuse for missing math. He probably cheated on the final exam anyways.

Ms Teacher: He is not a cheater. He deserves to pass and we would be doing him a major injustice by failing him. He will only get angry and do worse next term. He needs our support right now. I know him much better than you do. He earned the right to pass.

Mr AP: Do what you want. It is your responsibility if he fails the regents in January.

Footnote: Ms Teacher passed Abe. She hopes he will continue doing well but knows that there is no guarantee. Although Ms Teacher is not usually a gambler, she felt Abe was worth a chance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for passing Abe, the student with the dying father.

My youngest was in ninth grade when his father was dying. He too missed many days of school. Some days he just wanted to be home to spend time with his dad. His grades were awful in comparison to what he could do. He just could not concentrate on school even when he was there.

What my son did have was a group of teachers like you. Teachers who knew that his life was in turmoil and that he was doing the very best that he could. They stayed off his case about his absenses and accepted his work as it was.
His dad died just before ninth grade finals. My son says that he has no idea what he put on the finals but he knows they gave him a break and he passed.

Fast forward a few years. Youngest son is now graduated college and has a master's degree and is working in a field he loves. His teachers faith in him paid off as I am sure that your faith in Abe will.

(I won't even comment on Mr AP as what I would have to say cannot be published under the law.)