~The basic message I’ve gotten from the administrators is this: “Get these kids up outta here.”
By Thomas Gibbon
Third quarter marking period just ended. I teach 100 seniors, and when I look at the grade book, I could legitimately give F’s to 60 of them. This is the number of kids who have missed ten or more days out of 44 this quarter.
It used to astound me how many days of kids missed when I first began teaching here. Like most things, however, I’m numb to it now. I try to have standards, I really do. I penalize kids for not being in class. I call home during prep periods, even though many of the phones are disconnected and not in service. I send attendance letters home and document it to the main office.
The fact is: I can’t get kids in this city to come to school.
The problem is that these kids somehow know they will pass and graduate high school. Taking a principled stand and putting the F on the report card would just be a hoop for all of us to jump through. I would have to defend all the efforts I’ve made to contact parents, social workers and administrators for every absence the kid has had. The kids know how hard it is to actually fail.
The basic message I’ve gotten from the administrators is this: “Get these kids up outta here.”
Continue Reading: I CAN'T GET KIDS IN THIS CITY TO COME TO SCHOOL