Story #1 – A young man, we’ll call him Joe, explained to me that he will not be here tomorrow. The students are expected to work on a group project and he wanted me to know that his absence tomorrow might make things a bit difficult for his group. That was nice of him to warn me. However, when I asked Joe to explain why he won’t be here, he just smiled and didn’t say much. I pulled it out of him and this is what he had to say (I’ll paraphrase, since I don’t remember the details word for word – but it’s pretty close, I can assure you)…
Yep, that really happened just now. Apparently, parents and teachers don’t work together…instead, they work against one another. Oh, and did I mention that this young man is far from passing his classes? Yeah, he could use the extra time in school.
Story #2 – Let me introduce you to a quiet young lady – we’ll call her Jamie. She has missed quite a bit of school this year. Supposedly, she gets sick once or twice a week. In looking at her attendance records from last year, there’s not much to compare it to….she was homeschooled for part of the day/year. So, when Jamie’s family decided to go on a vacation during the first part of this year (keep in mind we have Christmas break which is 2 weeks long, a mid-winter break with 4 days off, and spring break which is an entire week), I was a little apprehensive. I emailed Jamie’s mom to explain that her daughter had already missed about a month’s worth of school. Obviously, I couldn’t keep her from going on the trip, but I did encourage her to make sure Jamie was here EVERYDAY once they returned.
Well, the family came back from their vacation and the mom was a little upset with all of Jamie’s teachers. She felt like family vacations were the type of things kids should be encouraged to do – I agree, to a certain extent. However, when your kid has missed a month of school, it’s time to sit down and evaluate your priorities. Anyways, at that time, the mom also informed the principal (and teachers too) that the family would be going on another vacation at the end of March. The principal informed her that those days would not be excused due to the Becca Bill.
Side note: Once Jamie returned from her family vacation, she continued to miss school on a regular basis. Nothing changed.
:) Being the super nice teacher that I am, I started to gather work for this young lady so she wouldn’t fall too far behind. I emailed home a few times to see when mom would be by to pick up her work. I also had some questions as to which books she had at home, and what was left here at school. I wanted her to have all of her materials in order to complete the assignments. I never heard back from mom.
Today, I finally went down to the attendance secretary and asked her if she had heard from the family. Nothing. I asked the secretary to try calling home…and if that didn’t work, to try the other contact numbers listed. So much of my time had been spent gather materials and trying to contact the family, that I wasn’t about to let it go. I wanted to know why mom hadn’t emailed me back or called. One of the contact people on Jamie’s list gave us her father’s work number. When our secretary called, the person on the other end indicated that Jamie’s dad was not in the office and he wouldn’t be – he was on a family vacation.
So, either the daughter really is sick and the family decided to go on vacation, or Jamie is not sick and mom just lied to get out of her explanation of the family vacation. Either way, it’s all a bit shady if you ask me.
And we wonder why kids today lack responsibility?!?!