“OK Guys. There’s only one quarter of school left, and I’ve come up with a plan to make sure you finish well.”
I grandly displayed the new homework board. It even had a new title. Finish Well! I broke all projects down into daily work. I assigned nightly study sections for upcoming tests. Everyone would stop by the Finish Well board before going home to make sure they knew what they were to do that evening. Operation Finish Well began in late March after Spring Break.
Now it is almost May and there are three weeks of school left. Four of my students are failing one or more classes. Most of them have two or three “D’s” keeping the “F’s” company.
I planned for success! I still look at the Finish Well board with pride. It was a great idea, and it works if you use it. What I didn’t plan on was Ramon lying for two weeks straight. I didn’t plan on Taniqua being sick for a week and then her family taking a week vacation. I didn’t plan on Josh’s best friend being in his randomly chosen study group in Math for all of April. Naomi wasn’t a surprise. I didn’t plan on the incredibly warm weather in April. It’s not the calendar that makes kids quit. It’s 90 degree weather outside.
But I’ve taught for 20 years. I know things happen. I was proactive. I got the principal to approve extra tutoring funds. I set up after-school sessions. I contacted parents. What I didn’t plan on was being stood up.
“I’m working late and don’t have anyone to give Ramon a ride home.”
“Josh’s new soccer league started and he has practice every night.”
Now we’re doing working lunches every day. Every day. That means I don’t get lunch every day. Every day.
So how do I feel about four of my students falling flat just before the finish line? Frustrated!