Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Please Pass The Problem

            “I just got an angry call from Landon’s mom about an assignment she said Mrs. Mason wouldn’t help him with,” said the principal.

            She was standing next to me as I supervised class changes.

            “I’m heading down to talk to her.  Do you know anything about this?”

            And it begins.

            I drew my words out, “Well, actually, I do know something about this.”   I turned to the principal and smiled, but I was serious.  “Do you want to address this, or just make the problem go away?”

            Her face was puzzled now.  “What do you mean?”

            “Landon did a poor job on a big assignment for Mrs. Mason.  She gave him the opportunity to earn some extra credit back by correcting the assignment.  I think Landon’s  looked online at his grades, and has figured out that the corrections will only raise his overall grade from a B minus to a B.”

            “So he’s not done anything?”

            “Correct.  But  I think he’s told his mom that he has done them.  His mom keeps emailing Mrs. Mason asking why she hasn’t put in the extra credit, but  Landon hasn’t given Mrs. Mason anything.   Now Landon’s mom keeps emailing Mrs. Mason telling her that Landon has done the work.”

            The principal’s eyes narrowed and she began to frown. 

            “Mrs. Mason told me about this yesterday,” I continued.  “I talked to Landon, and he admitted he hadn’t done any extra credit work.  He said he’d do the corrections last night.”  I paused, then added, “I can go get him and make him do the extra credit work, but I don’t know that that would solve the issue of Landon deliberately dodging this work.”
            “Got it.  I’ll talk to Mrs. Mason.”  She began walking down the hall, but turned.  “And then I’m going to talk to Mr. Landon about responsibility.”

            After lunch I stood in the locker area again, supervising the students. As I looked to my left, I saw  Mrs. Mason bearing down on me.  Her eyes bulged and she was breathing hard.

            “I just got an incredibly rude email from Landon’s mom telling me I’m not doing my job.  This is ridiculous.  How is it extra credit if I’m supposed to run him down and make him do it?  I’m going down to talk to the principal.”

            I watched her stalk down the hall.

            And it continues.

            Fifteen minutes later I opened up my email.  In it was a short message from the principal.

            “Hi Mrs. Jones – Could you go get Landon from music and make sure he does the extra credit corrections for Mrs. Mason?  I also want you to walk him into Mrs. Mason’s room and make sure she puts the extra credit into her grade book.  Thank you.”

            And it’s finished.

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