Beginning last quarter I began reviewing the year to date grades for all of my students. I had four that were failing. I made four difficult phone calls and heard back from 3 parents.
Now I am monitoring any student that has a D. I have students failing due to missing so much school. One student has missed close to 1/3 of the school year. Another reason is lack of parental involvement. If the parents don’t engage then the child won’t. A third reason is due to the child not understanding, for that I differentiate the work and work with the families. And the final reason, something went sideways in the child’s life. Bullying, problems at home can have a huge affect on a child.
Absences and lack of parent buy in I cannot fix. All I can do is keep track, make notes and send parents updates. For the last reason, problems in the child’s life, sometimes I can help and other times there is not much to be done. For example I have a student who was failing due to bullying. I moved the student, made some changes in class groups, spoke to the parents and spoke to the bully. From there we are seeing changes. For another student he refuses to tell me or his family what is bothering him. I explained to the child and his mother at this point the student has to decide if he wants to fail or succeed. It’s unfortunate because he is such a smart child. However if the child is unwilling to change there isn’t much you can do.