Thursday, April 16, 2015

What Ever Happened To Consequences

I'm posting this in hopes that someone might have the magic answer for me.

Maybe some of you have gone through this or maybe you're a teacher and have dealt with the other side of this shit show.  Maybe you have some advice for me.  Maybe I'm doing the right thing and just need to keep on course.  Maybe I'm way off base....either way let me know.  We all know I can take criticism so don't be afraid to offend me or hurt my feelings.

A few things first.  The email I'll post below is to the dean of students about Big Red and my (almost) decision to not enroll her in summer school.  I sent it to the dean of students in response to a letter they sent home about Red being eligible for summer school and the fact that if she gets C's or higher in this final quarter she might be exempt from summer school all together and get to go to 7th grade.

The letter came home and I signed it but she forgot to turn it in....THIS is my CONSTANT issue with her.  The child FORGETS EVERYTHING!!!  She is smart and could easily pass 6th grade but she just doesn't turn in her homework.  I sit at home with her EVERY school night and make sure she does all of her work.  She only actually turns in about 1/4 of it.  The rest gets lost in space somewhere I guess.  Same for school work - she just doesn't bring it home to finish it.

This has been a constant issue since Kindergarten.  Teachers have gone above and beyond their job duties to help her succeed.  I have gone above and beyond what she should require (I'm the one that opens the book bag and checks for the homework and tells her what she needs to do).

Nothing helps and I think it's in part due to the fact that she's never had any real consequences outside of being grounded at home.  She's never failed.  She magically ends up with C's and D's and goes on to the next grade.  They even assigned her a special teacher that helps her make up the shit she blew off in class the day before.  So essentially she gets to not do her work, have 2 extra days and extra help from her personal teacher. Where is the consequence in that?  Is there any reason for her to change her behavior?

Again, let me stress the fact that Big Red IS NOT, slow or struggling with the actual concepts she's being taught.  She repeatedly gets A's and B's on the work and tests that she actually does.

Anyway, the dean of students requested that she have me at least email him to let him know I got the original letter or she would be sent to lunch detention.

Well, I wasn't gonna send the letter - finally a consequence right?  Before I did that I called my mom and asked her opinion...bad plan.  She told me she'd send the letter and I decided that I'd better send the letter (cause my mama said so and I'm still scared of her). I also took the time to let him know where i stood on the whole issue of summer school.

What I'm asking for now is your opinion...and thoughts, suggestions....  Am I going overboard for not enrolling her in summer school.  (In addition to just enrolling her it'll cost me $300 and I have to find a way to get her there and back every day at 8AM and Noon)

I can't guarantee I'll take any of your advice but I'd love to hear it....

Just got a call from the dean.  The short  version of the conversation is that Red will most certainly be a candidate for summer school in English (possibly one or 2 other subjects).  However, in their eyes she isn't a candidate for retention (being held back) because she does grasp the concept of the material and "data" shows that retention doesn't change behaviors.  But, if she fails summer school AND continues the pattern in 7th grade we can then talk about re-assigning her back to 6th grade.(That sounds like a whole hell of a lot of wasted time and money for a maybe...but I'm no child expert)

Honestly I feel like he was trying to pacify me with the last part and I don't think it will have any effect on her behavior.  She has already accepted the fact that she will loose her summer and doesn't seem to be bothered by it. (Already using it as an excuse to not do work this year) 

When I told him this he did suggest that for a consequence  we could make her work off the cost of summer school ($125-$300).  Not a bad idea if I concede to summer school...which I haven't yet.  (I can always just not pay and not bring her)

So add any ideas for summer jobs to my request for suggestions.  Things that are not fun!
Know of any child labor sweatshops hiring?

A 3rd update.  Two things happened recently
1) I think I found a "summer job" of babysitting (for free) in the even Big Red goes to summer school
2) Big Red has pulled her grades up to A's, B's and C's - she's not completely out of the woods, but there is a possibility.  I did tell her I was considering summer school but she'd have a job ALL summer and I hadn't decided yet. (I also told her she gets 1 shot at summer school for the next 12 years so she better really need it when she decides to use it...)

While I'm happy she's doing good it drives me crazy that she clearly has the potential for good grades any time she wants...she just dosen't choose to.

As a side note to my mom:
Holy shit..I did this to you in High school...OMG I'm sorry!  Here's my public apology.

I am SO SORRY for being a difficult asshole please remove the curse!