The Quarter is Coming to an End.
After all summer with so few problems, it is surprising how much has gone awry in such a short first quarter.
Dylan is doing so, so, so, so much better than even last year, where they were still hand-holding him in private school. He’s also doing way better than he did in 7th grade, when he rarely finished his work, and almost never turned it in.
This year, Dylan is actually doing his homework. He takes a quick break and then gets right to it, sometimes taking three hours to complete everything. He is getting his class work done, too. And he’s starting to learn to study – or at least, attempting to learn to study – so he’s doing much better on many of his tests.
But sometimes he doesn’t know that a test is coming. Sometimes he knows that a test is coming, but doesn’t know that it’s a two-day test.
And many, many, many times, he simply has no idea what is due. So the missing work piles up – and his grades are suffering because of it.
At his brightest moments, which are many, Dylan gets 100% on his assignments. He does phenomenal work. He gets high B’s and A’s without much effort. So his grades are often very high.
Then, quite randomly and without any provocation, there’s a ‘Z’ or an ‘E’ or just a zero.
When I look it up on the computer, his grade for any one class often looks like this:
31.2 E (late)
0 Z (missing)
12.1 E (late)
0 Z (missing)
These are not his real grades, but the seesaw effect is very real. And I am getting a bit seasick from all of it.
Finally, after spending years following up on every assignment with every teacher while begging him to do the same, it is finally too late for anything to be done about this. I can’t help him anymore. He’s on his own. And when things are late, most teachers won’t accept it at all.
His biology teacher recently posted a slew of grades. Dylan was missing so many assignments that his grade plummeted from a very high B to a low C. He was missing a ton of things.
And she wouldn’t allow him to turn them in late.
And the quarter is coming to an end.
And he’s not going to get a good grade for the end of the quarter.
How, I think, oh HOW can we possibly remedy this situation once and for all?
The only thing I’ve told him for the past three years is to talk to his teacher at the end of class.
Please, I say. Just ask your teacher before you leave the room: what was due today? And then TURN IT IN.
I have begged. I have pleaded. I have instructed. I have demanded. I have cried and yelled and screamed. I have been deathly silent and utterly mute. None of these things have worked.
We did medication, charts, stickers, rewards, punishments, consequences, consequences, CONSEQUENCES! But none of those consequences – no matter how harsh, or how rewarding – have inspired him to finally say, “What was due today?” to his teachers.
So now the grades are (as they always have been) his consequences.
And all I can do is sit and watch. And wait. And see.