Sunday, January 31, 2010

My part-time student

I have a sweet, sweet little girl who has been absent about 30 days so far this year. When she isn't absent she is tardy. The social worker at school has been to the parents' home to try to get her attendance up. They have been reported to the sheriff. But nothing changes. 


She is behind in work. She is lacking in skills. I have sat face-to-face with mom, practically begging her to bring "sweetie" to school. Promises are made, even attempts to improve are made. But sweetie goes missing again. I don't even miss her when she is gone. I hate to say that, but she is gone so much that our community was built without her, or built knowing she was going to be gone. 


When she comes to school I enjoy her so much. She is smart and oh, so funny. She is witty and wise. We have fun and I start to love her. Then she is gone again and I feel let down. But every day she comes I will love her, and hope she comes the next day.

10 comments:

Cathryn said...

As a college professor, I can tell you now that these habits learned as children will pervade their adult life in higher education. I've run across many students who have started out their early years this way and keep on doing it as an adult.

It's hard to get them to come when the parents aren't involved. THANK YOU for not giving up on this child!

teachin' said...

Doesn't it kill you when they just don't come to school? It makes me feel so helpless (because I can't do anything to change it since my school/district/state don't really make attendance a priority) and so angry (that the parents don't understand what a disservice they're doing to their children).

Theresa Milstein said...

As a society, we need to place more value on education. If a child learns that she can be absent on a regular basis, at the expense of actually learning, what will become of her in the future? Sadly, I guess it will be how Cathryn describes it.

Anonymous said...

Tamar Blake

It is sad to know that this little girl is missing the most important aspect of her life;her education.
The worst part of this is that this child is a minor, she is not in charge of herself. The No Child Left Behind act should put in place measures to address these issues. How can teachers ensure that no child is left behind when they are not even present in the classroom

Anonymous said...
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banders said...

Attendance issues make it almost impossible to resolve other concerns. At the junior high level, students with serious attendance issues are usually the ones racking up F's and D's on their report cards and disrupting classes. This is the age when instead of staying home and skipping school, they start walking around town and skipping school. And nothing changes- even when the parents are issued a truancy citation. It's frustrating because you just can't make people do the right thing.

Okie Book Woman said...

Oh yes, I've seen that happen many times. So sad, and such a disservice to the kid. Thanks for continuing to love her.

Kelly L said...

How very sad for this little girl to be denied the education that she so richly deserves... Sad for you to enjoy her beauty..

Love your heart, Joan!

Kelly

tattytiara said...

She's very blessed to have a teacher that does give her everything she can when she is there, that's for sure.

Joan said...

Thanks for the comments. =)

Sweetie has still been hit or miss, but she has been doing her work and getting caught up. I praise her, and try to include her as much as possible. She is still failing math. Math is so hard to do independently, even if you're smart like sweetie.