Thursday, May 28, 2009

An open letter

Dear Parents of my Students Absent for their Finals,

I understand that your student receiving a passing grade is important to you. I understand that you will do anything for your child. I also understand that it is of little consequence to you personally if your child does not attend school.

What I do NOT understand, dear parents, is how you can send your child into the world with such a strong message of irresponsibility and unaccountability. These assignments, for which they have had upwards of two weeks to prepare, are their FINAL for the class. Perhaps your child is an exceptional liar. Good for him/her. With the mixed messages you are sending him/her, it will be important for him/her to use that lying skill in his/her future. Maybe there is an epidemic in this community of which I am unaware. Funny, none of my students NOT assigned to go today came down with the illness. Germs work in mysterious ways.

Please, do not worry about the other students and me. We will change our schedules and agendas to suit your child's whims. We here in public education are here to serve you in every way. Maybe you'd like your child to receive a passing grade just for breathing. I'm sure we can find an independent study program to suit his/her needs.

All my best as we near the graduation of your little darlings,
Mrs. Frustrated and Annoyed

EDIT: For those of you who feel I may be too cynical: I was just on the third floor (two away from my own domain), and SAW ONE OF THE STUDENTS who was, "up all night puking, sweating, with a high fever." AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!


Molly said...

For my students, I just say: You cannot receive a passing grade for this class if you miss your final (exam, paper, presentation). Period. I know I can do that at the U, and I'm nearly positive you can do that in HS too. I had two students who almost didn't take the final in the lit class I TAed this past semester... they were taking the class pass / fail and would have passed without it. I told them they had to come--just humor me, I teased them--and they did, though I have to admit, one fewer exam to grade would have been nice. :)

Travas and Heather said...

Thank you for serving Emily! I would have loved to have you as a teacher. Some parents suck! Would it be too harsh to add to your syllabus: "If a student is absent on a day they are scheduled to give a speech, the student must provide Ms. Teacher a copy of a doctor's note or funeral announcement; failure to do so will result in a grade reduction of 50% on the make-up speech."