Thursday, March 12, 2009

A parent who doesn't understand

My son, Grendel, has fabulous grades. One B+ and the rest A's of one sort or another. However, if I dig into the guts of his grades, he regularly gets zeros on one assignment per class in a 3-4 week period. Upon further inquiry, it turns out that he doesn't get zeros on the work that he's done, he's simply failed to turn the assignments in. He can't seem to find them. He vaguely recalls doing them, or at least receiving them, but can't recall what happened to the assignments.

How can he be getting A's in all these classes while regularly missing entire assignments? (Hello, teachers???)

I know how he's losing track of them. Grendel has ADD. In the last couple of months he's missed taking his medication about a third of the time. We recently figured this out, so we're back to counting pills and severely monitoring his medication. We all let it get away from us because he was doing so well in school overall and was very busy with his FIRST Robotics team.

However, we've started putting his daily meds in one of those seven compartment M-T-W-Th-F-Sa-Su pill boxes. He needs this so he can take it on his FIRST trip to Maryland next week. He needs to stay on his meds to keep his focus for his team's competition. He knows this and is motivated to take his meds on the trip.

Powerschool, the computer system that the school uses to track student grades, was down for a couple of weeks. It just came back on line a couple of days ago. Grendel wanted to spend Friday night at a friends house. I said that I thought that it was ok, but that I needed to check Power School to give him my final answer.

Bah! He's taking six classes. In the last week, he's gotten a zero on an assignment in each of three classes. So, I called him into my office and showed him the grades. I told him 'no'. He shrugged and said 'ok'. He did not seem surprised that he was missing work in three classes.

I reminded him of the deal we made with him about the Maryland trip. The trip is costing us $250. Since he's going to be out of school for 3.5 days, he needs to make an extra effort not to miss any assignments. The deal is he is not allowed to have any zeros from 3/11 until 4/1 (one week before thru two weeks after the trip) or he has to pay us back for the cost of the trip. After I reminded him of this he stared at the ceiling thoughtfully for a moment and said, "ok" and then walked away.

I'm guessing he's figuring out how long it will take him to pay us back, at this point. *sigh*

Oh, and the biggest thing I don't grok at this point. The only class that he hasn't missed a single assignment or gotten a grade below a 95 on: English... The class he says he dislikes the most and has the most trouble with.

To quote DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, "Parents just don't understand."

1 comment:

Summer said...

It sounds like his teachers don't take into account missing homework when they do grades. Here some teachers count homework as high as 25% of the grade. It reminds me of one of my son's friends. This kid was super smart, the school ran out of AP classes for him to take. Trouble was he never did any of the homework but they let that slide. He got into a great university but flunked out because of that poor habit. The lesson, always do your homework I guess. I'll put my money on the fact that your son will do his assignments and not have to owe you the 250.