She was failing almost everything. I had nothing to lose so I told a freshman she was not allowed at school unless she was on time. Here’s what happened.
Here are the facts. They are obvious facts as most could guess these realities without the data, but I have the data. It is also interesting that I have never seen these school realities in black and white. Maybe educators have thought they were so obvious that no one needed to go through the effort.
Robert is a nice awkward kid who refused to do his research paper. Weeks went by and despite his proven ability to do the work, he refused to complete the paper. He and I met weekly for three weeks to talk about strategies. I wanted to understand the context of the kid. He listened, but still did nothing.
Language matters. Language that is repeated is more impactful. We started with the Circle of Success and spent part of a school year boiling each idea down into the language that we could use in our classrooms and put on our walls.
At after-school tutoring I was making the rounds to see what freshmen were working on. It looked to be a good start to our power half-hour after school. One freshman was doing Spanish flashcards on Quizlet. Another freshman was working on a transition sentence for her research paper. A third was working on Algebra. And so on.
Disclaimer: This program is under construction. Implementation may cause sudden and significant changes. Buckle your seatbelts.
If a freshman has straight A’s, he or she is on the right track. If a freshman is failing all of his or her classes, there are adults in this building that are on the job to help.