This is a letter to the cool parents of middle school students. These are the parents who pull their children out of school for a week to go hunting or to take a random week to the beach or allow grandparents to do the same. These are the parents who think they are they are their child’s best friend and allow that child to stay home from school so they (the parents) won’t be bored. Whether you want to believe it or not you are hurting your children in regards to their education.
Like I said I teach middle school and I know that for every day your child is absent from school they get two days behind. Some of my students missed thirty, forty or fifty days of school. I saw “A” students drop to D’s and F’s. This week, I saw many students in tears because they didn’t understand why their grades dropped, or it hit them that they have to retake a course since they didn’t pass the course exam. Most of these students had missed weeks of school.
Parents often ask for work that the child will miss, but in my 17 years of teaching I’ve only had one or two make-up the missed work. Mom and dad make up excuses on why it didn’t get done. I’m only caught by surprise when the student does the assignments. In my grade book assignments that are not made up become zeros.
Don’t get me wrong. I usually give students 2 to 3 chances to make up work missed, but in their mind it they can’t do it. Along with everything else it is just too much.
I believe that school is your child’s job during the year and they are giving 2-3 months of vacation during the summer along with multiple breaks throughout the year. Please pay attention to the school calendar to plan your get-a-ways. With hormone changes and school drama your student has enough stress without worrying about keeping their grades up. Sure they get excited when they get to miss school, but then struggle when they return. Just think, if you missed work at a very busy, stressful time , your boss might not be very happy. Neither are their teachers. Things like this also double the teacher’s workload. Thanks.
Decisions like this along with affecting your child’s education also affect your child’s work ethic in a very negative way. In a sense you are telling them that to have a poor work ethic is okay. That will stick with them for a long while. But, that is okay since most are convinced that you will always be there to bail them out and provide money for their support. I hope that this is true since they will not be able to hold down a job for longer than a few weeks, plus if they make it to college they have less than average chance of finishing.
Think before you pull your child out of school. Yeah, it is just middle school, but it the time where your child develops their work ethic. These habits are what they take into high school and into the work force. Your kids need to be at school every possible day and you as the parent are responsible for making sure they are there and doing their best.
***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo, and Olivia’s Sweet Adventure.