So, it’s three months out from the end of the school year. This is the last nine week period or quarter students have to show you what knowledge they have of mathematics. Have you already left for Spring Break?
It’s unfortunate that students wait until the last-minute to pull up their grades, but don’t check out just yet! Now is a good time to make those phone calls to parents of students who grades are a D or F. As uncomfortable as it may be to make these calls, keep in mind that you, the teacher, are just trying to be proactive. When making these calls, keep in mind, parents are going to want options for their students. This may involve asking for morning/afternoon tutoring, test/quiz retakes, turning in late assignments and/or extra credit/extra assignment work. Before making that first call, outline what options you are willing to live with so that you are ready to work with the parents. Being put on the spot by a parent who is asking for the moon and stars to be moved so their child can pass math is never a good thing.
In addition, be ready with all marking period grades for each student, including current missing work. This puts you in the driver seat with the parent and you come out looking like the true professional you are. Keep the conference call focused on the student’s grades and performance in your class, and any behavior issues that may come into play with the student not meeting his/her personal best in your class. Do not talk about issues that are occurring in other classes the student has. That’s for the teachers of those classes to handle. You are only responsible for the learning of the students in your classroom during their period in which you have them. Keep in mind, it’s not to late to call for that face-to-face parent conference! I highly recommend not waiting until May/June to tell a parent their child failed your class. There are things you can do now to help students be successful. Ketch’em up!