Sunday, July 3, 2011

Student From Hell

Since the beginning of January and right up until the end of the school year, I had to tutor an 8th grader who had been suspended for fighting.  At first, everything went along swimmingly.  Around March, it all went south.  I initially wrote a very strong letter to the school district expressing my displeasure at how the student's grades were determined and the lack of assistance I received.  After discussing it with my job, it was decided that sending the letter was not necessary as my paperwork would suffice to show how poor a performance this student turned in.  I altered the letter into a memo, taking out most references to how the district is run by idiots and morons.  I thought I'd share the resulting memo with you.  I have [redacted] the student's name as well as locations. 
This note is about [redacted] and the grades that were attributed to her for the second half of the 2010-2011 school year.

I was first assigned to teach [redacted]back on January 10th. We had 12 sessions for the month of January, of which she attended 10. The first two weeks of tutoring were spent on busy work as I did not receive curriculum materials until later in the month, so tutoring truly started on January 24th. At the close of that week, I filled out the paperwork, assigning grades for January based on the five days of work with curriculum materials. I subsequently found out that this grade, based solely on that final week, had been assigned as [redacted] entire second marking period grade. To wit, a single two-hour tutoring session per subject was used to give her a grade for two-and-a-half months of schooling. Despite the fact that she was in school during the second marking period for the months of November and December, none of the work she completed there was used in the computation of her grade.

The same issue around grading arose in the third marking period. We had 10 tutoring sessions in the month of February, of which [redacted] attended 8. At the beginning of March, [redacted] and her family moved into [redacted]. (She was previously living in [redacted], and was being bused to the [redacted] Library.) Once this move took place, [redacted] was no longer bused to the library. This started a pattern of only a 50% attendance rate. There were 18 tutoring sessions in March, of which [redacted] only attended 9. However, I discovered that [redacted] third marking period grades were taken solely from the grades on February’s sheets, discounting all of March and a small part of April. This means that her third marking period grade was determined by only four hours of tutoring per subject. Given that [redacted] had a 40% absentee rate for the third marking period, my official grades for the third marking period would have been much lower, if not failing.

Overall, this means that [redacted] grades for the second and third marking period, a total of five months of school, have been based on only six hours of work per subject.

This pattern of only attending 50% of the sessions continued into the fourth marking period. Of the 13 tutoring sessions in April, [redacted] attended 7. Of the 15 tutoring sessions in May, [redacted] attended 7. In June, [redacted] attended 2 of 8 sessions. Most times, I would receive a text message either moments before or after the session began stating that she would not be coming for tutoring. Other times, I would hear nothing.

At one point in May, [redacted] started to ask that I come to the house to tutor her. I agreed a few times. Then it quickly reached the point where she told me that she wanted to call me every day to inform me whether we would meet at the library or at her house and what time we would meet at. At that point, I had the district office call the parent, as this uncertainty of where and when tutoring was to take place on a daily basis was now a situation I could no longer work with. I was told that the result of the phone call was that [reacted] would meet me at the library from now on. Subsequent to this phone call, which was made on May 17th, [redacted] only came to 4 of the final 14 sessions.

In addition to her absences, [redacted] also would only be present for 1 of the 2 hours of tutoring. As an example of this, if our session was scheduled for 1:30pm, instead of taking the 12:17pm bus from her apartment to be at the library on time, [redacted] would take the 1:17pm bus, arriving at the library around 2:00pm. Then, instead of taking a bus home after the session ended at 3:30pm, she would take the 3:15pm bus home, leaving the library at 3:00pm to make the bus. Therefore, she would arrive a ½ hour late to each session and leave a ½ hour early. This pattern commenced in March and continued to the conclusion of tutoring. In short, since March 1st, [redacted] has only received a little over 20 hours of instruction, roughly 2 ½ weeks of tutoring. She has missed 33 days of instruction, or 8 weeks of tutoring.

To conclude, based on her attendance and work completed, [redacted]did not pass any of her subjects for the second half of the school year 2010-2011.

[redacted] Absentee Dates: 1/13; 1/24; 2/4; 2/11; 3/2; 3/4; 3/5; 3/10; 3/15; 3/18; 3/23; 3/24; 3/31; 4/7; 4/13; 4/14; 4/15; 4/28; 4/29; 5/6; 5/10; 5/13; 5/19; 5/20; 5/24; 5/25; 5/31; 6/1; 6/2; 6/3; 6/8; 6/10; 6/13