He doesn’t feel comfortable in my class, he tells his mom, which is why he chose not to come see me Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or today when I sat in the cafeteria at lunchtime conducting office hours for students who failed their lab report (most of them) and wanted to rewrite it a third time (I put copious comments on the 1st drafts and taught a lesson targeting the skills where they had the most trouble…. a lot of kids lost points on the final draft for leaving out sections entirely, not reading my comments, etc. I don’t mind helping you out, but at the point when we get to third drafts, it’s on your time – which also happens to be my time – not class time). Let me say that again: this student did NOT take advantage of four days and about 3 hours of possible extra-help time. At no point this week did he even mention wanting help. Let me also say this: he was drawing in his agenda today when I gave instructions for a new project. So when that one comes due, what will the story be then? Uncomfortable?! You should be uncomfortable in my class, you’re not doing your work! You don’t even know what the question is! But there’s a fine line between uncomfortable and uncomfortable… so I set up a meeting with the mom, who is convinced that this is not her child, that somehow I am refusing to help him. If he really doesn’t feel okay approaching me, then that’s a real problem and one worth addressing… siiiigggghhhhhh. It will all be fine, I was firm but eminently reasonable on the phone. And it’s not like there’s a teacher in the building with a different story to tell about him.
And that came after a two-coverage (no-prep), teaching-all-day, no-lunch, extra-help, after-school, staff-holiday-party, 7:30-5 kinda day.