Monthly Archives: February 2011

Beats “you don’t belong here” — right?

Just wrote this on a student’s latest test:

Time to face the reality that to succeed this semester you will need to spend more time on the new material and polish up your Algebra 1 skills. I recommend doing all assignments twice. (The second time through should be neat and clear enough that it could go in a textbook.) Call/email/text a buddy at night to compare even-numbered answers. You will be ready for the next day if your homework is perfect and so complete and legible that someone in this class could learn from it, even if they missed the lesson.

I also added a note, with an arrow pointing to the paragraph above: “Please show this to your parents.”

If the kid were a behavior issue, I might take a more direct approach: “Please find another class. Here’s a pass to your counselor.” I don’t think he has a hope. This is an Algebra 2 Honors class, and he’s missing all kinds of basics. He failed to pick up the crucial difference of squares pattern when we reviewed it, and it’s hurting him now.

His homework is a mess. He never asks questions or shows up for tutoring. The class has 41, so if he chooses escape (without my prodding), it might be best for all.