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Betcha Dollars To Donuts He Flunks Out

, , , , , , , | Learning | January 7, 2023

I am a math teacher in a meeting with a counselor, two parents (only one speaks), and a student who is badly failing my class after one month.

The student has no chance of passing after getting a D in Pre-Algebra and cheating online through Algebra 1 and Geometry, which he has openly admitted (to me, not his family). He lacks every pre-requisite skill.

Parent: “This is the only class that’s going to keep him from going to college. He’s never struggled like this. He did great the last two years; it’s just your class that’s killing him.” *To the counselor* “Is there another teacher we can switch him to?”

Counselor: “Well, yes, but—”

Parent: “Then do it. Get him out and with a teacher who actually does their job.”

This parent hasn’t given me a chance to explain the attendance issues, missing classwork assignments, the student’s refusal to take advantage of the five different tutoring options available at our school, and the fact that, although I offer retakes for every test, this student has done nothing to change the situation.

The counselor agrees to the switch, only timidly asking my opinion; I do not think the other Algebra 2 teacher would be a good match, but the parent talks over me.

The student enrolls in the other teacher’s class for a month before I am summoned to another meeting, this time including the principal.

Parent: “[Other Teacher] is worse, and we want [Student] back with [My Name].”

Principal: “Unfortunately, her class filled up and has no available space. We can reevaluate after the semester ends.”

Parent: “But [Other Teacher] just expects them to watch videos and understand! He won’t help [Student] at all!”

Counselor: “That is what [My Name] was trying to explain last time, if you recall, but you wanted the transfer and we made the accommodation.”

Parent: “Yeah, but I thought she just didn’t want to admit a man was better.”

With that, I excused myself and let the principal deal with it, who later sent a donut my way as consolation.

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