January 22, 2015

Classroom Zoo #22 - The Dog Ate My Homework

 Excuses for missing homework are a daily ritual in the classroom. Most range from the classic "my dog ate it" to  "I didn't have time because of (insert some extracurricular activity)" or "My mom left it on the counter." Regardless of the reasoning, missing homework is the bane of an elementary teacher's existence. We want the students to learn responsibility and accountability yet we struggle keeping them in from recess or taking them away from the social time they so desperately need to develop. And above that struggle is the occasional excuse that makes it nearly impossible to give a consequence. I had a student in my earlier years that had significant issues completing work. He was pretty apathetic with school and wasn't really impacted by any consequences I threw his way. However, when he came in one morning in tears because he knew his streak of consecutive days of turning in his work was about to be broken, I knew I had to hear him out. I asked him why he was crying. His reasoning: he couldn't get his reading log signed because his mom and her boyfriend were wrestling naked again. From then on, I didn't ask again.

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