Teacher has lost her passion as kids don’t try, graduate anyway
DEAR ANNIE: Graduation is coming up, and I don’t know what to do. You see, most of the seniors aren’t qualified to graduate at all. Some of them have been truant for half of the years they were here. At least 15 seniors were absent from class for their entire senior year, and at least 20 percent lack grade-level reading and writing skills. For some, college will be impossible. Every year, we have “alumni” who return to school because they either graduated without necessary credentials or flunked out of college and need academic help. I never give passing grades to kids who don’t show up to class, but if they perform some token service, the school graduates them anyway.
Should I go to this year’s graduation ceremony? I haven’t gone in two years, and when asked, I say why. Sometimes I worry that I appear unkind, because this is a low-income, troubled neighborhood and high school graduation means a lot to these families. I just don’t like what I see as a deception because either the parents haven’t made sure the kids go to school, or the school lies to the kids and tells them everything is fine. What do you suggest?
Dear Teacher: There is only so much you can do, and you are already doing it. We understand that you don’t feel it is fair for kids to graduate when they haven’t done the work, shown up for class or achieved the required standards. You are already giving these kids flunking grades. But unless the other teachers and the school administration are willing to hold them back, they will graduate anyway. And your school is not the only one that operates in this fashion.
While it serves no purpose for parents or kids to believe graduation will happen whether or not it’s deserved, for some, the humiliation of not graduating doesn’t spur them to achieve more. It makes them give up. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish as an educator, and then seek the best way to achieve it.
DEAR ANNIE: I have a friend who, after lots of medical assistance, was finally able to get pregnant and have a little girl 18 months ago. Now, with further assistance, she is pregnant with twins. It’s exciting but expensive to give a baby shower. What is the proper etiquette? I really like her, and she was the matron of honor at my wedding three years ago. We worked together then and now have lunch once every month or so, but we are no longer super-close.
— Second Baby Shower?
Dear Second: Are you asking whether you should host twice or attend twice? You are not obligated to do either, but it is especially onerous to host a second baby shower, so you are off the hook for that. Many women opt not to have second baby showers, because they already were provided with plenty of nice things that can be handed down to a second child. With twins, however, the need is greater, so a second shower is understandable. But it should not overburden people who gave generously the first time. Guests should include only close family, very close friends and those who were not invited to the first baby shower. If you choose to attend a second shower, you might consider a token gift rather than a pricey item. Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@creators. com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA, USA.