Teacher has lost her pas­sion as kids don’t try, grad­u­ate any­way

The China Post - - TV & COMICS -

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?

— Teacher

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.

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