Last week got off to a rough start, I missed a call from my daughter’s biology teacher. She left me a message saying that she wanted to talk to me about her grade. This is her first year of high school so I was a little anxious. After listening to the message, I talked to my little cupcake to find out what this could be about and of course she has no idea. She’s always been a good student so I didn’t want to overreact, especially so early in the school year. So I resigned to wait until the next day and talk to her teacher in person.
The next day, we arrive at her school and we get out of the car. As we are walking towards the school, I notice that she’s walking a completely different route to her class, one that bypasses her friends. Her friends are standing around talking before classes begin. I ask her why she’s going this way to class, avoiding her friends and ask if it’s because I’m walking with her. She quickly denies my suspicion and we have a deep-felt, hearty laugh.
We get to her teachers’ room. Suddenly it’s very quiet. I say good morning to Miss. Smith (not her real name) and she returns my greeting. As we continue to talk, I find out my daughter is not putting enough effort into her work, she even forgot to have me look at her syllabus and sign it, missing out on 10 easy points just for showing a little responsibility. She also didn’t do that great on two different quizzes. I’m glad her teacher is letting me know early enough that she will have time to recover and get her grades up. My daughter, I’ll just call her Day from here on, starts to make excuses. She didn’t know she did poorly on the quizzes, Miss Smith should have talked to her, she forgot to have me sign the syllabus, etc. etc. She also became defensive.
Miss Smith quickly recognizes what’s going on and to her credit, calmly lets her know that she still has time to improve her grade, but it will take hard work and communication. I let her know that excuses won’t help. Actually, they prevent her from seeing the real problem.
I can tell that in the heat of the moment she’s having some trouble admitting her mistakes. I also realize that she’s heard every word her teacher and I said, the advice, the consequences and that the teacher is willing to help her after school. So I let Miss Smith finish talking then get a lukewarm , okay I’ll do better from Day. We then say our goodbyes and Day and I leave.
After we get outside there is a thick, uncomfortable silence. I tell her briefly that we will discuss our talk with Miss Smith later, after school and if she wants me to continue purchasing school lunch for her every day instead of her bringing one from home, she’ll have to do better in biology class.
We had one more brief talk after school about what I expected. I also asked if she needed any help. She let me know that she would be staying after school the next few days to work with Miss Smith. I am very happy with her progress, she is getting good grades in biology now.