Search for:
  • Home/
  • /
  • Progress Report

Progress Report

The week before progress reports were due to go home, I gave my students a heads up, and printed out their missing assignments.  I said,  “Get them in or else.”  The “or else” came yesterday.  Today at the 5th grade team meeting we found we’d all had pretty much the same conversation with one young man:

One-by-one I called the students to my desk.  As I gave each of them their grade report I explained their score, and showed them where I listed how many assignments they’d had, and how many they’d completed.  I also provided written details on any missing assignments.

Jet’s report explained that of six assignments, he had completed one, turned one in incomplete, and had four missing papers.   Holding the report in his hand, Jet said to me, “Miss, if I take this home, my dad, he will beat me.”

I said, “Last Monday [8 days previous] did I give you a reminder that these assignments were late?”

“Well, yes.”

“And didn’t I tell you that I’d be here every morning and you could come in at 7:30 if you needed any help?  Or that you could make an appointment to see me at recess?”

“Yes, but –”

I shook my head.  “You made your choice.”

“But — ”

“Did you come in?”


“Did you do any of these assignments?”

“No.”  Sullen.

I lifted my hands palm up and shrugged my shoulders.  “You didn’t even try. ”

“But he’ll beat me.”

“Has he beat you before when you didn’t do your work?”


“So, you knew the consequence before you chose not to do the work?”  I shook my head yet again.  “I’m thinking those beatings must not be too bad,  because you made the choice.”


He didn’t come to school today.  Despite the fact that he deliberately chose a known consequence, we are worried about him.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Yes they do. Jet will grow up to beat his kids. Unless we somehow devise a society that prevents him from having any. Unlikely. The Chinese tried that. And we all dissed them to hell. Accused them of human rights violations. Some of us would argue that knowingly bringing children into poverty and abuse is the ultimate human rights violation.

  2. I guess time will tell whether you were right to be worried for him. Some people never learn, I think it’s pretty clear where Jet gets his attitude from. There’s so much more could be said on this subject, but I don’t want to clutter up your blog quilly with my rantings.

  3. Of course your worried about him. Even though he made the decision, you are a teacher, and it isn’t in your nature to want kids to fail. That and the small matter of being a compassionate human being. 😉

    It was the only decision you could make, and beyond that, it’s the only one that may help him.

  4. Sadly, if you had not done what you did, when you next give the children assignments, you’d have at least half a dozen standing in front of you claiming beatings at home is why they didn’t do the work. That one little boy’s horrible truth can too easily be seen by other kids as a means for them to slack off.

    And I don’t know why young people do this. Without even discussing the wrongness of what his dad does to him, I can remember countless times hearing kids back in school say ‘let’s do this but we can’t be caught because my parent’s will kill me/ground me/ take away this’. If the punishment is so bad in your eyes, why do the act in the first place?

  5. When I was a kid I hated homework enough to choose a beating instead.

    Doesn’t somebody need to, like, contact the authorities? Or at least have a conference with the parent?

  6. Quilly…..How about a home visit? Any bruises? Then I’d go with Diesel’s advice.

    Personally, I had to learn to study (organization, time management and all that) After that, the effort made me feel good. And right or wrong, don’t we just want to see if the lesson was absorbed and a try was made? Good luck…………..Judy

  7. Mumma — some kids never get the concept that they have a choice.

    OC — that’s where my head is everythime I start thinking about changing professions. Back in my janitorial days I never lost any sleep worrying about who was beating the toilets I’d scrubbed or the windows I’d washed.

    Bazza — I’m pretty sure your unspoken comments would compliment OC’s.

    Melli — thank you — most of my students can use them.

    Brig — sometimes the compassionate and logical choice to make is the hardest and the one with the potentially worst consequences.

    Mumma — he usually is, but don’t tell him I said so, he may get insufferable.

    Tina — see my answer to Brig.

    Diesel — The fact that Jet is failing all 6 classes makes the parent-teacher conference mandatory. And one cannot call the authorities for suspicions. One has to have proof. A child’s statement that he will be beaten isn’t considered proof; however, Jet’s homeroom teacher did call his house yesterday and speak to both the boy and his mother. Jet is in school today, completely mark-free, and he did not bring in any of his missing assignments.

    Judy — see my comment to Diesel.

  8. had to log in again so that you don’t have to fish my comments out of the spam file.

    thing slike that make me sad…

  9. A teacher’s job is not easy. All those very hard decesions to make. The kid might have lied and stayed home to make it look true. Ot his dad might have beat him.

  10. Quite the situation. You did your part as the advisor and we can only hope the parent has as much self control as you so very often demonstrate.
    Hugs 🙂

  11. Polona — me, too.

    Dr. John — precisely. One never knows if the kid is telling the truth. That is why as a fifth grade team we constanly meet to review and share our notes on the students. There’s less chance we’ll miss something vital with 5 pairs of eyes watching.

    Pauline — today I need that hug. A Tylenol and a hot bath wouldn’t be amiss, either ….

  12. wow…kids say the weirdest things, but it is better to listen and research than woosh away. Hope he turns up with signs of a recovering flu or soemthing…

Comments are closed.