Inevitably I end up with a small group of students in danger of failing computer science because of a ridiculous backlog of missing work. Especially if the student needs the class to graduate there can be a lot of pressure and friction in this situation.
A few years back, after a particularly ugly round I had a brilliant idea - the action plan. I use this strategy to inject sanity into these stressful parent interactions.
It is a two step process.
- I have the students sign a plan that lists all the work they need to turn in.The key to this is use specific due dates. Don't do the work on time? You don't pass.
- I get them to sign it and mail a copy home, then call to let the parents know it is coming. Every time they miss an appointment to do the work, I call home.
For a kid that has fallen behind seeing a list of items listed by date takes an overwhelming problem and makes it doable.
And for the kids that don't do it? It creates perfect documentation of how I tried to help them pass. It has removed almost all of the tension form those end of the year parent conferences.
You can download a copy here.