Here is an email that I received from a parent this week, so you can see some of the things I have to deal with.

“I am concerned how my A student got a 67 on your test? I understand she approached students and yourself to find out what she missed on the days she was ill and was told “nothing much.”
I would like to find out how she could have missed so badly on this test. If there is a problem with [my daughter] that I am unaware of? If so, please enlighten me. She has been making A’s in your class, to what do you attribute this collapse on the Test? And if she didn’t have all the correct study materials due to an illness absence, what are you prepared to do to help her with this?

Thank you for your consideration in this matter,


First I want to point out that I don’t get many angry emails, but it does happen. Let’s go though this and point out the mistakes.

This student was absent for several days at the beginning of the semester. I honestly do not remember what I told her, but I would never tell a student that they missed “nothing much.” She had all of her assignments turned in, so I clearly gave her everything she missed.

I went back a checked, and she has not been making all A’s in my class. Last semester she had 2 A’s and a B. She ended up with a 70 on the test because there was an error on my key. She has had several tests that were lower than that, but mom never asked about those.

I have an answer to the collapse on the test. It was a hard test. I did not intend it to be, but many students struggled. It is also the first time they have ever taken an economics test, so they did not know what to expect. Also, after I gave her the missing work, she never came to tutorials to ask me for help. I spoke to the student about this and she told me she didn’t have time to come in.

I don’t know what/if she said to her mom about this, but to me it looks like she is not telling mom everything. I wanted to tell mom to have some tact and not be so accusatory, because her daughter did not do her part.

I showed this email to one of my coworkers and he said I should tell mom to pop her tit out of her daughter’s mouth, because she is a senior in an Advanced Placement course. I did not.

One of the great things about teaching seniors, is that the parents know their children, so most of them understand when there are issues. I called a mom last week whose son had a 26 average in my class. He had about 5 missing assignments, a zero on a quiz that he took and a 33 on his test (in an AP class). Mom was pissed at him because she know him.



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