Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Excuses, Excuses......

As a teacher, naturally I've heard some doozies as far as excuses go. We had one earlier this school year that made me laugh out loud. When our students check in to school tardy, they pick up a tardy slip in the front office, fill it out, and (theoretically) have someone in the front office sign it. There's a line on there where students are supposed to indicate the reason for their tardiness. You would be amazed at how many of them put "Late" as their reason. That drives me crazy.

One of our precious girls came in late one morning, and under "Reason for Tardy" she had written "Cow got out." She is a member of FFA, and she has a cow that she takes to shows. She went by to feed the cow on her way to school, and it was out of its pen. Naturally it was pouring rain that morning too. How can you not excuse her, when clearly she had to retrieve the wayward cow?

One girl who rarely bothers to write anything on her tardy slip because she knows that "sorriness" won't be excused anyway handed me a slip one morning, and she had uncharacteristically written a reason for her tardiness. "My mom is crazy," she had written. I thought to myself, "Hello, Pot. Have you met Mr. Kettle?" But I didn't say it out loud, because she DOES have the cray-cray going on, and she missed several days because she was incarcerated. She would have no problem at all jacking me up.

This week we had what may be the most jaw-dropping ever, though. This guy came to our school later in the year, when he realized that he couldn't possibly get all the credits he needed at the home school. Actually, we had to point that out to him. He wanted to wait and come to us next semester, when he would need 8 credits. Eight. As in a whole year's worth. Whatever. We should have known something about him when we asked in the interview if he could start the next day. He hesitated, looked a little uncertain, and then said, "Can we make it the day after? I need to say goodbye to all my friends." He is charming but lazy, and he disappeared not long after he started. He stayed gone a week, then showed back up, looking sheepish. He was apologetic and honest about how he had screwed up, but it was still early enough that he could get his credits. His attendance has been spotty, and he missed another entire week. His sister is his main custodian, and I think she's got more than she can handle. Anyway, he showed up yesterday after a lengthy absence, and we cornered him immediately because we needed to handle a disciplinary referral regarding his leaving campus without permission. (We suspended him for a day. What kind of punishment is that for a kid who doesn't want to come anyway? We're sort of at our wits' ends.) When we gathered in the office, we asked him where he had been for the week before Thanksgiving.

Are you sure you're ready for this?

"My blackheads. My face was all scabbed over." (It couldn't possibly have been.)

Seriously? I know adolescence is a tough time, but are you seriously going to stay out of school for an entire week because of some blackheads?

These damn kids.


Kelly said...

I admire anyone who deals with these kids on a regular basis. My hat goes off to you.

DJan said...

Well, he did come up with SOMETHING, after all. I think he should be considered unteachable with all those terrible blackheads, don't you? :-)

Evil Pixie said...

OMG!! That is hilarious!! Blackheads are certainly a creative excuse. Personally, I don't know how you kept from rolling your eyes.

AmandaSue : ] said...

I didn't go to school once because my cheeks had swelled up real big and I looked like a chipmunk. Not a good look for me.

Also,I don't ever like to point out mistakes.. but I think you might have meant to say that blackhead boy's sister is his main guardian.. but if you meant custodian that's awesome! I wish my sister would be my main custodian.

Maggie said...

I don't want to work and I have a zit. I now know the perfect excuse when I call in on Monday... too much! (Have you ever heard missing over painful toenail? I heard that one last week...!)