Educators: Help students before they fail

As you look through your grade book, you can probably already pick out students who are in danger of failing. Now is the time to put in place a process to get these students back on track. Here are some ways teachers can help students before they end up failing at the end of the year:

  • Cast a wide net. Don’t just alert your students who are already failing. Work with the “D” students as well.
  • Don’t let parents say, “No one ever told me my child could fail.” Write a letter to parents laying out your concerns. Invite them to work with you on creating an action plan for their child.
  • Make a list of everything the student needs to do. List missed assignments and tests.  If attendance has been a problem, include that as something for the student to work on.
  • Let parents know about upcoming big projects. If you have a final project or paper in your class, be sure parents know what’s expected—and the due date for turning it in.
  • Help the student set achievable goals. Failing students can feel overwhelmed. Give them a schedule of what they need to do, and by when.
  • Keep accurate records. Have the student and the student’s parents sign copies of your agreed-on action plan.

You might not be successful with every student. But this documented action plan will provide evidence that you did everything possible to help the student achieve his goal of reaching graduation.

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