Wednesday, January 23
Tom and I walked into his school for student-led conferences. JB was hanging out in the hallway. He smiled, waved, and walked towards us.
“There you are,” he called out.
Tom and I strode into the band room where conferences were being held. JB followed. A teacher directed us to a table. Tom sat on one side of the table, JB and I on the other, and Tom began showing us his tests and papers.
“There’s a lot of homework you did but didn’t hand in,” I said. “Some you didn’t do at all. It’s killing your grades. How can you turn this around? There’s no reason you should be getting a C in math. You know this stuff. It’s easy for you.”
“Are you doing poorly because it’s new material and you’re struggling?” JB pandered.
Tom nodded animatedly. “Yes.”
I waved over Tom’s math teacher. “Hi Mrs. Chapman. Could you explain why Tom is getting a C?”
“As you can see, he does great on his tests and quizzes. It’s his daily work. He doesn’t do it or hand it in.”
“We’re learning new stuff and I’m struggling with it,” Tom said.
“No you’re not,” Mrs. Chapman said. She pulled out Tom’s most recent worksheet. “You have a great math mind. Who in class took the shortest time to figure this out?”
“Me,” Tom said.
“Tom and I were cleaning his room and we found old math papers behind his dresser,” I said. “Some were done, some weren’t.” I looked at Tom. “How are you going to turn this around?”
“Start doing my homework everyday and putting it in my backpack,” he said.
“I can make sure it’s in your backpack, but it’s up to you to remember to turn it in,” I said.
We got up and began walking out. One of my yoga clients and her daughter approached us.
“Check out those boots!” I said pointing to the girl’s sequined Uggs. “I want a pair!”
“Yeah, those are really nice,” JB muttered.
I chatted with my client for a while and Tom and I turned to leave. JB was still hanging around.
“Well, see you later,” JB called out cheerily.
I couldn’t look at JB. If I looked at him, I would have punched him. I was shaking inside.