So it's that time of year again. School is over in three weeks. Kids are getting restless. This happens every year, usually after spring break. Suddenly the attendance records are atrocious. The kids are getting bored and don't wanna come. So they don't. Especially my seniors. They all know that it is absolutely imperative to make it to every single class simply because they will get F's and they won't graduate unless they do. All it takes is two months of being lazy and their whole future could hang in the balance. My older brother is a huge example. He moved out of the house two months before graduation. He stopped going to school. Pulled the "I'm eighteen so technically I can do whatever I want" routine. Well he ended up not graduating. Where is he today? Still living at home. Two adult children, one five year old child, divorced, and a grandfather of three. He has been unemployed for at least two years. Before he lost his last job, he had numerous jobs he couldn't keep. My brother's work ethic is terrible. Basically he doesn't have one. My ex got him a job at one time to try and help him out. It was at an autobody shop. My brother doesn't know much about cars but they took him in anyway. My brother does not like to work. At the autobody shop he would stand around and smoke cigarretes instead of working. Would make up excuses not to work. He ended up getting fired. Made my ex look like a dumb ass because he is the one who recommended him. That's just one of the many jobs he's lost over the years. I have made him an example to my kids at what NOT to do when you grow up. Some of my students are headed down the same path. One of them is my sixth period TA. I will call her Melissa. Melissa has terrible attendance. She is in danger of failing, if she's not already. I have spoken to her mom about her lack of attendance a couple of times. Mom says they are having family problems right now because they are going through a divorce. Melissa is out of control and refuses to do what she is told. Our assistant principal has had talks with her. I even had a talk with her at one point, telling her I can relate to the issues she is going through right now. My parents divorced when I was sixteen and it was hard. But I still went to school. Told her that she is only damaging herself and her future by sabotoging her chance to graduate. Told her that later on in life, when her friends are driving nice cars, have nice jobs, and can afford to buy nice clothes, she will be kicking herself for not graduating. I seemed to get through to her. She started attending all of her classes, including mine, and promised she would be good the whole rest of the year. Told me she really really wants to graduate and that her teachers say she is on track as long as she doesn't miss any classes from now till the end of the year. I really thought she changed for the better. I was wrong. She cut three classes this week. Two of them were mine. Now I have been put in the very uncomfortable position of deciding whether or not to give her credit for my class. She needs my class to graduate. If I give her no credit, she will not graduate. I could let her skip and give her credit anyway, but that really wouldn't be fair. I know that if I was her mom I would be really upset if my kid didn't graduate all because of one class. I would be angry at the teacher/staff member who gave her a failing grade. So more than likely we will pass her because we would hate to have her future lie in our hands. There are some teachers out there who may not be as forgiving. Melissa is only one of a big handful of kids who are in danger of not graduating due to attendance right now. I just hope my own two kids don't follow suit and do the same thing to me one day. I can't imagine the anger and frustration some of their parents must have right now. Hopefully I won't be one of them some day.