There's a girl in my precalculus class, a junior, who has spotty attendance, and by that I mean that there have been weeks at a time when she would show up maybe 3 total times. I had her 2 years ago in geometry, so I know her. I also asked her algebra 2 teacher from last year if she had any problems with her, and she mentioned her multiple absences.
When she came back from her last absences, I asked her what the deal was in a nice teacherly way, and she just shrugged. I asked her if everything was okay, and she said it was, not too convincingly. I asked her if she had someone to talk to, and she nodded. She said she was trying. So I basically left it at that, and said that if she needed help to please come in, and to make sure she got caught up.
Well, she keeps saying lately that she has a ton of work to turn in to me, and that she keeps forgetting it. She also came in after school today and got tutoring. And I don't mean the fake tutoring where the student makes a show of getting help, but just wants to quickly complete the assignment just to get the grade. She was asking good questions and actually getting it. I have a good feeling that she will turn in all her work that she's missing.
... I've started this new exercise program with these videos of weight lifting and cardio, and the trainer has all these goofy sayings, but one keeps running through my mind: do your best, and forget the rest. What a great thing to live by. As long as you're putting out your best effort, it doesn't matter what others are doing, it doesn't matter if it's not "good enough". If you can honestly say you've done your best, then that's what it's about. Now I don't know if it's this girl's best effort, but maybe it's what she can do right now. At least she's coming back and not just shrugging her shoulders and giving up because it's too much to make up. Go her.