Today was frustrating for me. I recognize that it’s one of those things where one bad experience, even in an otherwise very good day, just turns your day bad. I’ll try to explain concisely.
A student, let’s call the student J, didn’t want to take a quiz for which he was absent during his “study hall” (we call it Academic Support) because he had homework which was due the next period.
My furious personal thoughts: “But you’ve known since last week that this quiz was to happen on Friday and when you were absent during my class on Friday you told me that you would take this on Monday and now it’s Monday and you’re refusing to take the quiz!!!”
So I told him “No, you have to take the quiz first”. He responded with “Okay, give me the quiz, I’ll just write my name on it and give it back to you”, knowing full well that students can retake quizzes for full credit. Not only that, but he knows that I will hound him and force him to retake the quiz until he does better, so from his point of view he “doesn’t have to worry about it.”
I confided my frustration with a fellow teacher. This teacher does not use SBG and has deadlines for students that are immovable. He pointed out that for my class, failing the quiz was a “chronic” problem, whereas finishing the homework for this other teacher, who had deadlines, was a “crises” problem. The student views the latter as more immediate and therefore more important, whether rightly or wrongly so, so when given 50 minutes to do work, the student will choose the latter. This teacher confided how some students, who don’t do their work, are relieved to find out that they missed a deadline because it’s no longer hanging over their head. He confided that he would rather them be incredibly disappointed rather than relieved, and I wanted to shout “But is this what is best for the students?!? To be left off the hook???”
My first thought was “okay, how can I move my work to ‘crises’ level for the student without setting a deadline because I believe in retakes for students and a growth mindset.” So I sent a long e-mail to the single mother of this child (who I was informed had been in the hospital last week), asking for the student to study at home and to come in to my tutoring sessions here a school. My next thought was “how can I make the student’s life miserable so that he caves in and studies? He’s already 4 quizzes (weeks) behind his peers and I need to get him to study on his own at home. So I’m going to require him to bring his lunch into my classroom and study. Want to goof off at home and not study? Okay, you’ll lose your lunch here at school.
But do I really want to make an antagonist out of this student? Just because he’s frustrated me
once several times, should I make him view me as his enemy? One of the things I like about SBG is how it’s easy to show the students that we’re on their side. This is tough for me to do, but perhaps it’s the “tough love” action that I need to take. As long as I do it out of care for the student and not spite, then it can and will be the right thing to do.
While I’m on that, I need to look back because there are other students who haven’t pushed my buttons but who are doing just as poorly in class. I need to mandate that they come to tutoring as well (I’ve done this for a few students…). I think I’m going to make a sign-in sheet for the students so that’s one less thing I have to keep track of. Then again, I’ll have to chase them down if they’re not there… but at least I’m doing what’s right.
Any ideas to help out with this situation? 
 Actually my first, first thought is “all teachers should allow retakes/extensions of deadlines so that this doesn’t happen!”.
 That felt better just to get that off my chest. Thanks, #MTBoS