One student in the class I currently teach has only been present one day out of four weeks. How should I keep this student up to date with the work that he is missing? Any tips and advice are greatly appreciated!
— O., Ohio
Talk to your cooperating teacher to learn what strategies have been used in the past and how assessments and grading have been handled. Also, find out if any communications with the family have occurred and if there is support at home for the child to catch up. As a student teacher, you should leave these communications to the cooperating teacher and I strongly advise against giving the family your e-mail or direct contact information.
Since this student is chronically absent, you should keep notes of the lessons and activities he has missed and collect any handouts in a folder. If the student frequently loses or forgets the work he does get, then don’t send work home—keep a binder in class for him.
You can also be a little proactive and differentiate your teaching for this student as having a special need. Assemble booklets or binders of material that the student can work through at his own pace. These binders will be very useful on the days the student is present and you are in the middle of a project or an intensive class activity. Similarly, prepare some take-home activities that can replace in-class labs and hands-on work.
Hope this helps!